The first modem modules for Handspring Visors were poorly designed boxes that hung out over the edge of the module slot. CardAccess's Wristband Thinmodem is the first to fit completely inside the slot--you can even put the faceplate on with the modem inside (although you'll have to remove it to connect).
The 56K modem beeps twice to let you know it's been properly inserted, and the handy quick-start guide walks you through the installation and configuration steps. We were able to remotely connect to our home PC by dialing into our system's modem and then synching up with the files at home.
The Internet access configuration took a few more steps, requiring minor configurations for our MSN account (adding "MSN/" to our login name). Note that because AOL and Compuserve use proprietary browsers, users of these ISPs can only connect to these accounts for checking e-mail, not browsing the Web. The required registration for the BrowseIt software took an annoying number of steps, and we had to enter our username and password several times--no minor request when using Graffiti.
But with other ISPs, Web browsing is similar to that on a PC. You can click through the bookmarks (and edit them) or open sites by entering URLs. We didn't have any problems opening our favorite sites (other than not being able to see the entire site at once).
The Adaptive Power Management of the Thinmodem promises three times the battery life of competitors' modems. While we didn't compare this modem to others, it still drained our Visor's batteries noticeably when connected to the Net.
With the limited screen size of the Visor and the battery drain, the Thinmodem is best used as a remote synch-up utility and e-mail client, allowing you to view messages and content offline.
The Thinmodem isn't the cheapest module you can find for your Visor, but it's definitely one of the handiest. --J. Curtis
- Fast browsing and synchronization
- Compact design
- Have to register before using browser
- Sucks battery life while connected