FASTER WIRELESS

HOME NETWORKING GETS A RANGE BOOST

THE NEW Wireless Broadband Router with SRX from Linksys provides faster wireless networking with fewer dead spots and increased range compared with standard wireless networking routers. The new router uses smart radio and antenna technology to harness two radios and three antennas to reach up to three times farther and boost throughput up to eight times when used with compatible wireless cards.

The router is really three devices in one. First, it's a wireless access point, which lets you connect wireless-G, wireless-B and other performance-enhanced SRX devices to the network. There's also a built-in four-port full-duplex 10/100 switch to connect wired-Ethernet devices together. Finally, the router enables sharing of a high-speed cable or DSL Internet connection across an entire network.

The suggested retail price for the WRT54GX router is $199. Contact Linksys at www.linksys.com.

PHONES GET SMARTER

NEW BEN-Q SMART PHONE ADDS WI-FI, BLUETOOTH

THE NEW BENQ P50 Smart Phone features built-in wireless networking and Bluetooth capabilities, an integrated 1.3-megapixel digital camera with zoom and flash, plus audio playback for music files (WAV, MP3, WMA, and more). It also has other expected smart phone features, such as full personal digital assistant (PDA) functionality. This Windows Pocket PC smart phone has an integrated keyboard, a 2.8-in. color screen and 64 MB of memory.

The manufacturer has not announced which cell phone companies will be marketing the phone, but it provides both quad-band Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) connectivity. It has speakerphone and conference calling capabilities, a rated talk time of three to five hours, and standby time of 120 hours. Weighing in at about 6 oz., it measures 4.7 × 2.4 × 0.8 in.

The suggested retail price is $800. Contact BenQ at www.benq.com.

LIGHTER, CHEAPER LAPTOP

BUDGET LAPTOP WEIGHS 5 LBS.

SHARP Electronics has broken the $1,000 barrier with its slim, light, new Actius MC24 notebook computer. Borrowing the look of Apple's iBook G4 laptop, it sports a 12.1-in. screen and weighs just 5 lbs. The computer is based on a Mobile AMD AthlonT XP-M 2400+ processor (approximately 2.4 GHz) running Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. It includes 512 MB of DDR SDRAM, a 60-GB hard drive, a CD-RW/DVD combo drive, built-in wireless and Ethernet, and a 56-kbps fax modem. It includes four USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port for an external monitor and a PCMCIA Type II card slot.

The laptop measures 11.1 in. wide, 10.4 in. deep and 0.89 in. high. The suggested retail price is $999. Contact Sharp Electronics at www.sharpsystems.com.