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ENR Technologies Pegasus III IR 56k Modem: for Palm, Pocket PC and Notebooks
by Lisa Gade, Editor-in-Chief

Have a PDA, but can't find a modem designed to work with it? Or do you want one modem that will work with all the PDAs you own, as well as your PCs? The Pegasus III modem might be just what your're after. It's a compact and lightweight universal modem that can work with most any PDA: Palm OS, Pocket PC, Psion and even notebooks. It's also a 14.4 fax (you'll need to purchase fax software separately for Palm OS and Pocket PC PDAs). Plug a phone line into the modem, align your PDA and modem's IR ports and you're ready to surf the Net and download emails.

Features

The Pegasus III is a 56k v90 modem supporting the ITU (International Telecommunications Union) standard that's housed in a plastic casing. It's a versatile unit in terms of connection and power methods. We tested the Pegasus III PP2I model, which supports both IR and serial connections. You could use the modem via IR with your PDA or notebook while traveling and as a modem for your desktop PC via the included serial cable when at home. The unit has a switch on the rear that allows you to set serial or IR as your connection method.

The modem comes with a reasonably light and small power adapter (it looks very similar to the iPAQ's power adapter). It also accepts 4 AAA batteries if you'd rather leave the power adapter behind. If you use rechargeables, they'll be charged while the modem is plugged in— very cool! Do not plug the modem into the power adapter if you are using disposable batteries. You should get many hours of use from a set of disposable alkaline batteries, since the unit consumes little power and will go to sleep to save power.

Installation and Use

The Pegasus comes with a user's manual and drivers for PCs on a diskette. The manual suffers a little bit from what I'd guess is translation-ese, but by the time the unit hits the market, the manual will likely be improved. Regardless, the unit is so easy to use you won't have to spend much time reading!

Palm OS PDAs such as Palm brand, Sony Clié and Handspring, as well as Pocket PCs have built-in support for IR modems, so you won't have to install any drivers. This makes the Pegasus one of the most easy and straightforward modems to use.

Simply create a new connection, and select Generic IrDA modem on the Pocket PC, or select modem and the connection method as IR for Palm OS PDAs. Make sure your PDA's IR port is turned on, specify the rest of your connection settings such as your ISP's phone number and your login name and password and you're done!

If you're going to use the modem with a PC and a serial cable, you'll install the drivers included on the diskette. There are no Mac drivers and the serial cable is a standard PC DB9 connector. The manufacturer states that the modem will work under Linux, though we didn't test this.

Connections were fast and reliable both in terms of IR and modem-to-ISP connectivity. Sony Clié owners will be thrilled to know that it worked flawlessly with our Clies, including the popular SJ30. Since there aren't modems available for many current Clie models, this unit should fill a large void.

 

Pegasus III modem

Front view of the modem, with IR window, speaker, activity LED and reset button shown.

Pegasus III modem and Sony Clie SJ30

The modem is quite small and light. It's about the same size as the compact Sony SJ30 shown at left.

Conclusion

It's compact, light, and capable of reliable 56k connections. It plays nicely with any current PDA on the market. The power options are awesome: plug it in, use it with AAA alkaline disposables or allow it to charge your rechargeable batteries. You can even use it as your desktop modem. I heartily recommend this modem to anyone in the market for a land line 56k modem, especially if you're looking for one modem to work with several PDAs and notebooks.

ENR Technologies, www.pocketirmodem.com $99.99

 

 

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