Plug-and-Protect Appliances

Symantec's new line of firewall/virtual private network (VPN) appliances allow small offices to easily create high-speed local area networks and gives them secure Internet-based access to business partners and the Web. The devices, offered in three levels of capacity and sophistication, combine firewall, VPN, networking and other capabilities into a single unit. They can be deployed in minutes, even by novice users, according to the company.

Retail prices for Symantec Firewall/VPN Appliances range from $499 to $1,199. More information is available on the company's Web site .

VX4 Rugged Computer

LXE Inc.'s tough new VX4 Windows-based computer is built for use in trucks, forklifts and other industrial vehicles. The machine includes Intel's Pentium 266MHz MMX processor, a 10.4-inch color display with touch-screen interface and a 10GB internal hard drive that is vibration-tested to withstand vehicle-mounted operation and other harsh environments. Constructed of cast aluminum and high-impact plastics, the VX4 supports Microsoft's Windows 98 and Windows 2000 operating systems and provides reliable performance for a range of wireless WAN, LAN and mobile computing applications, according to LXE.

The base model of the VX4 retails for $5,580. Call 770/447-4224 for government pricing, and visit the LXE Web site for more information.

Interactive Pen Display

Wacom's new Cintiq 15X allows users to draw and edit directly on an LCD screen and see what they are doing precisely at pen point, making it ideal for photo image editing, painting and controlling presentations in meetings or classrooms as well as for medical, financial, CAD, 2D/3D animation and other applications. The Cintiq 15X combines a full 24-bit color LCD monitor display with graphics tablet technology that allows use of a cordless, battery-less pressure-sensitive pen.

The Cintiq 15X retails for $1,899. For more information, call Wacom at 800/922-6613 or visit the web site http://www.wacom.com.

Small Device, Big Storage

Toshiba's 1.8" 5GB PC card is a removable hard disk drive that boasts the largest storage capacity of any portable PC card on the market, according to the company. The PC card simply slides into the PC card slot on laptops, handheld devices or digital cameras.

The new card enables storage of large amounts of data (holding as much information as 3,500 floppy disks or 7.7 CD-ROMs) on a device the size of a credit card, eliminating the need to drag your laptop computer around. Many people use it as a "bridge" device for sharing data between systems such as two notebooks, a notebook and digital camera or other digital gear.

Toshiba's 1.8" 5GB PC card retails for $399. For more information contact Toshiba America Information Systems at 949/457-0777 or visit the website http://www.harddrives.toshiba.com.