I was excited to get my new Palm Centro sync cradle for my desktop at work. Im already a neat freak obsessed with keeping my desk nice and organized, and the simple design of the cradle would make a nice elegant deskpiece.
But wait, this design is more than simple. Its
too simple! Wheres the hotsync button? Its not there! I understand a low cost cradle not having an extra battery charger in the back, but no sync button? Sure, you can still sync with the Centros Hotsync application, but wheres the tactile fun in that?
This alone could be a showstopper. But I could have possibly gotten over this inexplicable shortcoming because of how darned good the thing looks! So simple, so minimalist in design. Perhaps I could put up with having to HotSync by going to the application on the Centro and tapping the HotSync icon (yuck) in order to at least enjoy the looks of this thing.
Cradle Connector is Tight!
The more I stared at it there in its cradle, the more absent that one button seemed! Then it came time to get up from my desk. I went to remove the Centro from its cradle and... hey, let go! The cradle holds the Centro by the connector quite tightly. Not a nice and snug tight, but rather a hey, let go tight! It took more force than I would have preferred, and the sound that came from removing the device can only be described as a very disconcerting crunch!
I tried putting in and taking out the Centro a few more times, applying a little less pressure here and a little more there, just to see if it was a matter of finding the right technique to comfortably remove it from the cradle. Forget it. Ive mastered the art of removing and replacing the Centros battery cover with one hand. But I could not for the life of me get the Centro undocked in what felt like a right way to do it. This is just bad design. If the missing hotsync button wasnt a showstopper, this one is. Undock your Centro enough times, and there is no question youre going to damage that Athena connector until it no longer works.
Have you noticed that the sync cable that comes with the Centro is narrower and feels much more reliable than the Treos? This is because they smartly included the ability to recharge the Centro without needing to plug in that little extra hole to the right of the data connector. Well, this cradle sadly undoes that improvement by hooking the Centro by its full Athena connector, which is what makes it difficult to smoothly remove it from the cradle.
Unfortunately, the word I would describe the design of the Palm Centro with is not simple but simpleton. How can you not include a hotsync button on a sync cradle? And how can you make a cradle that hangs on to the device so tight, that you feel like this could be the last time the device will sync through the cable? I cannot recommend this cradle to anyone unless theyre displaying a Centro just for looks. Sorry, Palm. I love your Centro. But it deserves a real cradle.
|No sync button (!)
Athena connector feels like it will break the Centro