T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 modem review: Failure to launch
CNET editor Dong Ngo gives his take on T-Mobile's new Rocket 3.0 Laptop Stick USB 4G modem.
and made available just , T-Mobile's
In our testing in the San Francisco Bay Area, the device didn't deliver.
Throughout the city of San Francisco, including in specific locations designated by T-Mobile as offering the new speed, the modem's connection capped at about 13Mbps. Now, this is by no means slow, in fact it's one of the fastest speeds we've seen from a 4G device, and it is capable of downloading a full 1080p movie (about 10GB of data) in about or under 2 hours. Still, it's quite far from 42Mbps.
While this was rather disappointing, we found it, in a way, a good thing. This is because 10GB also happens to be the highest data cap that T-Mobile bundles with the modem, a plan that, by the way, costs $85 a month. There are three other data plans that offer 5GB, 2GB, and 200MB and cost $50, $40, and $30 per month, respectively. With this kind of limit, the higher speed only means you'll go through your allowance faster.
To make up for this, similar to the case of the
Other than that, the Rocket 3.0 Laptop Stick is well-designed and good-looking, though rather bulky, and can also work as a thumbdrive when coupled with a microSD card. It costs $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate and has a two-year contract.
To find out if it'll be a great companion for your laptop,