Newton Modems

Modems come in all speeds and connection types. A "wireless" modem is for spread-spectrum radio messaging services such as SMS, ARDIS & RAM. An "analog" connection covers both landline and AMPS analog cellular (if "Cellular-Ready" is supported). A "digital" modem is for CDMA or GSM cellular phones, and, by definition, is already cellular-ready.

As a general rule, 56k modems are considerably more power-hungry than V.32 and slower modems due to the nature of the Rockwell chipset.

For "standby" measurements, "init" is the brief load spike caused when the card is inserted and recognized by the OS, while "idle" is the draw when the card is inserted but inactive. When no sub-label is indicated, "idle" is always assumed. "On" is, of course, when the device is off-hook and active. 

Modem Connection Type Speed FAX Cellular Ready Power Consumption
On Standby
Wireless Modems
Motorola AllPoints Wireless (Mobitex) n/a N N 75 mA 12 mA
Option Firstfone Wireless (GSM-900) 9.6 N N 300 mA 25 mA
V.32 Modems
Apex Mobile Pro 33.6 Analog 33.6 Y Y 138mA 45mA
Megahertz XJ4336 Analog 33.6 Y Y 160 mA 15 mA
Practical Peripherals PC336T2 Analog 33.6 Y Y 250 mA 5 mA
Pretec Modem 33.6 Analog 33.6 Y N 370 mA 2 mA
Simple 33.6 Communicator Analog 33.6 Y Y 190 mA 185 mA
TDK GlobalClass 2814C Analog 33.6 Y N 255 mA 22 mA
Viking 336 Analog 33.6 Y N (Win only) 144 mA 13 mA
V.90 Modems
Megahertz XJ5560 Analog 56 Y Y 350 mA 30 mA
Megahertz CC1560i Analog 56 Y N 450 mA 80 mA
Viking 56K Analog 56 Y N (Win only) 280 mA 30 mA (init)
2 mA (idle)
Cellular Modems
Nokia 2110 Cellular Data Card Digital (GSM) 9.6 Y Y 300 mA 80 mA
Nokia 8110 Cellular Data Card Digital (GSM) 9.6 Y Y 225 mA 12 mA
Combo Modems
Option GSM/PSTN 33.6 Analog/Digital (GSM) 33.6/9.6 Y Y 180 mA (Ana)
75 mA
15 mA

With all due respect to vendors, any credible user reports╣ on current draw -- BATLOG results▓ preferred -- will override manufacturer-provided specs. The "nominal" ratings usually disclosed tend to be on the atypical low end of the spectrum, so I favor "real world" experiences...

If you have a card to add to the comparison chart, the pertinent data. Only cards that are proven to work in a Newton, please. This data may be relevant to non-Newton users as well, but remember, I am biased: only Newton-ready solutions allowed.

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September 17, 2001