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Communications Devices


3ComImpact IQ
Who says ISDN has to be difficult? 3Com promises that you can install the 3ComImpactIQ external modem in 15 minutes--or you get a full refund. During installation, the modem's service provider identification number (SPID) wizard and Automatic Switch Detect feature determine the ISDN line parameters, configure the modem and place a test call--freeing you from these duties. The 3ComImpact IQ simultaneously handles analog and digital phone calls, so you can use both B channels for an ISDN data call and an analog call. Its Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation automatically reduces a data call from 128Kbps to 64Kbps so you can talk on the phone while transmitting data. $350 3Com Corp., 800-NET-3COM, 408-764-5000. Winfo #562. Go To Full Review

Jetstream Front Desk 1.0
The Jetstream Front Desk takes connectivity seriously. Front Desk consists of three pieces: hub, display unit and manager. The size of a notebook computer, the hub provides three analog telephone ports to connect phones, fax machines or modems, as well as ports for an ISDN line and the display unit. There's also a PC serial connector. The display holds a four-line-by-20-character LCD screen with four function buttons. The manager is a Windows 95 application that provides call handling, routing and messaging capabilities. The program lets you manage multiple callers, handle calls by priorities, receive notification of waiting messages, remotely access faxes and become selectively reachable when out of the office. Front Desk's voice-mail capabilities include call screening, use of up to 10 mailboxes, 30 minutes of voice message storage and one-button callback. $1,395 Jetstream Communications, 800-INFO-JET, 408-777-4331. Winfo #563. Go To Full Review

U.S. Robotics Courier I-Modem with ISDN/V.34
The U.S. Robotics Courier I-Modem offers many features to carry you into the ISDN age. It's available as either an external or internal unit. Its installation utility helps you determine which COM ports and IRQs are available and how to configure the board (if you're installing the internal unit). The configuration menu offers the three major switch types, along with protocol version options for each. The Courier comes with ample documentation, including initialization strings for common communications packages. The Courier gets top billing for ease of use, ease of installation and overall flexibility in communication. It neatly handles its job of immediately putting you online. Internal, $339; external, $399 U.S. Robotics, 800-USR-CORP, 847-982-5010. Winfo #564.


ComCentral 33.6
The ComCentral 33.6 from Options by IBM is a triple-threat modem. It can help you manage your e-mail, voice mail and faxes. The modem has an independent nature, too, and will continue to work with digital voice-mail systems even if it's disconnected from your PC or if your PC is turned off. The ComCentral 33.6 modem provides a full array of fax-management features, such as memory and broadcast faxing. The modem allows you to easily access your voice mailbox to retrieve messages and is a fully functional 33.6Kbps data modem. The product also comes with 1MB of internal flash memory, enough to store up to 50 pages of faxes. $399 Options by IBM, 800-772-2227, 914-766-1900. Go To Full Review

Hayes Office Communications Manager
Speed, dependability, and data and voice functions ring true for the Hayes Office Communications Manager. It features a Plug-and-Play Accura 28.8Kbps modem capable of a 115.2Kbps maximum throughput; it can handle Group 3 faxes at 14.4Kbps. The modem supports V.42, MNP 2-4 error control, V.42bis and MNP5 data compression, and the Hayes standard AT command set. The Accura 288 is loaded with voice features and includes VoiceView TalkShop for Windows 95 and 3.1, which allows you to talk and receive data during the same phone call. The modem recognizes whether the incoming call is voice, fax or data, and produces a distinctive ring for each. You also get Caller ID options. With the bundled Smartcom Message Center software, you can set up a digital voice-mail system with multiple mailboxes and password security. The included Labtec microphone lets you take advantage of the modem's full-duplex speakerphone capabilities. $189 Hayes Microcomputer Products, 800-429-3739, 770-441-1617. Winfo #565. Go To Full Review

Metricom Ricochet Modem
The 13-ounce Metricom Ricochet wireless modem delivers the Internet to your desktop whether or not you're near a phone jack. Connect the 12-inch cable from the Ricochet to your computer's serial port, swing the antenna into an up position, turn on the modem and wait for it to blink green. You can use any Winsock-compliant browser or mail software. Transmission speed is 28.8Kbps. You can also stay connected for as long as you'd like, using the 6-hour nickel metal hydride battery or the AC adapter when recharging the battery. Ricochet can successfully maintain an online connection for hours at a time, so you can maintain a constant link to the Internet as if you were connected via a LAN. $299 Metricom, 800-GO-WIRELESS, 408-399-8200. Winfo #566. Go To Full Review

