Joining the growing field of appliances that provide low-cost Internet access: a $499 device (above) from 3-Com. "The Audrey" - a name meant to make the product more approachable - has a plastic pointer on top that blinks green when a user has e-mail. The compact size enables Web access from high-traffic areas like a kitchen counter, where space-consuming personal computers are usually shunned. Similar devices include Compaq's iPaq IA-1, Gateway's Connected Touch Pad, and Emachine's MSN Companion.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society