How nice that someone finally got it. The inevitable clutter of cords might have done it, or maybe it was the hassle of juggling extra batteries extended or not into the Treo for the daily charging ritual. Whatever the impetus, Seidio has a neat answer to desktop clutter and Treo spare battery charging, all in one device.
The companys Multi-Function Battery and Smartphone Charger for Treo 755p, 750, 700p, 700w|wx, 680, 650 makes it much easier to keep up with the power requirements of multiple Treos (I have five Treos, four of which are different models) plus a veritable gaggle of extra and extended (or not) batteries for them. You can even use a Treo while its hooked up to the charger and keep on charging a spare battery while you talk.
The batteries (extended or not) for one Treo do not necessarily fit the others. In fact, current models make this situation even worse. Moreover, various competing manufacturers spare and replacement batteries may have different thicknesses. Seidios Multi-Function charger works on the Palm original (called OEM for original equipment manufacturer) batteries as well as their replacement and extended versions for Treo 755p, 750, 700p, 700w|wx, 680, and 650. Thats all of the current models, but who knows what tomorrow might bring.
One problem with battery power in general is that it stops. The battery runs out of juice. Im painfully familiar with the scenario. The Gremlins in Charge of Embarrassing Situations try to assure that the stoppage happens at the least convenient moment. Of course, there are plenty of ways to frustrate the Gremlins and maintain sanity, the simplest of which is a spare battery of one flavor or other. Like the OEM one that comes with the phone, however, the spares have to be charged up, and kept that way.
Unfortunately, you cant just stash charged batteries in a drawer, in case of emergencies, for very long. They deplete. That is, they slowly lose their charge over time, till after a while many days, fortunately theyre deader than the proverbial doornail. So, for dependable emergency power to keep the Gremlins at bay, rotate your spares into the Treo to keep them charged or spend some quality time shuffling them into a separate charger now and then.
Seidios Multi-Function charger helps this out considerably by charging a Treo and a spare battery at the same time. The device does not HotSync, however. (The Mobi Products Battery Cradle does both. It has provisions for charging a spare battery with an AC cord while HotSync and charging a Treo through a USB cable to your computer.)
The scheme is simple. The big black block of Seidios Multi-Function charger, which wont win any beauty contests, has a folding, retractable two-prong wall plug for house AC current. No mention of international adapters, but those can be had (for a price) at electronics specialty stores. This big black block accommodates a tray, included in the kit, that holds one Treo battery of your choice, either an OEM unit or one of the third-party replacement or extended batteries.
You plug the big black block in and select AC Power on the switch on the side of the device. Snap a battery into place and the little LED on top of the charger comes on. Its red when the batterys charging, but turns green when the jobs all done. I charged all of mine in turn Treo 680. 650, 700p, and 700w, then tried my third-party replacements. All worked flawlessly.
If you also harbor (gasp!) non-Treo devices, Seidio sells additional battery trays for the Multi-Function charger that simply snap into the top slot - for example, Blackberry, Motorola Q, and others. To save the battery tray juggling act, just get a whole charger kit specific to Blackberry, Moto Q, whatever.
What you get:
The list of what you get with this charger is barely smaller than what you dont. In the kit youll find:
- AC adapter big black block with foldable, retractable prongs for U.S. AC house current. Thats 110 volts, nominal.
- Cable with USB A plug on one end and a Treo power connector on the other. DO NOT plug this in before you read the manual.
- Snap-in battery tray for the device you bought the thing to fit - Treos, in this case.
- A paper copy of the all-important manual. This explains the product plainly, tells you how to buy what you dont get, and makes it clear that the AC/USB power switch must be pointing to AC Power to operate a Treo. The phones cannot charge or function from USB power theres no place to hook up two cables.
What you dont get:
- USB charging cable. This is different from the one thats included in the kit, because it hooks the charger up to your computer, replacing the need to plug the big black block into wall current. With it you can, for example, charge a spare battery with your laptop computer on the go. You can get this cable from most any computer cable supplier. I found a three-foot USB 2.0 A to A male to male online for $4.
- Car DC charging cable. Excellent if you spend major chunks of time in your car, this cable lets you charge extra batteries in your car. The device has no setting for Car DC. Use the USB position on the selector switch. Its available from Seidio for $12.95.
- Extra charging trays for non-Treos.
- Batteries! But Treos come with one each, and replacement or extended spares are available.
In my testing, charge time for any battery or any Treo that I hooked up to the Multi-Function charger was indiscernibly different from just connecting a Treo directly through its charge cable. The normal charge time seemed to apply when I connected a Treo 650 and a Seidio 2400 mAh Extended Battery for Treo 680 at the same time. Indeed, the 650s green light appeared in the normal time for it, followed by the spare.
One small quibble. I keep a small power strip on my desk, surrendering valuable flat surface, so Ill have electric outlets handy without clambering around on the floor among the dust bunnies to plug and unplug cables. I suppose normal people use kitchen outlets that are counter height, but my kitchens too cramped to cook in, much less plug up Treos. My point is, though, that the foldable two-prong household plug on the Multi-Function Charger might be more convenient at the end of a few feet of wire. Then you could plug the wire into the wall and situate the big black block on a desk, on your dining room table, wherever. I see a hand raised in the back of the room. Yes, an extension cord will do just fine. Okay, never mind.
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