PalmPilot can send, receive pages with this memory...

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December 28, 1998|By Andrew Sasaki

PalmPilot can send, receive pages with this memory card

PageMart has leapt into the hand-held peripherals market with the Synapse Pager Card for the PalmPilot ($169 plus activation and service charges) which gives early-model Pilots pager capabilities and a brain transplant. The card, which replaces your Pilot's original memory card, also provides 2MB of RAM and upgrades the Pilot's operating system to Palm OS 3.0.

The relatively large screen of the Pilot - much larger than other pager screens - means you can see entire messages without scrolling or squinting, and individual messages can be up to 300 characters in length. Messages can be filed away in different user-defined categories, copied and pasted into other Pilot applications, or transferred to a computer. When a numeric message is received, the Synapse automatically checks it against the contact information stored on your Pilot and displays the relevant information along with the number. Messages can be sent via e-mail, the PageMart Web site, a downloadable application, directly via modem, operator dispatch or desktop messaging hardware.

If you're in the market for a pager and have a PalmPilot, consider the Synapse Pager Card. On the other hand, if you have or want a two-way pager, it's definitely not for you. The Synapse does not allow you to respond to pages or do cool stuff, such as setting different alarms for different messages and routing messages based on topic, priority or sender. Maybe version 2.0 will add these features.

Information: 800-324-7243 or www.pagemart.com

One of the new phones to use the 2.4 GHz frequency, the Siemens Wireless Gigaset 2420 Cordless Communication System ($399) offers all of the quality and security of this technology with a host of impressive features.

The basic system includes a base station phone, one cordless handset and a recharging station. Additional handsets are $129 and you can add up to eight of them to the system. The Gigaset sports a long list of features that might be intimidating to some users. It has a built-in answering machine, speakerphone, caller log (if you have Caller ID), two-line capability, secure digital voice encoding, password protection, a directory with up to 100 contacts on the base station and 120 for each handset, conference calling and room monitor.

One standout feature is the Gigaset's ability to allow calling within the system. The base station can talk to one (or several) handsets and the handsets can talk to each other. If you have two phone lines available, you can also place multiple outgoing calls from anywhere in the system.

Unfortunately, there are some problems. The system is confusing to use and put our house into minor chaos for a few days until we figured it out. The handsets look really swanky but are not very comfortable for long stretches of calling.

The Gigaset 2420 is obviously be overkill for some of us, but if you want a versatile, multi-line inter-office/inter-home cordless system, the Gigaset is worth checking out.

Information: 972-997-7300 or www.siemens-wireless.com

You can find full reviews of these and other neat gadgets at www.streettech.com.

Gareth Branwyn

Pub Date: 12/28/98

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