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By Chris De Herrera 
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Staying Connected With the Pretec CompactModem
By Chris De Herrera, Copyright 2000
Revised May 3, 2000
As published on Microsoft's Website

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From time to time, I hear questions about which modems are available for the Pocket PC. One of them is the Pretec CompactModem. The slender Type I form-factor offers compatibility with all Pocket PCs.

Pocket PC requirements

  • A phone line
  • An Internet Service Provider (ISP) account

I tested the CompactModem with the Hewlett Packard 545 and an upgraded Compaq Aero 1530.

What's Hot

The CompactModem is a CompactFlash™ modem that will work in all Pocket PCs. You won't have a dongle to lose with this modem since you can plug your phone line directly into the modem.

A Wish and a Minor Gotcha

The only feature I wish that Pretec would add to the CompactModem is cellular communications support. If you need cellular support, you will have to look at other products.

Where to Buy

You can purchase the Pretec 56 Kbps modem online from the Pocket PC eStore

The Pretec CompactModem.


The Pretec CompactModem is a CompactFlash type I card that is compatible with the HP Jornada 545 & 548, Compaq Aero 1550, and upgraded 1520/1530 devices. Also, it is a 56 Kbps modem with a built-in RJ-11 jack. And, you can connect at the highest connect rates possible to maximize your Internet experience.

One other thing you will notice is that the CompactModem features low power consumption. This allows you to stay online longer. Expect your available time on battery charge to diminish a bit faster with modems, because all modems use more power than CompactFlash cards. The CompactModem is only for use with a regular phone line. You cannot use it for analog or digital cellular connections. It does offer 14.4 Kbps fax capabilities as well.

Conclusion: My Experience

I was happily surprised when I did not have to install software to use the Pretec CompactModem. All I had to do was insert the CompactModem into my E-115 and it worked! I was able to dial the Internet without any problems.

I like the feature of the CompactModem of being able to plug a RJ-11 jack right in. That way, I don't have to remember where the dongle is!

Right now, the Pocket PC does not report the speed of your modem connection to your ISP, so I am not able to report the baud rate of the connection. Overall I was very pleased with this product -- and I believe you will be, too.

*The views expressed in the above article are provided by an independent third party and do not reflect any official view or endorsement by Microsoft.

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