It's not too often that a mobile hotspot graces our home page, but this one is worth a mention. Novatel is launching the Liberate, a MiFi with a built-in touchscreen, on AT&T in the coming months, and we had the opportunity to play with the new device at MobileCon 2012. The hotspot, also known as the MiFi 5792, sports a 2.8-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 400 x 240 pixels, LTE, a microSD slot, DLNA streaming capabilities and a 2,900mAh battery that promises 11 hours of life between charges.
While it seems pretty fancy for a MiFi, the touchscreen may be appealing to some. The hotspot runs on a proprietary build of Linux and offers a wide variety of options to choose from: connection details, data usage, a list of connected devices, settings, file sharing, media streaming, WiFi protected setup, messages, GPS and so on. Many of the activities (checking your use, which devices are connected and other settings) previously relegated to a proprietary URL can now be easily viewed directly on your MiFi without any hassle. Don't expect the quick and buttery-smooth response of a modern smartphone here, but since this is Novatel's inaugural attempt at a touchscreen device -- in addition to the fact that the display is of secondary importance on a MiFi -- we're willing to cut the company some slack. It handles the limited needs of most hotspot consumers without much concern.
Gallery: Novatel Liberate for AT&T hands-on