From the September 1999 issue of Entrepreneur

At just over a foot wide and just under a foot long, the latest Panasonic IQ-Fax packs a lot into a small space. This entry-level fax machine uses the Internet to send faxes via its 9.6 Kbps modem. While the IQ-Fax can also be used as a conventional fax machine, Internet faxing is usually less expensive, due to the savings on long-distance charges. Additional features include a 150-sheet paper tray, backup memory that holds up to 28 pages of incoming faxes and handy storage of up to 56 numbers. The built-in copier function can run off 99 copies of an original from the 15-sheet document feeder.

No Trespassing

Just as it is to have a lock on your office doors, it's important to have security for your business's Internet system. An Internet security system that can be attached to your existing network, the SonicWALL PRO uses a 233 MHz Intel microprocessor to power its firewall, encryption and content-filtering features. Equipped with 10/100 Mbps Fast Ethernet ports, it's controlled through a familiar Web browser interface. SonicWALL PRO works with any computer platform to secure against hackers and protect your critical business information and LAN.

Use The Force

We've seen keyboards with all kinds of shapes and slopes and splits, but the ErgoForce is unusual more for what's below the keys. Although the keyboard appears plain, the keys differ in resistance depending on the strength of the finger that is supposed to hit each one. The range is from 35 grams of pressure for keys like "A" to 80 grams for the space bar. The ErgoForce is designed to minimize hand fatigue for all-day computer users.

PC United

If you think the iMac is a space-saver, NEC has managed to shrink a desktop computer even further. The space-age design encompasses a 15-inch flat-panel display, 450 MHz Intel Pentium III processor, removable 8.4GB hard drive, DVD-ROM and built-in speakers into one unit. With a base just over 15 inches wide and a weight of 23 pounds, the Z1 will fit on even the most crowded desk. A 56K modem, floppy drive and wireless keyboard add to the computer's flexibility. Windows 98 and a host of software accompany the Z1.

Palm With A Plan

Another leaf has sprouted on the 3Com palm tree. The Palm VII personal digital assistant adds wireless Web communication to the familiar organizing and note-jotting functions of the Palm series. Not exactly browsing, 3Com has pioneered "Web clipping," where only the relevant small bits of data (stock quotes, sports scores, travel info) are sent to the PDA. Not exactly e-mail, the new Palm uses e-mail messaging, sent over a wireless network similar to an alphanumeric pager. Nonetheless, it's a hefty expansion of business communication capabilities all tucked into a smaller, sleeker design. Charges for Web connection, offered only through the Palm.net service, start at $10 per month.

Station To Station

The Storage Station joins the eMail Station, Print Station and Internet Station as part of Intel's InBusiness network appliance product line for small businesses. Available in either a 12GB or 24GB size, there's plenty of room to centrally locate all of your office's shared files, archived documents and back-up material on this storage server. No more worries about running out of room on small hard drives. The Storage Station is managed through a simple Web-based interface and works with Windows 95/98/NT. Connection with your office computers is made through your 10/100base-T network hub.