Enfora Binds Wi-Fi to palmOne Handhelds
October 07, 2004
Binder-sized peripheral leverages its own power supply to deliver WLAN access to palmOne's Zire 72 and Tungsten E PDAs.
802.11b wireless networking has freed many mobile device users from wires and expensive cellular data plans. Yet, while there are many Wi-F-enabled Pocket PCs, only one of the largest Palm licensee's PDAs -- the palmOne Tungsten C -- integrates the technology.
Fortunately, the company recently released its first Wi-Fi Secure Digital card for two of its products: the Bluetooth-enabled Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 (see palmOne Cooks Up Wi-Fi SD Card). The card will also be compatible with the upcoming Tungsten T5 PDA (see The PDA that Never Forgets).
For those who don't own one of these handhelds or don't want their device's batteries to drain too quickly because of Wi-Fi's heavy power draw, there is another option: Enfora offers a leather-bound binder called the Wireless Portfolio that measures about 3.8 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches with its own power supply and an impressive range of 500 feet outdoors and 100 feet inside.
Traditionally, the binder connected to palmOne's Universal Connector, which isn't so universal anymore. In fact, palmOne will replace the Universal Connector with an updated connector called the Multi-Connector, starting with the Tungsten T5. [However, a note from the palmOne public relations people recieved October 8 says this won't be the case within the next thirty days.]
In the meantime, Enfora has released a version of its Wireless Portfolio ($149) for palmOne's most popular handheld, the Tungsten E (remarkably the only Wi-Fi solution for this device) and its latest multimedia model, the Zire 72. The Leather/Mesh portfolio case connects to the PDAs via their Mini-USB connector.
"Enfora is pleased to offer the only available Wi-Fi solution for the palmOne
Tungsten E and a new alternative for Zire 72 users," said Christian Allred,
Enfora VP of Sales. "Our goal is to offer education, healthcare and business
consumers an economical solution that allows them to stay in touch effectively
while using their handheld devices."