NEC launches Bluetooth, wireless LAN products

NEC Corp. has this week launched a group of products from printers to personal computers that make use of two new wireless technologies to go someway towards freeing the desk of users from a spaghetti-like mass of cables.

Announced Monday and receiving their first public showing at the World PC Expo show which began Tuesday in Tokyo are three new ink-jet printers that include Bluetooth modems. Bluetooth is a new low-power, short range wireless technology that is receiving wide backing from the electronics industry.

The new printers, the Picty 960, 860 and 760 go on sale between today and early November at 47,800 yen (US$442), 37,800 yen and 27,800 yen respectively and are capable of up to 2,400 x 1,200 dpi (dots per inch) resolution.

To complete the connection, NEC is also putting on sale a Bluetooth printer adapter, which simply connects into a standard parallel port, and a Bluetooth PC Card adapter for notebook computers. The former product will go on sale in late November at 22,800 yen while the latter will hit the streets on November 30 at 22,000 yen.

In addition to the Bluetooth products, NEC also announced a new terminal adapter for connecting personal computers to ISDN (integrated services digital access) lines — a very popular service in Japan — and related personal computer adapters that use the IEEE802.11b standard for wireless local area networks.

The standard specifies a top speed of 11M bps (bits per second) and can operate over a distance of between 25 and 50 meters, making it suitable for use throughout the average home. It also allows two computers to share the same printer or exchange and share files between them.

NEC announced both a terminal adapter/PC wireless modem set for desktop computers and individual components which include network adapters for both desktop and notebook computers.

The set will go on sale from late November priced at 52,800 yen and includes the Aterm RS7 wireless network adapter and IWX70 terminal adapter. The range of individual components, for which a price was not issued, includes the WL30A terminal adapter, WL50A terminal adapter and DSU (digital subscriber unit), WL11U USB (Universal Serial Bus) wireless network adapter and WL11C PC Card wireless network adapter.

NEC, in Tokyo, can be found online at