Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem
Optus E153 USB modem review: A simple USB modem with plug-and-play support, but low speeds
- Relatively slim design, ease of use, microSD card slot
- Only capable of 3.6Mbps speeds
The Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem is simple and hassle-free to set up, but isn't capable of very fast downloads.
Price$ 49.00 (AUD)
Optus' latest USB mobile broadband modem, the E153, offers plug-and-play support for both Windows and Mac computers and has a microSD card slot, but it only supports download speeds of up to 3.2 megabits per second (Mbps).
Read our guide to the best prepaid mobile broadband modems.
The Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem is about as exciting as most other USB modems. It's lightweight and finished in reasonably attractive white plastic. It has a slide off rear that reveals its microSD and SIM card slots. The microSD card slot allows it to double as a portable flash drive.
The Optus E153 USB modem is relatively slim, but it still prevented access to the second USB port on our 13in MacBook Pro. On larger notebooks this shouldn't be a problem though, and it is more of a fault on Apple's part. The Optus E153 USB modem doesn't have a rotating USB connector to reduce the risk of bumping it when connected to your notebook, and also lacks the external antenna port often seen on Telstra mobile broadband modems.
The software required to use the Optus mobile broadband service is stored on the modem itself and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X computers. The software is easy to install and allows you to quickly access your prepaid account details and see sent and received data.
The Optus E153 USB modem has a theoretical maximum download speed of 3.6Mbps and a maximum upload speed of 1.3Mbps, which is slower than most new devices. Optus claims the E153 will provide typical real-world speeds of between 550 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 2Mbps, but as with all mobile broadband devices the actual speed achieved will depend on a number of factors such as your location and equipment, network usage and coverage, and network congestion at the time.
Using our Broadband Speed Test, the Optus E153 USB mobile broadband modem managed to achieve download speeds of around 2Mbps, but regularly downloaded at around 1.4Mbps. Upload speeds were stable at around 700Kbps, but did hit 1Mbps on occasions.
Optus sells the E153 USB modem for $49 and includes 1GB of data in the starter pack that is valid for 30 days.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Synology DiskStation DS215j NAS device
- 2 Fitbit Charge wireless activity tracker
- 3 HP Stream 11 laptop
- 4 B&O BeoPlay A2 portable Bluetooth speaker
- 5 Acer Chromebook 11 (CB3-111)
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Get ready for the 24-hour laptop: Battery life hits new highs
- Facebook testing spartan Android 'Lite' service
- States threaten lawsuit against Obama's municipal broadband plan
- Simple Google search outed alleged Silk Road founder
- Facebook blocks content in Turkey deemed insulting to the Prophet Muhammad
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.