Telstra Corporation Turbo 7+ series USB Modem
3G Internet in a small package.
- HSDPA compatibility, 99 per cent population coverage, easy to set up, microSD card slot
- Inadequate Mac OS X support, expensive
Telstra’s latest USB modem improves slightly on previous iterations with the inclusion of a microSD card slot and increased upload and download speeds. However, with an expensive initial outlay and continuing data costs, Telstra’s option is surpassed by other mobile broadband solutions.
Price$ 439.00 (AUD)
Telstra’s Turbo 7+ Series USB Modem is the latest Next G-compatible device from the telco, providing HSDPA-enabled 3G Internet in a tiny package. Data costs and inadequate support for Mac users may deter people, but this device offers great speeds and coverage.
With its cap on, the Turbo 7+ Series USB Modem is about the same size as Vodafone’s Mobile Connect Internet USB Stick. It's a small package that fits in the necessary 3G modem functions, a SIM card slot and a microSD card slot to allow the device to double as a USB flash drive. The device’s required software is packaged on the USB drive’s internal storage, keeping the microSD slot free for other uses.
As with Telstra’s Turbo 7 series ExpressCard, the USB Modem uses a Next G SIM card as a form of user identification. Accompanied by a PIN number which must be keyed in by the user each time the USB modem is plugged in, the modem is painless to set up. The addition of a lanyard, a belt clip and a satin bag ensure the USB modem can’t be easily misplaced during everyday use.
Although the Turbo 7+ USB Modem is compatible with both Windows and Mac OS X, the device’s internal memory failed to mount under Mac OS X Leopard while a microSD card was inserted. Though this is a minor quibble and easily fixed by removing the microSD card during set up, it may be a stumbling block for some users when they first try to get the modem working. Thankfully, we didn’t encounter this problem under Mac OS X Tiger or Windows Vista.
The PC software is a Telstra-built “Turbo Connection Manager”, while Mac users must make do with a simple connection application from Sierra Wireless. Although both perform the most important function — recognise the USB modem and connect to the desired carrier — the PC version of the software provides a significant amount of extra functionality which is useful to both home and business users. PC users can send SMSs from their computer, manage their SIM card phonebook and access session usage information including the kilobytes sent and received.
The Turbo 7+ Series USB Modem can attain a potential maximum speed of 7.2 megabits per second downlink and 1.9Mbps uplink, though these speeds are unlikely due to congestion and signal strength. The speeds we encountered were closer to 200 kilobytes per second (KBps); a reasonable speed.
Testing the modem in our offices in St Leonards, Sydney, and in Sydney’s inner west, we downloaded several files ranging in size from 10 megabytes to 60MB in order to measure speed. Using the modem both with the external antenna and without, the modem delivered average download speeds of 241-259KBps, though on some occasions the speed dropped to 78KBps.
Upload speeds were also adequate, with average speeds ranging between 105 and 132KBps. Given that even landline ADSL2+ connections struggle to attain similar speeds, the USB Modem’s capabilities will be acceptable for most users.
Telstra claims its Next G network covers 99 per cent of the population, giving it a leg-up when it comes to remote areas. For metro users, though, options from 3, Vodafone and Optus all provide better monthly plans with little to no sacrifice in speed and coverage.
The Turbo 7+ Series USB Modem attracts at initial outlay of $438 making it quite expensive, though this cost is reduced when combined with one of Telstra’s wireless broadband plans. Plans range from $39.95 for 400MB quota with the modem for $299, to 15GB of data for $169 per month, with the modem’s initial outlay reduced to $149. Although the USB device itself is functional and doesn’t have many problems, the accompanying monthly costs and download quota are sure to deter some people.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 3 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 4 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft apologizes after a rogue Windows 10 preview build causes chaos
- Skype's major redesign prioritizes helpful bots and a smart camera over traditional video chats
- All-electric satellites are ushering in zippier in-flight internet access
- Microsoft shows the power of its Pen with a new Whiteboard app and other upgrades
- Windows 10 S will not run Linux, even though it's a downloadable Windows app
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- Ring Video Doorbell review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: 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
- FTJunior-Mid Level Implementation CoordinatorQLD
- FTTechnical Lead (Azure AD)Other
- CCSystems TesterNSW
- FTSiebel Design AnalystOther
- FTTech Lead - FinTech - Product DevelopmentOther
- FTTechnical Business Analyst - Data AnalyticsOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- FTManual Test AnalystQLD
- FTPayroll Project ManagerOther
- TPETL DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Internal Security Consultant - TelcoVIC
- FTDesktop EngineerOther
- FTAnalyst Programmer (Classic ASP / VB)Other
- FTSolution Architect - SecurityVIC
- FTEmail Marketing SpecialistOther
- CCJunior Resource AnalystNSW
- FTSAP Data Migration Specialists. Work Location - CanberraOther
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- FTSenior .Net DeveloperOther
- CCSenior/Lead Network Security Engineer - Financial Services - Contract - SydneyNSW
- FTService Delivery CoordinatorOther
- FTSenior Information Security ConsultantOther
- FTIT TrainerOther
- FTSenior RF EngineerSA