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Multi-function PC cards debut

Xircom introduces a new line of PC networking and communication cards for notebook computers that integrate modem, networking, and wireless features.

Xircom introduced a new line of PC networking and communication cards for notebook computers, which pack modem, networking, and wireless capabilities into one small PC Card.

Xircom's RealPort Integrated PC Card comes with a

Xircom RealPort Ethernet 10/100+Modem 56
Xircom RealPort Ethernet 10/100+Modem 56
10/100-mbps (megabits per second) Ethernet connection and a 56-kbps (kilobits per second) modem. It also includes telephone handset pass-thru, which allows users to receive incoming telephone calls on their handset while the phone cord is still plugged into the modem, and mobile phone connections.

The PC Card reduces the cost of ownership for notebook users, the company says, because there are no pop-out jacks to break off. Corporate users often have to stock extra X-Jack connectors in house since they protrude from the computer and often break off. "The problem with the X-jack is that since it pokes out of the card, our users break it easily. Once that breaks, you're looking at a replacement," according to Xircom.

The RealPort line supports both the older 10-mbps Ethernet network technology and also newer 100-mbps networks. The cards also allow upgrade to the new 56-kbps standard, v.90.

The Xircom RealPort Ethernet 10/100+Modem 56 will be available May 15 for an estimated retail price of $399. The rest of the RealPort Integrated PC Card line will be available this summer.