Having a touchscreen is a legitimate selling point for many gadgets, so it’s a little understandable why Novatel and AT&T decided to put one on a MiFi hotspot. They crammed a 2.8″ touchscreen–a feature nobody requested–into a hotspot that resembles a Apple keyboard. The MiFi Liberate can connect up to 10 people on one device, uses AT&T’s LTE network, and supposedly gets up to 11 hours of continuous use on one charge.
In my personal experience, the biggest problem with using a MiFi is crappy battery life, so we’ll have to try the Liberate before we can confirm 11 hours of battery life. In fact, the touchscreen may hurt it in that regard. Other common requests include more data to come with an MiFi, but you’re still stuck with AT&T’s current limited plans. Also, part of what makes MiFis so nice is the simplicity: a small screen, a network name and passcode written under the battery cover, and a button to turn it on. But on the bright side, the Liberate lets you check how much data you’ve used on the MiFi itself.
AT&T, next time you come out with a great new MiFi, take a cue from the Razr Maxx: include a giant battery.