Smart One 1442FX. (fax/data modem) (Hardware Review) (Evaluation)
by Denny Atkin
Best Data Products' Smart One 1442FX is an external high-speed fax/data modem that's a real bargain. Based on the popular Rockwell modem chip set, the 1442FX provides 14,400-bps transfers in both fax and data mode. It szupports all of the popular error correction and data compression modes, such as V.32bis and CCITT V.174 fax protocol. Connected to a similar modem, the 1442FX can manage transfers of up to 57,600 bps when transferring raw text with compressive active. Such speed leaves those of us who remember 300-bps modems almost short of breath .
The sturdy white plastic case of the "sit under the phone" variety. It sports eight status lights on the front, but unfortunately, the power switch is on the back along with the DB-25 serial connector, power connector, and two phone jacks. At just under two pounds with power connector, it's light enough to pack along with your laptop (and it's much less expensive than battery-powered pocket modems of similar capability). Best Data also sells a less expensive internal version, but the ease of transferring an external modem to another computer and the reassurance of the front-panel status lights make the external model a more attractive choice.
The 1442FX is a solid performer. Many 14,400-bps modems are more finicky about connecting to other brands than the older 2400-bps models, but I have no trouble connecting to many modems ranging in speed from 1200 bps to 14,400 bps. Fax connections were handled flawlessly as well.
The modem I reviewed included the DOS-based QuickLink II fax/data package. Best Data recently announced the Gold Bundle, which includes the 1442FX, a CompuServe introductory membership kit, and the WinCIM terminal program; you may find other bundles at your local retailer as well. Although the modem retails for $329, it can be found for well under $200 at discount retailers. At that price, can you afford not to upgrade to 14,400-bps speed?