Motorola Montana 33.6 Modem/Fax PC Card
The Motorola Montana, a 33.6Kbps Type II PC Card modem, offers Plug-and-Play installation and a variety of connectivity options, including cellular links along with standard land-line communications. The modem supports current communication standards, including V.34 (1996), V.42bis (MNP5) data compression and V.42/MNP 2-4 error correction. It also fully supports the Hayes command set and Group 3, Class 1 and Class 2 fax modes. It has dual RJ-11 jacks so you can connect a computer and a telephone to a single line at the same time. The package includes QuickLink's easy-to-use data and fax software. With its optional cell-phone connection cable, the Montana will be of special interest to cellular-phone users. The card supports autodial, autoanswer and cable detection features that automatically reconfigure the modem for cellular operation. The Montana is equipped with Enhanced Throughput Cellular (ETC) error correction protocol, and you'll be able to flash upgrade to the ETC2 specification when it's finalized. A MicroTAC phone cable is a $10 accessory. $240 Motorola, 800-451-2369, 205-430-8000. Winfo #567. Go To Full Review

NovaWeb NovaLAN/Modem 288
Whether you're at your desk, across town or thousands of miles from the office, the NovaLAN/Modem 288 multifunction PC Card can build a bridge between you and the data you need. This Type II card combines a fully functional V.34 fax modem with a 10BaseT- and 10Base2-compatible Ethernet adapter (a 10Base2 coupler costs an extra $40). Multimedia messaging software, included in the package, provides a variety of convenient centralized faxing, paging, e-mail and voice-mail services. The software's graphical interface offers one-click access to these services. The NovaLAN is voice enabled for messaging purposes, and you can simultaneously use the modem and Ethernet connections. $349 NovaWeb, 800-SCANWEB, 510-249-9500. Winfo #568. Go To Full Review

U.S. Robotics Sportster Voice 28.8 Faxmodem
The U.S. Robotics Sportster Voice 28.8 external modem will get you in gear by boosting V.34 transmission speed to 33.6Kbps. It supports key standards for error control (V.42/MNP 2-4) and data compression (V.42bis and MNP5 for throughput up to 115.2Kbps and V.32bis at 14.4Kbps). QuickLink Message Center software is included for fax and telephony chores, such as voice mail. You can connect a telephone handset to the Sportster to record your outgoing messages. For message playback, plug speakers into the modem, connect it to your sound card or use your phone's handset. With speakers attached, the modem can function as a full-duplex speakerphone. The QuickLink fax features are a snap to use, whether you're immediately faxing or queuing faxes for later delivery. U.S. Robotics backs the Sportster Voice 28.8 modem with a five-year limited warranty. Internal, $219; external, $249 U.S. Robotics, 800-DIALUSR, 847-676-7010. Winfo #569. Go To Full Review


HP NetBeamIR LAN Access Point
Put your notebook in front of the HP NetBeamIR and beam yourself onto your network. NetBeamIR's infrared connection handles speeds up to 4Mbps and is backward-compatible with lower standards. Installation is simple. Connect the power adapter and plug your Ethernet cable into either the 10Base2 or 10BaseT connector at the rear of the unit. After you set a couple of parameters within the Monitor utility, place your laptop within 3 feet of the unit. Though HP recommends this distance, it claims that connections are possible from up to 6 feet away. You can move your laptop to different locations without losing the connection, as long as you keep the infrared "eyes" pointing at each other. $289 Hewlett-Packard Co., 800-533-1333, fax 800-333-1917. Winfo #570. Go To Full Review

Xircom CreditCard Ethernet Adapter 10/100
The Xircom CreditCard Ethernet 10/100 PCMCIA network interface card delivers a blazingly quick LAN connection. The CreditCard adapter works on networks still laboring under the relatively slow 10BaseT Ethernet, as well as those in speedy 100BaseT environments. When you install the card, Windows 95 will recognize it and request the card's drivers, which install from an included floppy disk. The CreditCard's installation, good performance and choice of either 10BaseT or 100BaseT operation make it an all-around attractive networking solution for portable computers. $199 Xircom, 800-438-4526, 805-376-9300. Winfo #571. Go To Full Review

Input Devices: Introduction

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