3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553
An entry-level USB mobile broadband modem
- Plug and play, easy to set up and use, microSD card slot, decent speeds, can roam onto Telstra's Next G network
- Wide design can block other ports, only rated at 3.6Mbps maximum download speed
Though it's only rated at a maximum 3.6 megabits per second download speed, 3's E1553 Internet key proved to be slightly more reliable in our tests than the E1756, which has more impressive specs.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
Buy now (Selling at 2 stores)
The 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 is an entry-level broadband USB modem. Though its specifications are less impressive than the similar E1756 Internet key, the E1553 proved to be more stable and often faster during our tests.
The 3 Mobile E1553 Internet key isn't as thin as we'd have liked and it's also rather wide. This means it may block access to close by USB ports — we couldn't access the second USB port on our MacBook Pro with the E1553 plugged in, and it also hindered access to the eSATA/USB port on a Toshiba Satellite M500. A microSD slot is nicely hidden underneath the SIM card slot and is accessible via a slide-off plastic panel. A stylish status LED indicates whether the modem has a 2G, 3G or HSDPA connection.
The 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 a straightforward device. Like most new USB modems, it's easy to set up as installation is plug and play. The 3 Mobile Broadband software is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X. The My3 menu is a convenient way to manage your monthly usage, view invoices or change account details. You can quickly view information on the current session in the Statistics menu, including duration of connection, the volume of data sent and received, and the current signal strength.
The 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 delivers theoretical maximum download speeds of 3.2 megabits per second and upload speeds of up to 1Mbps. The actual speed achieved will vary depending on a number of factors such as device capabilities, your location and equipment, as well as network usage at the time. Typical speeds should range from 600 kilobits per second (Kbps) to 1.5Mbps. The E1553 is one of 3's "Mega 3G" modems, meaning it will roam onto Telstra's Next G network when out of a 3 coverage zone. This is charged at a rate of $0.50 per MB.
During testing, the 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 performed reasonably well in our North Sydney offices, receiving a standard HSDPA signal. While downloading files in a standard HSDPA coverage area we were able to achieve speeds of up to 190 kilobytes per second (KBps), although speed frequently fluctuated between 100KBps and 160KBps. As an example, we managed to download a 93MB iTunes file in 11min 9sec, at an average transfer rate of around 128KBps. Though slightly less than the E1756 modem (which delivers theoretical maximum speeds of 7.2Mbps), we didn't experience as many strange speed fluctuations with the E1553.
3's mobile broadband plans for the Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1553 start at $15 per month for 1GB of data and range up to $29 (3GB), $39 (6GB) and $49 (7GB) plans over 24 months. All plans charge an additional $0.10 per megabyte for any additional usage. The E1553 is also available on prepaid — $149 with an included 12GB of data, or $79 without any data included.
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @Goodgearguide
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 2 Medion Akoya E4110 (MD 8239) desktop PC
- 3 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
- 4 Dell Inspiron 11 3000 Series convertible laptop
- 5 Kogan Agora 4G review
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Lenovo ups features in low-cost Android tablets with $199 Tab S8
- Roccat Kone Pure gaming mouse
- Samsung acquires cloud printing company PrinterOn
- Jack Wayman, founder of CES trade show, dies at 92
- Vodafone selling Samsung's 4G Galaxy Tab S from $47 a month
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.