Lazyweb: best Verizon data card?

I currently have Verizon mobile data service with a Kyocera PC card, and it works well with recent distros using NetworkManager.  However, my venerable laptop is being replaced with a Lenovo X200, which has no PC card slot, so I’ll have to replace my Verizon data card as well.  According to the Verizon Wireless web site, my choices seem to be the NovaTel V740 for ExpressCard, or for USB the UTStarcom UM175 or the Novatel USB760.

My question for the lazyweb is: which data card/EV-DO modem should I get (assume that I’ll be running Linux 99.9% of the time when I use it)?  The ExpressCard is substantially more expensive and less flexible (since I may want to use this card on a system without an ExpressCard slot someday), so I’d probably go with one of the USB cards if it’s left up to me.  The USB760 doubles as a micro SD reader, which is not useful to me, and confounds things with a mass storage interface that probably just causes confusion, so my first choice would be the UM175 probably.  However if someone with first-hand knowledge knows why that’s a bad decision, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

(And I put a very high value in not having to boot into Windows periodically to update cell tower locations or anything like that, for what it’s worth)

5 Responses to “Lazyweb: best Verizon data card?”

  1. Jan Gutter says:

    I’ve got a Lenovo X200 tablet that also has an expesscard slot. Before you pick the expresscard option, just make sure your system correctly hotplugs the PCIe-bus. I think you have to enable a setting in the BIOS that might make you use more power if you want hotplug on. Otherwise you need to reboot every time you insert a card to get it detected…

    Then again, since I don’t use my expresscard slot that often, a recent BIOS/kernel/whatever update might have fixed it, and I’m just blowing outdated smoke!

  2. roland says:

    @Jan: thanks! Sounds like yet one more reason not to spend extra on ExpressCard — USB hotplug has worked well with Linux for quite some time now.

  3. John Kingman says:

    Have you checked out the mifi 2200? It’s a personal hotspot you can use with wifi devices.

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/13/verizon-mifi-2200-review/

  4. roland says:

    @John: Not a bad idea. It is 3x the price of a USB data card, and I’m not sure it’s worth it to me. Also not sure my current (employer-paid) data card plan ports over to it. But I could imagine cases where it’s useful, so I’ll think about it again.

  5. Dan Nicholson says:

    Don’t know if this will help, but one of the people with a lot of experience here is the NetworkManager maintainer, Dan Williams. He has some stuff on his blog, but you may want to just drop him a email. I’m sure you can find his address somewhere. Here’s one entry that might help.

    http://blogs.gnome.org/dcbw/2009/03/20/thats-when-i-reach-for-my-revolver/