So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1756
A simple and reasonably effective mobile broadband modem that suffers from erratic network performance
- Plug and play, easy to set up and use, microSD card slot, decent speeds, can roam on Telstra's Next G network
- Wide design can block other ports, speeds varied inexplicably
3's Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1756 certainly offers impressive value, but performance is a mixed bag.
Price$ 79.00 (AUD)
3 Mobile's latest Broadband Internet Key is the E1756, a straightforward device that’s easy to set up and use. Plug-and-play installation, a microSD card memory slot and access to Telstra's Next G network when roaming are some of the notable features of this mobile broadband modem.
Like all USB modems, the 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1756 is a very straightforward device. It's relatively thin, but it's wide enough to sometimes block access to other USB ports — we couldn't access the second USB port on our MacBook Pro with the E1756 plugged in, and it also hindered access to the eSATA/USB port on a Toshiba Satellite M500. A microSD slot is hidden nicely underneath the SIM card slot and is accessible via a slide-off plastic panel, while a status LED indicates whether the modem has a 2G, 3G or HSDPA connection.
The software required to use the mobile broadband service is installed on the USB device itself, so the E1756 is plug and play. It's easy to use and 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 E1756 delivers a theoretical maximum download speed of 7.2 megabits per second and upload speed of up to 2Mbps. 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. Keep in mind that the E1756 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 50 cents per megabyte.
During testing, the 3 Mobile Broadband Internet Key E1756 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, although speed frequently fluctuated between 100KBps and 170KBps. Using PC World's own SpeedTest, the E1756 recorded an average download speed of 1.3Mbps. In our real world test, we managed to download a 93MB iTunes file in 10min 47sec, at an average transfer rate of around 134KBps. We did note that speeds often varied inexplicably — even when the software displayed a full HSDPA signal the download speed would sometimes drop below 80KBps.
3's mobile broadband plans for the Broadband Internet Jet E1756 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 10 cents per megabyte for any usage beyond your monthly quota. The E1756 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
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Nova 3e: P20 in a pinch
- 2 Oppo R15 Pro review: A compelling mid-tier option with lots of value and few compromises
- 3 LG E8 OLED TV (2018) and SK10Y soundbar review: If you've been on the fence about OLED, now might be the time to jump it
- 4 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 5 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- NETGEAR 4G LTE Modem Keeps You Online
- Google's Espresso networking tech takes SD-WAN to internet scale
- IEEE sets new Ethernet standard that brings 5X the speed without disruptive cable changes
- LinkedIn aims to make email more professional, with LinkedIn Intro
- 5G will have to do more than send speed up your phone, Ericsson says
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
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.
- Hands on with Huawei's Mate 20 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies