updated 07:50 pm EDT, Tue April 29, 2008
MacBook Air internal EVDO
One MacBook Air owner, Jordan Bunnell, has disassembled his prized ultraportable in order to install a stripped-down Verizon USB727 Aircard for dongle-less EVDO connectivity. Bunnell replaced the internal Airport card, located underneath the left-hand palm rest area, with the components inside the 727. To complete the operation, he also had to file away three screw mounts for the card to fit, as well as removing the USB connector to solder leads to the computer's USB port.
Bunnell also took the antenna connector port from a defective Airport card in order to boost signal strength, since replacing the bottom case would trap the wireless signal.
Once finished, Bunnell states that the modification yields speeds of around 1400 to 1700Kb per second, a slight speed decrease from around 2000Kb per second when the device was an external dongle. Uploads lowered slightly from 500Kb per second, to around 380Kb per second.
Users interested in this modification should be advised that opening up a non-consumer serviceable computer will void the warranty. Connecting additional devices to the MacBook Air's USB port could also inhibit usage of the dedicated USB Superdrive, due to its increased voltage requirements and proprietary nature of the Air's USB port.