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Unboxing the Verizon MiFi 2200

Prepare to be jealous: We've got ourselves a Verizon MiFi. In case you missed our post from last week, the MiFi is a compact, freestanding 3G modem card that doubles as a Wi-Fi router. It has the potential to be a killer accessory for road warriors, especially those who frequently need to share Internet access with one or more co-workers.

We'll share our hands-on impressions in a few days (first take: It's freaking awesome), but until then here's a look at the unboxing and initial setup of the MiFi:

First up: Good things come in small packages

Okay, so it's a box. A small box. In fact, the box itself is smaller than our actual office router, which makes it hard to believe a gizmo as tiny as the MiFi can pull router duty.

Next: The surprise inside

What, you were expecting dancing monkeys? Actually, the surprise is that the MiFi really is no larger than a couple stacked credit cards. It's pretty glam, too, with its glossy black finish and stylish LEDs.

Next: Ah, but what else is in the box?

The MiFi 2200 comes with a charger, USB cable, and carrying case. That "tips, hints, and shortcuts" booklet is actually the manual. And in fact it contains no tips, no hints, and no shortcuts. Whoopsie!

Next: Battery parked

We'll be interested to see what kind of runtime we get from the MiFi's 1150mAh battery. Here's hoping it can pull at least 5-6 hours.

Next: The first (and last?) USB connection

The initial setup of the MiFi requires a one-time USB connection to your PC and installation of Verizon's VZAccess software. So where's the CD?

Next: The MiFi don't need no stinkin' CD!

Surprise! The VZAccess software comes preloaded on the MiFi card and runs automatically when you connect it. Thankfully, once you've activated the MiFi, you'll rarely need to use VZAccess again.

Next: Well, hello, Verizon MiFi network!

After activating the MiFi, disconnect it from your PC and then scan for Wi-Fi networks. Presto! There's Verizon in all its 3G glory. To establish a connection (from any device), you'll need to enter an 11-digit password. Fortunately, it's conveniently pasted to the bottom of the MiFi.

Next: Look, ma, no wires!

And we're online! Our Acer Aspire netbook and iPhone had no trouble connecting to the MiFi and tapping its speedy connection. Oh, heavens, we think we're in love.

Watch for our full hands-on review in the days to come.

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