When pressed for my favourite gadgets, there’s a battle for first, second and third between the obvious choices of my iPhone, iPad and Native Instruments Maschine. Unjustly overlooked however, is my Huawei MiFi dongle, which is packed into my manbag at all times. The ability to generate a wireless network in your pocket is semi-magical and a sure-fire way to become popular at parties.
So I was delighted to hear that 3 had launched a newer, faster version of my forth favourite toy. acceding to tests from USwitch the E586 is up to 50% faster than the previous model. 3 were nice enough to let me run up an outrageous data bill on one of the new models for a week so I could do a side-by-side comparison and it definitely feels faster – websites loaded faster, songs streamed easier on Spotify with fewer pauses and podcasts downloaded much, much quicker.
3 are planning to increase their network speed to a tantalising 21.1Mbps via the wonders of a HSPA+ network upgrade, which should make it possible to be seriously productive pretty much anywhere – beyond simply emails and social networking and into the realms of dropboxing, editing a video chatting with a high quality mobile connection. It’s potentially quite liberating (although obvious the potential to be chained to your desk without having to set foot in the office also exists).
It’s not just a speed bump however. Hooking devices up to your network is faster than ever due to a little key at the side that displays your SSID and Key. There’s also a little cradle, which makes charing your dongle a little neater.
3 claim the battery lasts about 4.5 hours and we got similar results wandering round town streaming the Pod F Tompcast. Like previous iterations of MiFi dongles, you can connect up to five devices and there is also a micro SD card slot (up to 32 gb). Sadly you can’t access material stored on the card wireless from your devices (imagine how cool that would be)
Out now from Three