USB modems and mobile broadband is coming on in leaps and bounds in a very short space of time. Prices are already set respectably and by going on contract with any of the major providers you can bag yourself a free modem. If you want something completely different to the free dongles, then you might want to consider the Toshiba G450.
It’s actually a bit of a bizarre hybrid between crap mobile phone and good USB modem mixed with a seriously unusual design. The three round sections you can see are the screen and two halves of the numerical keypad. None of them are particularly user friendly as mobile phone accessories – the screen, while being OLED, is tiny and offers little more than the most basic information. Anything but standard phone keypads simply don’t work because we are creatures of habit after all.
The G450 modem includes WellPhone software that is actually pretty good, even if it isn’t the most attractive offering. Software tools that are installed as part of the software include contact and communication management functions, and this is where the combination of modem and mobile works well – in fact, it’s safe to assume that this is why the mobile phone side of things was stapled on in the first place.
As well as being able to browse emails and contacts, you can also send, receive, read, and store your SMS messages. The software works in much the same way as an email client and makes things a lot easier (although much less portable) than a normal mobile phone.
The Panasonic G450 can also be used as a mediocre MP3 player or as a standard USB flash drive depending on your preferences at the time.
If you go into this expecting the G450 to be a mobile phone you’ll be disappointed, because it is, when all’s said and done, a mobile broadband modem with mobile phone functionality built it. If you look at it like that then it’s a nice piece of kit that offers something very different to the usual fare.