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LINKSYS LNE100TX 10/100 PCI Ethernet Adapter
Last updated: 10/4/99

Like other Ethernet adapters I have seen recently, the LINKSYS LNE100TX is physically smaller, measuring 2 3/16 by 5 7/8 inches, and has few capacitors than adapters previously reviewed in the Digest.  I counted three 85C electrolytics and one ceramic capacitor.  While I can't second-guess the engineers of this board on the number of capacitors, I can say that higher quality 105C electrolytics would last longer.   The LNE100TX uses a proprietary LINKSYS LC82C115 all-in-one Ethernet controller to produce a low-cost, busmaster adapter suitable for PCs.  The card has the usual features and does the usual things: auto-sense, and half and full-duplex modes.

Silk-screening and lay-out are quite good.  There are four LEDs: Link, Activity, 100 Mhz, and full-duplex.  The RJ-45 socket fits snuggly.  The board has a Wake-up LAN connector and comes with a WOL cable.   The WOL can be jumpered for Power Management Event (PME), and high- and low-power Remote Wake-up support.  The adapter has a boot ROM socket (something I haven't used in many years).

The adapter, etc. is double boxed in a attractive retail package.

The User's Guide is well-written and illustrated--better than most I've seen with low-end adapters.  It's treatment on network cabling is fairly good, but too brief.  Software installation is covered extensively--I didn't read all of it.  Trouble-shooting is weak.  The detail on WOL is just about right for a technician.

Software is provided on two floppy disks and supports: Windows for Workgroups; Windows 95, 98, NT, LanMan, Novell; SCO Unix; and Linux.

Installation was very easy with Windows 98 SE:  shut-down, turn-off, and unplug computer; remove the cover; install the board; plug-in and turn-on computer; insert either floppy and the Windows CD when Windows asks for them; click when prompted to reboot after the files are installed.

The LINKSYS Web site is quite good, is easy to navigate, and has drivers, manuals, etc.  FAQs are extensive.  The picture of the adapter on the product page is not the same as LNE100TX I have and is pictured on this page and is not the same as the one on their data sheet.

The street price for the LNE100TX is under $20.00 and includes a limited lifetime warranty (a pretty safe warranty on the manufacture's part as most people will not bother to return an item which costs less than $20.00).  I have had one in my computer for about a month which was provided by my ISP to interface to an external cable MODEM.  Although this is not a speed-demanding use, the adapter has nonetheless performed flawlessly in this capacity.


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