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An e-mail rocket in your pocket.

Portable e-mail device keeps you in the loop

Laptops are great all-purpose machines for road warriors. They're also heavy, especially if you only use it to keep up with e mail. Lightening that load was the impetus behind the latest e-mail-only devices to hit the market. JVC and Pocket Science have teamed up to debut the first portable e-mail device. The JVC HC-E100 has a clamshell design and is small enough for a pocketbook or briefcase.

The HC-E100 forgoes modems and jacks for an acoustic coupler mounted on the bottom of the device. To send and receive mail just dial PocketMail's 800-number and align the telephone receiver with the coupler. A recorded message will prompt you to press the send/receive button to begin transmission. Since it uses a series of beeps similar to a fax machine to transmit data, the device can be used with over 90% of telephones, including digital PBX systems and cellular and home phones, according to JVC. However, JVC does not guarantee compatibility with PCS phones.

The HC-E100 can store 100 messages of up to 4,000 characters.

You can type on the device's miniscule keyboard, but it's not easy or quick. For short messages though, it's a blast. You won't be able to view file attachments with this device either, they're best left for home or office retrieval. The data transfer rate is slow, so if you have a high volume of e-mail, expect to hold the phone to the device for a few minutes. The more messages, the longer you'll wait. To use the HC-E100 you must sign up for the PocketMail mobile unlimited e-mail service, which costs $9.95 per month. Your account can be configured to use an existing e-mail address or users can opt for a "name@pocketmail" address. PocketScience is expected to sign agreements with other hardware manufacturers that will bring more choices to the PocketMail mix.

* Retail: JVC HC-E100 $129

* PocketMail service: $9.95 per month

* Contact: JVC at 973-315-5000 or
COPYRIGHT 1999 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1999, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Author:Muhammad, Tariq K.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Feb 1, 1999
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