Virgin Mobile quietly launched a new member of its Broadband2Go line-up, the PEEL 3200 by ZTE. The PEEL 3200 is basically an iPod touch case that has a built-in 3G router.
Its purpose is to turn a second- or third-generation iPod touch into a mobile hotspot.
Qualcomm’s 3G CDMA chip that runs on Sprint’s cellular network.
It supports CDMA 800-1900Mhz and its built-in battery is charged via micro USB.
The PEEL 3200 supports a secured connection for up to two devices which includes the iPod touch.
It is compatible with devices running Windows XP-Vista and Windows 7- Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6; Linux and Android.
Currently, Virgin Mobile offers a single, no-contract plan for the PEEL 3200. The plan provides users with 500MB of data for only $20 per month.
According to Virgin Mobile, this will provide for 25 hours of Web browsing or 50,000 e-mails.
The PEEL 3200 device costs $99.99. In the box you will find the PEEL 3200 device, a wall charger, headset adapter and a Quick Start Guide.
A more detailed manual for the PEEL 3200 can be found on Virgin Mobile’s Web site at www.virginmobileusa.com-resources/PEEL_Online_User_Guide.pdf.
I have only had a few sporadic opportunities to test out the PEEL 3200 since I received it. So far, it has been an experience filled with mixed emotions.
My initial thought about the PEEL 3200 is that it just isn’t what I was expecting it to be.
The PEEL 3200 is a bit on the bulky side. I thought it would be more of a thick, but skin-type device. The iPod touch slides snugly into the PEEL 3200 device, but it’s a little more difficult trying to remove it.
The device does a good job as a protector and it does offer the iPod touch a 3G Internet connection. The connection speed however was not very impressive, but it was better than nothing.
I tested the PEEL 3200 while waiting in a doctor’s office. While there, I shared the extra connection with another iPod touch user. I tried to view a YouTube video while the other person logged on to their Facebook page. The video didn’t play very well, but Facebook and the weather app both worked fine.
One of my issues with the PEEL 3200 is determining if the device truly is powered off or not. After leaving the doctor’s office, I ran some errands. I didn’t realize I hadn’t properly powered off the device until I arrived back at home.
I immediately logged onto Virgin Mobile’s site to see just how much data time had been used. I calculated nearly an hour had passed before I realized it was still on. Luckily, it only had used about 3.5MB of data.
I tested the PEEL 3200 with Skype to see how it might function as a phone device. The call connected successfully and I could hear the other person but they couldn’t hear me. It could have been the headset or the adapter that comes with the PEEL 3200. I plan to test it again with a different headset.
For now, the jury is still out on the PEEL 3200, but it is still nice to have it as an option. Learn more about the PEEL 3200 at www.virginmobileusa.com/mobile-broadband/peel-3200.html
The Library of Congress launched its streaming National Jukebox on Thursday. At the time of the launch, the jukebox will feature more than 10,000 historical American recordings covering 1910-1929.
The National Jukebox is a project of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation. It is being made available to the public free of charge. New recordings will be added to the Jukebox each month.
Learn more at www.loc.gov/jukebox/.
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