Enfora Wi-Fi Case Now Available From palmOne

Enfora's portfolio case that not only provides protection, but wireless access, is now available from the palmOne Store. The Wireless Portfolio case features a built in WiFi (802.11b) receiver and its own battery for mobile internet access.

The WP802b is a portfolio style, leather case with an integrated WiFi receiver. It connects to any Palm handheld with the Palm universal connector. It is compatible with both Palm OS 5 and 4.1 devices.

Because of the significant power requirements of WiFi, the WP802b includes a 700mAh LiPolymer rechargeable battery. Enfora says with typical use, the battery will last up to 24 hours.

The case measures 3.8 x 1.4 x 6.2 inches (95 x 35 x 155 mm). It supports data rates of 1, 2, 5.5, and 11 Mbps, though the actual rate will be limited by the speed of the universal connector. It also supports the 40-bit/128-bit WEP wireless security standards. It has a maximum range of about 150 meters outdoors and 30m in an indoor office setting.

It is available now for $169 USD from the palmOne online store.

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First POST :)

Fernando @ 3/17/2004 10:36:07 AM #
I loved the idea of the enfora case, the only complaint i can really make is that it's still quite prices. I personally wouldn't buy one until they're under 120 retail....

RE: First POST :)
mikecane @ 3/17/2004 11:27:18 AM #
$120 is a nice price. $99.99 would be better.

I'm sure it's priced high to grab all the loot they can from corporate sales.

Too bad they can't just label one Corporate (leather case) at that price and one Consumer (denim case) for a lower price.

Still, even at this price, it is cost-competitive with a PPC that has WiFi built-in. Why? To get comparable battery life on the PPC w/WiFi, you'd have to buy an external/extended battery (hp 41xx/Toshi e8xx).

RE: First POST :)
Fernando @ 3/17/2004 12:22:33 PM #
obviously lower is better, but i think it will be a while before we see a price decerase on these.

My perfect pda would be something like the T|C, with 320x480 screen, and that has stereo audio. A merge of the T|T3 and the T|C...

Everyday the PPC ipaq's are starting to loko more attractive...

RE: First POST :)
dona83 @ 3/17/2004 2:10:42 PM #
External WIFI is better than what u can put inside any Clie, Tungsten, etc., although HP certainly put quite a show with their built in WiFi. I don't have a carry case yet anyway, so this thing's a 2 in 1 purchase pretty much.


Nate @ 3/18/2004 11:34:25 AM #
The advantage of a universal WiFi adapter is obviously that you can use different Palms, but the downside is that you can't use any other PDA (unlike SD cards). And with the prevelance of WiFi it's hard to imagine many PDAs in the future that wouldn't be available with WiFi for a lot less than $170 premium over comparable non-WiFi models.

My biggest problem with this device is that despite the large size they only put a 700mAh battery in it. They could have easily doubled that capacity without adding significant bulk. 700mA is not going to provide 24 hours of WiFi, though it might just be able, in combination with the internal battery, to trickle out 24 hours of no-backlight PIM use from the Palm.

That 24 hour claim is totally deceptive. There's no way that the WiFi would last more than 2 hours with only 700mAh. And given their tendency to lie, I would question this "150 meter range" as well.

dona83 @ 3/18/2004 12:06:38 PM #
The battery from the Enfora case and the PalmOne have nothing to do with each other. PalmOne draws power from it's own internal battery, Enfora draws power from it's own internal battery. They claim 24 hours of typical usage. Wasn't the Tungsten T series supposed to last 2 weeks typical usage? ;)

Still good value in my opinion. Better battery life than just getting power straight from the handheld, and better WiFi reception to boot.

RE: First POST :)
mikecane @ 3/18/2004 4:45:03 PM #
>>>And given their tendency to lie, I would question this "150 meter range" as well.

Whose tendency to lie? The Portfolio is from Enfora. The Palm Store is simply selling it and repeating the specs from Enfora. Where is the lie? Who is the liar?

Don't like how the Palm attaches

sremick @ 3/17/2004 11:53:53 AM #
One of my biggest gripes with the Enfora case is how the Palm attaches to it. Last I knew, you were expected to attach this velcro-like material to your Palm which then allows it to stick to the case.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to stick things to my T3 for the sake of a case. There are far too many other ways to attach something to a Palm without having to revert to such a messy kludge. What about those two holes in the back for clipping on that nothing ever seems to make use of?

Not only that, but I wouldn't be leaving my T3 in the Enfora case all the time. It's far too bulky of a case, so when I took it out and put it into my Vaja the velcro pad stuck to the back of it would cause problems.

