Geekspeak: December 31, 2001

Powerful transceiver saps batteries

Shrinking wireless ethernet access to the size of a CompactFlash card, this Proxim 802.11b transceiver is part of the Harmony product line honored as this years Best of Comdex wireless network technology. It offers 11M-bps data rates at up to 460 feet from the nearest access point in unobstructed environments, Proxim officials said. But, at 380 milliamperes transmit current and 280 mA receiving, the device will strain handhelds batteries: The 1.23 ampere-hour pack on an HP Jornada 560 should last for about 4 hours. I see this being most useful for workers who venture often but only briefly away from their battery charger cradles and for mobile workers whose devices can draw on their vehicles power supplies.