In order to simulate PPP towards the computer and do GPRS/3G proper to the network a modem has to run firmware that closely approaches a basic embedded OS in its complexity. Moving one step further and killing the stupid PPP emulation is probably is a jolly good idea.
This allows the modem to go away from the 3GPP spec which as all ingenious 3GPP things has no clue about cost/performance and does everything in the most complex and convoluted way possible.
That spec mandates that 3GPP/GSM modems are to present themselves as serial or USB over serial and emulate an "early 1990-es" Hayes modem to the computer converting PPP to IP over GPRS/3G on the network side. At HSDPA speeds this ingenious idea means that the computer spends half of its time handling interrupts from serial and the modem firmware has to burn power like crazy doing all of the conversions. Any expectations for battery life at that point are pretty much in the realm of technodelusion.
It may actually require _LESS_ combined power to run the modem and WiFi on both sides than handle the 3GPP mandated modem interface.
I am surprised that they have not gone away with the dongle mode "as we know it" either. Ethernet over USB is way more power efficient for combined computer + modem power consumption. Actually they may have done so, it is just not clear from the review if that is the case.