Kings Of The Road

You've Come a Long Way, Baby

A pager is a pager is a pager, right? One peek at the latest models proves that simply isn't so. PDA features, voice mail and Internet access are among the latest capabilities being built into these little dynamos.

Motorola's PageWriter 2000 ($360 street), for instance, blends Internet access, e-mail and fax support capabilities (where service is available) into a two-way pager. Like traditional pagers, the PageWriter 2000 is small enough to wear on your belt, yet it houses a 47-key QWERTY keyboard for sending messages to other two-way pagers, one-way alphanumeric or numeric pagers, fax machines and e-mail addresses. By mid-year, you'll be able to program the unit to download information from the Internet.

Another new pager to consider: Motorola's LS950v portable answering device ($160 street). The LS950v offers voice messages in the caller's own voice (where service is available)--just like an answering machine. Callers simply dial your pager number and leave a voice message. Motorola has had this technology in limited distribution for a while, but now, with an advanced set of features, it's ready for general-market release. The LS950v holds up to three minutes of messages, reviewable with simple Play, Reverse, Forward and Pause buttons, and allows callers to confirm message delivery.

If you're away from the phone a lot but still need to keep in touch--or want access to news, contacts and information without lugging around a notebook or PDA--consider taking one of these pagers for a test drive.

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This article was originally published in the April 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Kings Of The Road.

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