Not too long ago I asked my Twitter friends for their thoughts on what makes a great MIFI seeing that I had decided then that I was going to get an iPad and I was so convinced that I didn’t need a 3G version. Then I went against my better judgement and picked a 3G 64GB model with absolutely no regrets—suddenly my spare 3G data-only SIM card became very useful. But that still left the question of internet access abroad unanswered however many recommended this gorgeous Huawei E585 MIFI Router.
My Nokia E71 which is 3 years old has served me really well over the years. At times when I would dread lugging my Dell Studio 17 laptop overseas for no better reason other than to check my emails, the E71 made a great substitute. When I joined the social media rat race, once again, the E71 proved a worthy partner to post the occasional Twitter and Facebook updates from. A recent addition of an iPad 2 to the mix changed the entire game plan for me. Because the iPad 2 has sufficient processing power to handle even Canon 5D Mark II’s high resolution JPEG images easily, it is now the preferred computer to travel with for obvious reasons. When I’m home in Brunei, I get to choose between home Wi-Fi or 3G network on the iPad but when I’m abroad, I switch to a local mobile plan to avoid hefty roaming charges. Instead of the Huawei route, I prefer to have the SIM card on my phone for good reasons:
1. I retain use of my the phone to call or text my family and friends
2. I easily post Tweets or Facebook messages when running and gunning between schedules
3. Run Joikuspot when I need a personal hotspot to get some work done on the iPad.
Now, we all know that turning a Smartphone into a hotpot drastically reduces its battery performance. I found out that a dedicated MIFI such as the Huawei E585 fare no better in this regard and what steered me away from considering them is the lack of power backup other than the obvious 1. recharge and 2. buy additional proprietary battery packs, likely a costly exercise. This is where the JOIKUSPOT idea hits a high note considering it’s so very easy and convenient to have continuous power to the phone. By far the simplest item I carry with me if a single AA-battery powered inverter you see pictured above. Unlike proprietary batteries, you can easily find AA batteries at any airport/convenience store or bring your own rechargeable ones. When you’re back in the hotel room, put the phone on A/C and you’re good to go for as long as you like. Also, you have an added advantage of powering the phone with a car charger while connected in the car. As I understand, this power option does not exist with the Huawei models.