RE: Don't like how the Palm attaches
Altema @ 3/17/2004 2:05:33 PM #
I like this case and may get one eventually, but no velcro is going on my device. I wish they would have used the existing mounting system as you mentioned, and they are standard on every Palm that has the UC. If that was used instead of velcro, I would jump at it. There are several devices that use the clips, and they work well. The ones I have are a GPS sled and a battery expansion pack.

I think I would probably just use this case when I need access, then leave it on my desk the rest of the time.

RE: Don't like how the Palm attaches
beboscott @ 3/17/2004 7:27:52 PM #
My problem is how I would have to have my TT in the case for wi-fi. I'm an XT Keyboard user and would rather sit in my local coffee house and type instead of Grafitti with my palm in the case. A Power-to-Go with Wi-Fi would be a much better solution. Well...for me, anyway.

Let them drop dead

pdouglas12 @ 3/17/2004 12:23:57 PM #
Let's see. They are dropping Mac compatibilty. They can't cooperate with SD to get a Wi-Fi card on the market. So, now they are selling this kludgy solution which turns a palm into a suitcase. This company, in both of its split personalities, will never survive in the long run. They just aren't able to sustain the momentum they built when they first started building PDAs.

RE: Let them drop dead
Fernando @ 3/17/2004 1:32:49 PM #
you seem to be informed about the facts. But you're confusing companies. PalmONE never said they're dropping mac support dude, that was PalmSOURCE. They are different companies, one company's decision does not effect the other.

Secondly, i really doubt they're not co-operating with sandisk to release the sd wifi, i htnk i've read that it's more a licensing problem which again points to PalmSOURCE. I'm not entirely sure about that though.

Anybody ever used one of these?

epreseley @ 3/17/2004 1:22:24 PM #
I'm curious to hear from anyone who's actually used one of these WiFi cases from Enfora.


RE: Anybody ever used one of these?
jackl @ 3/18/2004 8:14:05 AM #
I'm gonna sound dumb here, but the Enfora I have at my office is still in the "interesting toy but does not work" stage of dust-gathering prototypes and possibly to be forever resident in the box o' paperweights and sleds of obsolete junk.

The device detects signal from your typical Lynksys router boxes, but damn if I've ever been able to register the thing with any wi-fi server and actually get a usuable connection. The documentation for the device and drivers totally sucks too, no help there.

(I misplaced the charger wall wart do-hickey, so I have to get another one to keep playing around with this, but I haven't been really bowled over by the Enfora device so far).


RE: Anybody ever used one of these?
mikecane @ 3/18/2004 8:21:28 AM #
RE: Anybody ever used one of these?
madhatter @ 3/18/2004 2:54:45 PM #
I've been using one for several months with great success at both my home and my office. As far as distance goes, I would say their claim of 150 meters would be line of sight only. I do however get a signal outside my house and even across the street ( of a typical suburban subdivision street). My office is two floors and we have a 802.11g network and a couple of repeaters. I get signal everywhere in the building and in the parking lot.

Battery life... with constant usage is about a max of 5 hours. (Note, the WIFI goes into hibernation mode and must reconnect after about 60 seconds.

It is not as fast a connect speed as is the Tungsten C, but I think it is because of the limitation of the universal connector speed, not the enfora case.

Finally, the "velco" is actually a little plastic dot with fingers that sticks to the back of the PDA. I have taken the dot off my unit a few times to put on other units and it has worked fine. It really nothing like the sound and feel of ripping velcro, it sort of "clicks" into place.

While it may be a little pricey for some, it is a great business tool. At the office, we keep three in a central location and then grab it if we have a meeting or a need to access the internet on the fly. It is much cheaper then buying everyone a Tungsten C, and I can use it with my Tungsten T3, therefore keeping my bluetooth/phone combo on the road.

A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.

RE: Anybody ever used one of these?
mikecane @ 3/18/2004 3:38:36 PM #
>>>(Note, the WIFI goes into hibernation mode and must reconnect after about 60 seconds.

What exactly does that mean? Let's say I am typing a long Comment here into PIC. It's taking me longer that 60 seconds to do. What is the practical effect of this?

RE: Anybody ever used one of these?
madhatter @ 3/21/2004 6:59:33 PM #
"What exactly does that mean? Let's say I am typing a long Comment here into PIC. It's taking me longer that 60 seconds to do. What is the practical effect of this?"

It means that if the wifi network has not been accessed in about a minute, it suspends the connection until you hit "send","enter" or other completion key. then it accesses the network and sends it. To conserve battery life, it "pauses" the connection. It might take an extra 5 seconds to send something, but not very much time at all

A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.

I cannot find it in PalmOne

ev @ 3/19/2004 2:10:19 PM #
Is the link dead?
RE: I cannot find it in PalmOne
madhatter @ 3/21/2004 7:13:03 PM #
go to www.enfora.com

A Palm in hand is worth two in your pocket.


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