E Mail When You're Far From Home

If you're an e-mail junkie but hate to lug your laptop on the road just to check and send messages, some new Palm gizmos could help. PocketScience Inc.'s BackFlip sends and receives e-mail through any phone. It's a simple process: Connect the $99, 5.5-ounce BackFlip to the Palm device, hold it against a telephone's handset, and dial the PocketMail toll-free service, where your e-mail is forwarded. PocketMail service costs $9.95 per month (408-919-7444, www.pocketscience.com).

Using a different approach, Novatel Wireless Inc.'s Minstrel is a two-way wireless modem that connects to a Palm device and lets you browse the Internet, send and receive e-mail, and remotely synchronize data with a PC. The $369 Minstrel weighs 5.4 ounces, and the cost of the service depends on the local wireless provider. Novatel says most users should expect to pay between $50 and $60 per month (888 888-9231, www.novatelwireless.com).

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