Proporta.com recently provided TamsPalm with a few samples of their products. Today, we will finish my part of the proporta reviewing marathon by looking at the roll-up cable for universal connector. People with other handhelds are strongly advised to check the homepage for a version that works with their box. The shipping envelope with all the stuff was pretty stuffed:
Some of the packages were slightly dented, but the contents all were in good state. This is the cable’s shipping package-note that this product actually is manufactured by Proporta:
This cable essentially replaces an USB docking station without the power cord. Thus, the main advantage is the smaller size and lighter weight. This can come in handy when you need Card Export/Softick PPP on the go.
My T3 charges pretty fast via USB. It even keeps on charging when powered on-a feat the docking station can only acheive with the external power supply.
The mechanics work well. You extend the cable by pulling simultaneously on both ends-failure to do so will distroy the device according to a “manual”. Expansion can be locked in 5 positions:
|Position||Length in cm|
Compacting the cable is a little tricky. You need to pull both ends out a bit, and then leave the cable alone. It will compact itself while the momentum is big enough. This may sound strange, but works extremely well!
Of course, when I first saw a T3 charging over USB, I feared that it drew more than the specified 500mA(a T3 is rated 1000mA). Lisa Fletcher from Proporta emailed me the following text:
All USB cables have a limitation, allowing them not to draw as much power as a charger that connects via AC power. Therefore the cable will provide charge slightly slower to comply with the standards that are set. This is the same for all USB cables and not just our product. This will not damage the PDA in any way, as the cable is designed to charge the PDA without problems. The only difference you will notice is that it will take slightly longer and will allow you to charge the PDA off of your computer wherever you are.
So, Proporta says that its cable abides to the USB standard. I tested it on a few boxen with two or more ports and had no problems with fuses burning. However, some “compliant” portable hard disks blow the fuses on subnotebooks according to the c’t-so users of these small notebooks could maybe be at risk.
Last but not least, the connection between handheld and cable is extremely strong and the peripheral identifies itself properly(alert via AutoSync)-just look at this and you’ll understand what I mean:
Overall, this cable is interesting for people who use their handhelds as external drives and are low on space in their pockets. The mechanics are study and the cable works well. Charging a T3 works faster than with a regular usb-only cradle, but a docking station powered by its mains adaptor is faster AND pemits charging independant of PC’s. You need to decide about its suitability on a per-case-basis, but one can say that it can be extremely useful as an accecoire to the existing charge/sync infrastructure!