In what could be reminiscent of laptop PCMCIA cards of old, Huawei has officially unveiled its UltraStick 3G option. The thin card will be a way for tablet manufacturers to use a single design for both WiFi-only and 3G-enabled devices.
When a device manufacturer wants to add 3G capabilities to a WiFi only device, the common practice is to use a different chassis that provides a SIM card slot as well changing the System-on-Chip (SoC) to one that has the necessary chip for supporting such networks. Such a process involves additional manufacturing costs that some companies might not be able to afford. Huawei is offering a solution that will involve nothing more than sliding in something like a memory card.
The Huawei UltraStick is an add-on module that can add 3G capabilities to WiFi only tablets just like what 3G adapters or USB dongles do. But at a size of 65 mm x 35 mm x 3.3 mm, the UltraStick will not require a drastic redesign of a device. Manufacturers need only have a slot for the UltraStick on 3G-capable tablets and leave it empty for WiFi-only ones. The UltraStick supports networks such as HSUPA/HSDPA/WCDMA at 2100 (900/850) MHz and EDGE/GPRS/GSM at 1800 +900 MHz.
The first tablet to make use of this new 3G module will be the Chuwi V99x. The tablet features a 9.7-inch display with a 2048x1536 resolution, 2 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. The Chuwi V99x will also be running on Rockchip's quad-core RK3188.