Hagiwara Sys-Com’s much-anticipated Wi-Fi card that uses the Memory Stick format is now available in the U.S.
The HNT-MSW1 allows many of Sony’s recent Clie models to wirelessly access the Internet while they are in range of a Wi-Fi access point. These are increasingly being installed in offices, book stores, coffee shops, and even fast food restaurants.
This WLAN card supports 128-bit WEP in addition to 64-bit, providing better data security. It is an IEEE 802.11b (2.4 Ghz, 1-11 channel) device that has been Wi-Fi Certified. It, of course, draws its power from the handheld.
The utility that comes with the HNT-MSW1 allows scanning/searching for access points. It supports both the infrastructure and ad-hoc modes of Wi-Fi.
This wireless card is 1.4 inches wide, 3 inches tall, and 0.2 inches thick. It weighs less than half an ounce. A sizable portion of this card extends beyond the confines of the Memory Stick slot.
It is compatible with the TG50, UX40, TJ25, TJ27 ,TJ35, NZ90, NX70V, and NX60. Unfortunately, the HNT-MSW1 isn’t compatible with any handheld running Palm OS 4.
The price in Japan is 18,500 yen, which works out to be about $173.
Other Cards Doubtful
When this card was first announced last year, Hagiwara Sys-Com said it was also working on a series of other cards, including a Bluetooth Memory Stick and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth SD cards. Unfortunately, a company spokesperson recently expressed doubt that these would ever be released.