So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband modem
Prepaid billing and the Next G network's superior speed and coverage make Telstra's Turbo Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband modem a viable option for getting online
- Good speed and coverage, no contract commitments, Mac and PC compatible, simple software, hinge-style USB connector, 2GB data included
- Pricier than alternatives, most recharges have a 30-day expiry, modem hinders access to nearby USB ports on some notebooks
Improvements over the previous Turbo prepaid modem are minimal, but a cheaper initial outlay, prepaid billing and the Next G network's superior speed and coverage make Telstra's Turbo Prepaid Mobile Broadband offering a viable solution for getting online while on the move.
Price$ 89.00 (AUD)
Telstra's latest prepaid mobile broadband modem sports a slimmer profile than the telco's previous prepaid offering and has a rotating USB connector. The Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband modem also includes new software that is compatible with both Windows PCs and Macs.
Telstra is touting the "slim profile" of the new Turbo modem as a key feature. While it is slimmer than many other USB modems on the market, it still prevented access to the second USB port on our 13in MacBook Pro. On larger notebooks this shouldn't be a problem. Once plugged in, the Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband modem can rotate to sit upright alongside a notebook, reducing the risk of bumping it when connected. Four LEDs on the modem notify you of power and data status, and lifting a small flap on the right side allows the connection of an external antenna for better reception.
The software required to use the Telstra service is stored on the modem itself and is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X. The modem also doubles as a USB flash drive: a microSD card slot is located next to the SIM card slot and is accessible via a slide off plastic panel. The software is unobtrusive and easy to install and allows you to quickly access your prepaid account details, see total of sent and received data and access a range of Telstra services including news, sport weather, WhereIs maps and Sensis search.
Like its predecessor, the Telstra Turbo Pre-Paid Mobile Broadband modem has a maximum download speed of 7.2 megabits per second (Mbps) and a maximum upload speed of 5.8Mbps. Telstra claims the service will provide typical real-world speeds of between 550 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 3Mbps. 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. Telstra's Next G network theoretically supports download speeds of up to 42Mbps in certain locations around Australia, but only the much more expensive Ultimate USB modem can take advantage of this.
Using our Broadband Speed Test, the modem managed to achieve download speeds of up to 3.2Mbps, but it regularly hovered around 2Mbps. Upload speeds were stable at around 700Kbps, but did occasionally rise over 1Mbps.
Telstra sells the Turbo prepaid mobile Broadband modem for $89 upfront and includes 2GB data in the starter pack. Telstra uses a per kilobyte charging system, and the data rates and allowance are determined by the recharge amount. For example, recharging with $30 gives you a per kilobyte charge of 7.5c (400MB of effective data), while recharging with $100 gives you a per kilobyte charge of 1.6c (6GB of effective data). All recharges have a 30-day expiry (so any unused credit after this time is lost) — with the exception of $130 and $150 recharges, which give you a 90-day and 180-day expiry period respectively.
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Fitbit Versa review: New look, better price, same limits
- 2 Jabra Elite 65t review: Third time's the charm
- 3 ASUS FX503 review: An ROG Notebook By Any Other Name
- 4 HP Envy x360 (Ryzen 5) review: Power over portability
- 5 HP Mixed Reality Headset review: Software shortcomings make a robust headset feel unremarkable
Latest News Articles
- Telstra tackles network outage
- Kogan makes NBN play
- Bill Morrow to step down as NBN Co chief
- Telstra upgrade existing customers and introduce Smart Modem with 4G Mobile Backup
- Leaked document details Rudd govt strategy for Telstra NBN negotiations
PCW Evaluation Team
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
- Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- BattleTech review: Heavy metal
- Fitbit Versa review: New look, better price, same limits
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?