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      XTNDAccess IrDA PC Adapter and IrDA Printer Adapter Review

     
     Date: July 25th, 2002
     Type: Review
     Supplier: Extended Systems
     Author: mayhem
     R.R.P: IrDA PC Adapter: $130 R.R.P. (AUS) - IrDA Printer Adapter: $220 R.R.P. (AUS)

    Testing (PC Adapter)
    In order to test the PC Adapter we used Logo Manager, which allows you to modify certain features of your Mobile phone via IrDA or a direct cable connection (data cable), there are a number of other things that can be achieved with this IrDA PC Adapter:

    1. Synchronisation with a Palm V
    2. Remote Control of Winamp or DVD
    3. Copy files between PC and Laptop

    After installing Logo Manager (demo available at http://www.logomanager.co.uk/, or you can purchase it for $25) a very simple logo was designed with the very easy to use GUI. The Logo Manager software even gives you a preview of what the logo will look like on your phones screen. (There are many other features that Logo Manager supports, you can reset your phone, download information, such as your phone book, from your phone and also send Logos and information via your SMS network to friends).

    Once the logo was ready all that was required was to activate the mobile phones Infrared feature and and put it in the range (upto 1m - 3 feet) of the XTNDAccess Adapter, the red light instantly began to flash on the Adapter as the unit communicated with the Mobile phone. When Logo Manager recognised the phone as being connected (information about connection and network are presented in the status bar of Logo Manager) it was simply a matter of clicking the send button and then the mobile phone will beeped once the logo has been received.

    As you can see below the result of less than 2 minutes work is quite rewarding, and after playing around with Logo Manager you can come up with more and more complex logos and unlock more features of your phone.

    The XTNDAccess PC Adapter can be used for many more applications, basically anything supported the IrDA 1.1 protocol, this makes it rather flexible and a handy gadget to have lying around, as more and more devices become IrDA connectable.

    Testing (Printer Adapter)
    In order to test the Printer Adapter an old laptop was used to print a simple document written in Wordpad and a Printer Test Page. In order to achieve this the laptop was placed within the range of the Printer Adapter (1m - 3 feet, within 30 degrees of the IrDA sensor/transmitter) and the normal printing procedure was followed (making sure the appropriate printer was enabled as the default printer).

    The XTNDAccess Printer Adapter provides great flexibility for those with mobile devices, such as a Laptop who don't want to have to connect either a network cable or a printer cable in order to print documents, this provides a "walk-up and print" functionality which is becoming more and more present in todays fast paced IT industry.

    Conclusion
    Overall both the products performed well for purpose with no real issues arising. The XTNDAccess IrDA PC Adapter is rather handy for those people without a Laptop (or those with a Laptop who want like to communicate using the Infrared port to their PC) in order to communicate with a larger range of devices. The XTNDAccess IrDA Printer Adapter is extremely useful in office applications where it is required to print without a connection to the network, but with most modern printers there is a possibility of Infrared port as an option available when purchased.

    Pros

  • External so you can take them from PC to PC
  • Compatible with just about every IrDA equipped device (provided you have the software to communicate)
  • Robust Construction
  • Black (everything these days is Black, its just sexier)
  • No Power Connection Required (IrDA Adapter)
  • Cons

  • External (if you only want it for a single computer)
  • Extra leads for your printer (IrDA Printer Adapter) take up extra desktop space.
  • A special thanks goes out to Amy Childress of Point Communications and Extended Systems for supplying these XTNDAccess IrDA products for our review. If you would like to find out some more information on this unit or any of the Extended Systems product range then please visit the Extended Systems website located at http://www.extendedsystems.com/.

    Score: 9 / 10

    FORUM: Talk about this and other products

     

      Supplier Information

     
    Extended Systems provide a large range of Infrared and Bluetooth communications products as well as Syncronisation software, if you would like anymore information about any of their products, or would like to purchase from them, then you can find out all you need at their website: http://www.extendedsystems.com/.

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