Laptop Connect Short Term Broadband Hire
Short-term mobile broadband access from $4.95 per day
- Quick and easy to order and set up, convenient, Next G network coverage and speed
- Expensive, 143MB usage limit per day (on average)
The Laptop Connect service is easy to set up and convenient, but it is pretty expensive. It should work out cheaper than Internet cafes and the connections offered in hotels, and it is far more convenient than both of these options.
Price$ 10.95 (AUD)
Laptop Connect offers short-term wireless broadband hire and is the first service of its kind in Australia. It's a quick and easy solution for anyone who needs short-term mobile Internet access and isn't willing to sign up to a lengthy contract. However, it’s a little expensive for our liking.
There are no contracts to sign and the service uses Telstra's Next G network, which is the fastest (and the most expensive) network for mobile broadband in Australia.
You order online and Laptop Connect will post you a USB modem in a reusable package. Once your hire period is over, you simply return the modem via the reusable package. Postage both ways is included in the hire cost.
The software required to use the Laptop Connect service is installed on the USB device itself. This makes it easy to use on multiple computers. The modem also doubles as a USB flash drive: a microSD card slot is located on the left side, concealed by a plastic flap. The service is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X.
Performance was adequate during our testing, though speeds will depend on your location. In our North Sydney office we managed to achieve download speeds of up to megabits per second, but it regularly hovered around 1.5Mbps. We tested using the Broadband Speed Test. Upload speeds were stable at just under 600 kilobits per second.
The minimum rental period is three days, and this costs $10.95 per day. This price decreases if you're using the service for a longer period, down to $4.95 per day for a month-long loan. Using the service for longer than five days will cost you less than $10 per day. On the whole the service is a little expensive. For example, $15 per month will get you 1GB of data from 3 Mobile. The Laptop Connect service comes with a daily combined upload and download data allowance of 143MB and any excess usage will be charged at Telstra's standard rate of $0.25 per megabyte.
The Laptop Connect service competes with Internet cafes and hotel Internet. It is likely to be significantly more cost effective than most of these services, and it is much more convenient. With the price of mobile broadband continually dropping, though, we're not sure how useful the Laptop Connect service will remain.
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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.
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