RIM and Lenovo Release Constant Connect

RIM And Lenovo Release Constant Connect!
By Bla1ze on 29 Apr 2009 09:38 am
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RIM and Lenovo have finally released their "Constant Connect" solution. For those of you out there that are not aware of what Constant Connect is here is a brief description from the Information Week post regarding the launch:

Constant Connect, is focused on mobile professionals who seek to avoid paying for Wi-Fi connections for their laptops. The product plugs into the laptop and it can pull corporate e-mails from the smartphone via a Bluetooth connection. Users can then use the laptop to read, compose, and send e-mails that will be sent through the BlackBerry's connection.

I'm not quite to sure what to make of this. When watching the video (after the jump) of this in use, I see how some users may really find it useful but at the same time, I personally cannot see any real justification for the cost of this device. Currently available available through Lenovo.com and its business partners the Constant Connect option will set ya back $149. Would anyone (or any enterprise) out there pay for or even use this functionality? I guess if you need it you need it, but I'll be curious to see in the comments what everyone thinks about this one.

 

[ Information Week / Engadget ]

Topics: News & Rumors

16 comments

leemoreau

I think it's pretty cool as long as you understand how it works. Right now yeah there's sync options, but that sync's your email from your computer blackberry and so on. Meaning if you're on a plane and write 15 emails and hit send on all of them, they'll sit in your outbox. You have to keep your computer on or in sleep, get off the plane, find a spot to stop, either tether your computer to your blackberry, or find wifi, then hit send again so it sends it all.

With this, you type all those messages hit send, and can even shut off your computer because the messages are on the card. You get off the plane, or even before, whenever it is that you turn on your blackberry, and that email is sent from the card to the blackberry and sent to the recipients. At the same time, any new mail is being downloaded into the blackberry and also stored on the card. So you could then hop into a cab check your blackberry, or just open your laptop and all your new mail is there.

I think it would be more beneficial for people that use email to constantly share files, like powerpoints and other documents like that. Ones that you can't really edit on the blackberry, or even databases or other file types blackberry doesn't edit. Blackberry is great to read mail on the go but not if that mail constantly has files and documents that you need to edit on your PC. That's where this solves that problem. Plus $150, and no tethering fees if all you do is email on the go. It's like having lifetime tethering for $150.

chosen1_88

Many users, such as myself, often prefer to type out long emails on the computer rather than on a BB, so I could see some use for it, but for BIS users, I can't really see any benefit except in the situation that leemoreau has cited.

I guess the best usage would be for CDMA based carriers who charge extra for tethering.

Ebscer

It is a neat idea, but with Tetherberry at half the price, why would you not just take that route instead?

Anonymousdude

so now the question is does it also allow you to take over the full functionality of using the internet from your phone? yes there is no doubt it will be slow because of transfer rates and the fact that it isn't a normal connection but this would be good for lets say your company wont buy a mobile wireless card but instead you decide to tap into the internet that is provided on the phone while in the car going from work to a meeting.

gtstang462002

It is limited to email only. You would be amazed at the speed of your data connection to your device(assuming you are on a 3G network of some sort) I tether at speeds up to 1.2MB per second during off peak hours and average 600-800k down during peak hours.

cslave

so.....its basically tethering...only you cant really tether, youre just tethering for emails...

what the hell?? why would you pay $150 for a device thats basically an extended keyboard?

gtstang462002

Think corporate use not personal use. Corporations don't want to get involved in legal battles over TOS. This is a cost effective alternative that doesn't violate those TOS.

JasW

It still seems to violate AT&T's TOS for non-tethered BB plans: "Data Services sold for use with AT&T RIM BlackBerry devices, and PDAs may not be used with other devices, including but not limited to, Personal Computers, PC Data Cards and the like, either by tethering devices together, by SIM card transfer or any other means."

gtstang462002

I would say if it worked more along the lines of PDANet or tetherberry it would be more useful for the average BIS user. But for a corporation I can see how it would benefit them as far as not violating any actual carrier TOS because it is limited to email only. Great idea but has a very specific usage and target audience.

I like how he said "When I have a spare minute on the plane". First though that went through my mind was what else could you possibly be doing that is that time consuming.

chosen1_88

Joining the mile high club?

Sorry, you set me up for that one.

synwars

I'd rather pay monthly WiFi fees then pay outright $150. Better yet, I'd rather just use my Bold as a tethered modem to send/receive my corporate email, that way I could use it for net services as well.

JsnE24

Seems it would be more feasible to tether your bb as opposed to dishing out $150. I can see some positives, but not enough for myself to be excited about it. I guess the question to ask would be... Do you get a high volume of emails that make you money? If the answer is yes then the service might be a benefit to you.

My 2 cents....

jasonezzell

I can see a limited value for corporations that utilize BES, which is most certainly the target market here, not personal/BIS users. Some hotels, airports, cafes, etc. still charge for wi-fi. Ridiculous in my opinion, but it's true as many of you know. Why pay an extra 10 or 15 bucks a day for wi-fi so you can connect with your e-mail server if your employer can spend $150 once and allow you to utilize the data capabilities within your BB?

And to answer the question about Tetherberry, TOS, etc...remember that corporate accounts are regulated by very different guidelines. Most large corporations won't let you install workarounds or non-approved programs on your BB or laptop.

Therefore, my thought is that this is geared to the large corporation utilizing BES, that wants to allow its employees to have unlimited access to email without paying for wi-fi, without having to use a wired connection, and to be able to stay connected even if there is no LAN available at all. You'd have the ability to shift a BB email over to your laptop, view attachments in a readable size, read meeting notes, not have to use DocsToGo to edit, etc etc.

Sounds kind of cool. Probably not meant for most of us. I'm pretty sure it won't be this year's big seller. We'll save that place for the Niagara :)

cadManiac

with a little research, you can learn how to connect your bluetooth phone to your laptop as a dial up modem already.
i use my 8900 as a modem at work when i want to use my laptop for a web task.
$149 for something you can get for free? i dont think so.

asvirsky

i don't understand why you can't just buy a $15 dollar bluetooth attachment (that's if your laptop isn't already bluetooth enabled) and sign online through your bb? I do it all the time, through wifi and EDGE, and have no problems sending emails or any other files from my computer through my phone. It's a lot cheaper than spending $150 on an item that is pretty much outdated before it's even released mainstream.

Anonymously

That's what I was wondering: Why not just tether your computer to the phone. Actually, I never bothered trying that, but I understand it is easy.
AT&T has TOS against tethering? That wouldn't surprise me. They have restrictions for everything. One of the reasons I use T-Mobile. I have to assume T-Mobile couldn't care less if you tether.