October 31, 2014

How to Be a Road Warrior: The T-Mobile Dash

Dash

Photo Credit: T-Mobile.Com

After months of trying to decide between palm pilots, Blackberries and other similar devices, we were told about a newly released product from T-Mobile . . . the Dash.

Very similar to a Blackberry, except it has a Windows operating system and interfaces directly with the office and Outlook software programs. Another perk? Also like the Blackberry, the Dash can be used as a modem to provide broadband speed internet connections to your laptop in any location you have cell phone reception. This is especially significant for highway travel and extremely rural locations where you normally only have access to dial up or nothing.  A word of caution: the configuration process to use the Dash phone as a laptop modem is not exactly a piece of cake, nor is it intuitive. Fortunately, the data and tech support departments at T-Mobile are extremely helpful and don’t mind talking you through the process. After which, whenever you want to plug the Dash into the laptop via the USB cable for internet purposes, you will need to temporarily shut off the active sync, wi-fi and blue tooth features.

The smoothest way David has found for the hookup procedure is to select the internet sharing icon on the top toolbar of the Dash. Then, hit connect on the top left button of the keypad and wait for the prompt to hook up the USB cable. This way, “active sync” is never turned on, and you don’t have to take the several minutes usually necessary to tweak the system.

Another cool perk? The laptop charges the Dash while you are using it as a modem, so you don’t have to worry about your device shutting off in the middle of an important internet data transfer. We configured the set up a week or two ago in a rural location in northern Maine and were more than happy with the speed and stability of the connection. It’s been much slower during the holidays, but we think that is a result of excess holiday and school vacation internet traffic.