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-- by David Hafke
Xircom's CreditCard Ethernet+Modem 33.6 will let your portable computer communicate with the outside world. The PCMCIA card's Ethernet adapter will connect to your LAN, and you can use its 33.6Kb-per-second fax modem to dial in.
The card implements the V.34-1996 standard, which enhances performance and reliability. There's an optional Xircom Cellular Connection Kit for Motorola ($49) or AT&T ($69) cellular phones.
The CreditCard can handle full-duplex transmissions, simultaneously sending and receiving data as long as it's connected to a full-duplex hub. The LAN adapter supports 10BaseT and 10Base2 networks, but not 100BaseT. The unit I reviewed did not include a 10Base2 interface; you can purchase one from Xircom for $39.
The CreditCard comes with Xircom's MiniDock connector, which combines the RJ-45 and RJ-11 ports into a one-piece docking device with LED status lights. The package includes Delrina WinComm Lite 1.1 for terminal emulation and WinFax Lite 4.0.
Xircom's Digital Shield supposedly protects the modem from damage if it's plugged into a digital phone line. I learned the hard way, though, that Digital Shield doesn't guarantee 100 percent protection. But at $359, the dual-use CreditCard Ethernet+Modem 33.6 is a good buy.
Platforms: 3x, 95, NT
WinMag Box Score: 4.0
Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.