Enfora Wi-Fi impressions
by Nicole Lee
When I first saw that there was a wi-fi solution for the Palm, I immediately latched on and bought the Enfora Wireless LAN Portfolio. Sure it’s pricey, but seeing as it comes with its own battery source, I think it’s fairly reasonable for a first-run product. It’s basically wi-fi built-in a case, which you connect your Palm to. Not a bad idea.
It arrived today, and I expected the bulky size, but decided it’s not too bad. Then I installed the software, and upgraded the drivers and so forth. I started up the Enfora Wi-Fi Manager, saw that it was smart enough to detect my SSID and surrounding SSIDs, and I was glad. I then configured it and entered my WEP key, and all of that. It seemed fine. The status seemed great, the signal strength was great.
However, it all sorta went downhill from there. Basically, even though the status is associated, you still have to actively connect the wireless connection. It’s not an automatic thing, even if the devices are associated. This means having to select “connect” every time you go to your web browser or something like that. Compare this to a laptop with wireless capabilities: If the wi-fi network is already configured, the detection is automatic, and there is no need to actually say “Yes, I DO want to connect.”
But even then, I thought, okay, I can live with that. Let’s try surfing about abit and see how it goes. I then accessed my blog, and it was very speedy, which is great. However, I then inexplicably lost my connection. I had to go back to the Enfora Manager, and select “connect”. Back I went to the web browser, accessed another site, and the link was lost again. It’s not like the signal strength was bad or anything either — I was right next to my access point. Pretty soon it was getting tiresome. I surf to one page, and the link was lost, and I had to reconnect. Then I go to another page, the link is lost, I had to reconnect. What the hell? I was starting to feel like I was connecting via GPRS and not wi-fi.
So, all in all, the cons outweigh the pros. This is NOT worth the money. I am returning this device as soon as possible. Those who have been waiting for a wi-fi solution for the older generation Palms just have to wait a little longer, or just connect via an affordable GPRS (like T-Mobile).
Update: Okay, the link is lasting a little longer now. But it still disconnects like every few minutes.