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To meet the demands for high-speed data transmission, the U.S. Robotics Sportster 56K Faxmodem uses x2 (56Kbps) technology, which provides high-speed Internet and online connections and downloads (comparable to an ISDN connection) over regular phone lines. The software-upgradable modem automatically selects x2 or V.34/33.6Kbps transmission. To receive these downloads, you'll need an x2-capable ISP and an analog phone line. While U.S. Robotics claims that the product is capable of 56Kbps downloads, current regulations limit download speeds to 53Kbps.
$219. U.S. Robotics, 800-342-5877, 847-676-7010. Circle #814
Diamond Multimedia SupraExpress 56 Series
Hop on the 56K express with Diamond Multimedia's new modem series. The Diamond Multimedia SupraExpress 56 line uses K56flex technology developed by Rockwell Semiconductor Systems and Lucent Technologies.
The hardware complies with the V.80 standard for video capabilities and is backward-compatible with all V.34 modems.
Internal, $149.95; external, $169.95; internal with speakerphone, $169.95; external with speakerphone, $199.95. Diamond Multimedia Systems, 800-727-8772, 360-604-1400. Circle #815
ActionTec 56K Internal Fax and DataLink 56K
ActionTec Electronics flexes its 56K muscle using K56flex technology in its 56K Internal Fax and DataLink 56K modems. While the two modems are functionally equivalent at 56Kbps and are backward-compatible with all slower modems, the 56K Internal Fax modem is an ISA bus card for desktop systems, and the DataLink 56K is a PCMCIA modem for portable computers.
56K Internal Fax modem, $149.99; DataLink 56K, $199.99. ActionTec Electronics, 408-752-7700, fax 408-541-9003. Circle #816