Sprint Merlin C777 2-in-1 EVDO ExpressCard Review

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Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Sprint Merlin C777 2-in-1 EVDO ExpressCard

The Sprint Novatel Merlin C777 EVDO Rev-A Expresscard ships with a PCMCIA adapter.

The Merlin C777 Expresscard is Novatel's "2-in-1" Expresscard / PCMCIA card for use on Sprint's 3G/EVDO Mobile Broadband network. The actual modem is within an ExpressCard that will work in 34mm or 54mm slots found on many newer laptops, as well as in the popular Cradlepoint MBR1000, MBR1200, and CTR500 routers. Packaged with the expresscard is a "sled" that receives the expresscard and acts as an adapter for use with older laptops like the Apple 15" and 17" PowerBooks and many Windows laptops that used PCMCIA style slot that is becoming obsolete. Customers who own still-servicable laptops with pcmcia slots can use the Merlin C777 to put off buying newer laptops, yet still take advantage of the latest 3G/EVDO technology.

The Sprint C777 ships with a CD that includes Sprint's SmartView connection manager software for Windows and Mac OS X. Operating system requirements include Windows Vista; Windows XP with SP2 or later; Windows 2000 with SP4; and Mac OS X 10.4 or later. Mac users will be happy to know that the latest Sprint Smartview works great on Powerbooks running OS X 10.4 or later, and that the built-in WWAN support on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard supports the C777.

Sprint C777 ExpressCard Features

  • BroadbandAccess and NationalAccess capable (CDMA Rev A, Rev 0, 1XRTT)
  • Rev. A Capable: Typical download speeds of 600~1400 kbps and upload speeds of 200~800 kbps
  • NovaSpeed software technology for boosting upload and download performance
  • ExpressCard 34/54 and PCMCIA slot compatible (via sled/adapter)
  • Sprint SmartView on device for easy connection management
  • GPS/Location Based Services support
  • Windows XP/Vista/2K and Mac OS X Tiger/Leopard/Snow Leopard support
  • High performance, built-in antenna
  • 4 color service state LED
  • External Antenna Connector (External antennas sold separately)

Sprint C777 Performance

With its built-in high performance cellular antenna, the C777 receives signal as well as any other device we've tested.The C777 does feature an RF jack so that users can attach high-gain antennas in areas where the built in antenna cannot pull in weak cellular signal. 3Gstore offers a complete selection of high gain antennas for the Sprint C777.

In our testing in the DFW Metroplex with good signal that averaged -70 RSSI or better, the C777 proved to be just as fast as any other Sprint Rev-A device we've tested. Here's an average of several speedtests performed around the time of this review.


Sprint C777 Antennas and Routers

The C777 has an RF/antenna jack that accepts high-gain antennas and 3Gstore offers a complete selection of high gain antennas for the Sprint C777.

Cradlepoint was once again the fastest router maker to provide support for a new mobile broadband product. The C777 is supported by the MBR1000, MBR1200, and CTR500 routers.

The C777 is shown inserted into expresscard slot of the Cradlepoint MBR1000

Sprint C777 ExpressCard Specifications

  • Environmental Specifications
    • Operating temperature: 0° C to 55° C (32° F to 131° F)
    • Storage temperature: -20° C to 65° C (-4° F to 149° F)
    • Humidity: 5% to 90% within operating temperature
    • Vibration stability: 5 Hz to 500 Hz, 0.1 octave/ second
    • Drop: 1 meter drop, no damage – fully operational
  • Mechanical Specifications
    • Dimensions (W x D x H): 120 mm x 54 mm x 19 mm
    • Weight: 47 g/1.65 oz
    • LED: Yes four-states. red/amber/green/blue
    • Antenna: Internal (external antenna capable)
  • Radio Specifications
    • CDMA EVDO Rev-0, Rev-A and 1xRTT capable
    • Frequency Range: Tx = 1850 ~ 1919 Mhz; Rx = 1930 ~ 1990 Mhz
    • Normal output power: 7-10 dBm
    • Receiver Sensitivity: -104 dBm
    • Transmission Rate: Forward 3.1 Mbps; Reverse 1.8 Mbps
    • GPS location based services supported

Sprint C777 Photos and Videos


The Merlin C777 in a 15" Powerbook's pcmcia slot.

The C777 with sled is the same size as the older Merlin S720 pcmcia card.

The C777 antenna/rf jack can only be accessed when not in pcmcia sled.

The C777 travels well with the Cradlepoint CTR500

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Last Updated ( Monday, 22 February 2010 )
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