the WideNote uses the same viewing ratio used in movie screens, allowing users to simultaneously view two Web pages. The wide 11.2-inch screen makes it easier to take advantage of the multitasking capabilities of Windows 95 by having two programs simultaneously visible.
Notebook PCs are smaller and lighter than laptops and don’t include bulk- in floppy or CD-ROM drives. At 4.6 lb., both WideNote models (100D and 100T) include a 133MHz Pentium processor, a 1.1 gigabyte hard disk, 16 megs of RAM, 16 bit sound card, track pad cursor pointing device, a lithium-ion battery, two Type II or one Type III PC card slots and an external floppy drive.
Communications capabilities include an integrated 28.8 voice/data/fax modem, Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer Web browsers, and America Online, CompuServe access software. Voicemail and fax/data transmission management software is also included. A four megabyte infrared port allows users to wirelessly exchange data with LANs, PDAs, printers, PCs and digital cameras. The WideNote 100D, with a dual-scan display, and the 100T with an active-matrix display, retails for $2,999 and $3,499, respectively.
Weighing in at 1 lb., it’s the lightest portable printer on the market today. About the size and shape of a collapsible 10-inch umbrella, the PN 50 is easy to carry along with your laptop and other accessories. Although tiny–only 10 inches long–it offers some grown up functionality: 360 X 360 DPI laser-quality black and white output prints on plain paper, laser paper, letterhead, envelopes and transparencies.
The unit has an automatic feed feature that pulls each sheet in individually for an average print speed of two pages per minute. The feed mechanism is a bit delicate; for optimal results, the printer should be steady and level. Printing during a bumpy airplane ride could jeopardize the quality of data-intense documents like spreadsheets or contracts; and you don’t want to waste your ribbon because the cartridge is not intended for heavy use. According to Citizen, each ribbon cartridge will print up to 30 text pages, depending on the density of the text.
Setup is easy. The unit comes with a black ink cartridge, Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 drivers, a print cable, AC adapter and rechargeable battery. Load your drivers, plug in your cables and you’re ready to print. The list price is $199.
Citizen also offers a printer for color and wireless printing: the PN60i, which is the same size and weight as the PN50 and retails for about $499.–D.A.P.
Billed as a complete mobile computer for the business professional, the MessagePad 2000, which is both Internet-and office-ready, may well live up to that claim. It comes with a browser and e-mail software for Internet and intranet communications capabilities (modem and internet access not included, of course). Its gray-scale screen can display a full-page fax (which it can send and receive) and text and GIF-formatted graphics files from HTML-coded Web pages.
Business productivity applications include a word processor, spreadsheet and a personal information manager, including a calendar, phone list and reminders. Any PDA that’s worth its weight–in this case,