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Getting Carded

SD Wi-Fi cards bring your handheld up to speed.

If you haven't purchased one of the latest and greatest multi-wireless-option handhelds, you might find your current device a little lacking. Fortunately, there are options for bringing your handheld up to wireless speed without getting a whole new device.

It's time to put a spare expansion slot to work. Wi-Fi is your best bet to boost productivity and get the most out of your PDA when you're on the road. Wi-Fi cards built for CompactFlash slots have been out awhile. What's newer are SD Wi-Fi cards. Many Pocket PCs and some Palms are equipped with SD expansion slots to handle these tiny add-ons. The convenience factor is high for such small and light options.

Some Wi-Fi card manufacturers to check into include Belkin, SanDisk and Socket Communications. Most gear-makers like Netgear and Linksys have Compact-Flash options, but look for more SD cards to reach the market as the year continues. Some handheld-makers, like PalmOne, have their own branded offerings. Look for a low-power card to maximize battery life. The cost of adding Wi-Fi to your handheld can range from $60 to $150. The opportunity to leave your laptop behind on business trips or boost your productivity around the office is priceless.

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This article was originally published in the July 2005 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Getting Carded.

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