Today, I received another package from Brando Workshop, just a little over a week since it was ordered. Inside the brown bubble-lined package were three things:
• Main Package
• AC adapter (UK version is standard, but if you live in the US, a US cable is also included)
• Brando Workshop key chain (hmm, never received one of those before…)
 Brando Music Dock review Brando Music Dock review Brando Music Dock review
 Brando Music Dock review Brando Music Dock review
The main box contains the cradle and the cable box. Inside that are the cables (A mini USB, as well as a male to male headphone cable) and the UK power adapter (which strangely doesn’t fit in my US outlet?). The power cable is standard length, I think it’s a little over a meter. The sync and audio cables are just about 1 meter long.
 Brando Music Dock review  Brando Music Dock review  Brando Music Dock review
First Experience
When you plug in this cradle, the first thing you will notice (unless you are blind, of course) is the small blue LED in the middle of the cradle behind that piece of plastic. It is a nice aesthetic touch to a great cradle. Visible in the pictures is the small sync button on the front. Also on top are the speakers. I have verified with TCPMP that it is indeed stereo, though the size of the unit makes the speakers hard to distinguish individually. On the back of the cradle are 3 ports, and a volume adjustment dial. The three ports are for power, line-in, and USB. The line in feature is especially interesting, because it allows you to plug devices besides your Palm, like your MP3 player, into the cradle and play music. You can also just plug your Palm in this way if you don’t mind missing the charging feature. Note that you cannot have a cable plugged into the audio in port when playing audio through the handheld’s connector.
 Brando Music Dock review
Onto something that bothered me just a little. When I put my TX into the cradle the first time, I felt I was going to have to remove the plastic insert (on the cradle) to get it to fit. This is not actually the case, but it is very tight. When you put your PDA into the cradle, it is going to have to be inserted firmly. A loose connection with the cradle made some interesting buzzing noises. One nice thing is that you do not need to remove your screen cover to use the cradle.
 Brando Music Dock review
While writing this review, I have had my TX playing music through the cradle, and I have to say, it is very loud. When you first pick the device up, you would probably think it was a cheap little piece of plastic. Well, if it was cheap, then someone got a good deal; I can hear it well clear across the room I am writing in (with the AC on). That said, it is not high-end audio. It loses some low lows, and high highs, but plays most things great.

No cradle review would be complete without a test of the syncing ability of the cradle, so here you go. Something you may notice when you plug it into your computer is that it doesn’t need the power cable to sync, just for music. In fact, it draws enough power to sync, charge, and even power the little blue light, right from the USB cable!
 Brando Music Dock review  Brando Music Dock review
Why you want this!
You have a new Palm, and realize it doesn’t come with a cradle. Crazy right? Well, wait until you realize that the only cradles available on Palm’s website retail for $50. Their TX cradle comes with a universal power kit (who really uses that?), and an audio out connector (I thought that’s what the headphone jack was for). For $18 less (that’s $32), you get a perfectly good cradle that does all of the normal functions, and also plays music.

Any comments or questions about the cradle?

Related posts:

  1. Brando Music Dock Review Correction!
  2. The Brando Palm Z22 cradle review
  3. The Brando T5 cradle-modded for TE2
  4. Brando Treo 600 docking station review
  5. Brando Treo 750v USB Cradle review – a cradle for the Palm Treo 680

8 Responses to “Brando Music Dock review”

  1. can you test a Treo650 in it. Does it work with Treo?

  2. Hi Paul,
    I am very sorry, but we do not have a Treo for testing as of now!

    It should work electrically, but you may need to mod the hardware a bit, just like I did with my Tungsten E2 cradle:
    http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2005/12/27/the-brando-t5-cradle-modded-for-te2/

    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

  3. Too bad they don’t do it in black!

  4. According to Brando specs, it does not work with the 650. Supported models are TE2, TX LD, and T5.

    As for the color, I have it sitting here in front of me, and I think it actually looks really good in the silver color; I am not sure how good black would look…

  5. Another good reason to go for Brando is their excellent customer support. I’m using a regular cradle from Brando and my experience with them has been very pleasant.

  6. [...] TamsPalm-the Palm OS Blog has a review of Brando’s music dock / cradle. It costs only US 32 and supports most (if not all) UC Palm PDAs. It charges and syncs as well as play music. It also has a line-in audio connector, so you can play audio from other sources as well – MP3 player for example. Overall, the author is pretty pleased with the cradle. If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that I fancy purchasing from Brando very much as well, because of their excellent service. [...]

  7. A guy on the PalmAttitude french forum painted his Brando Music Dock in black. It looks so much better than the silverish original color to me.

    Check this out: http://forum.palmattitude.org/index.php?s=&showtopic=30369&view=findpost&p=412867

  8. Hi Snark,
    here we are, right at the core of subjective color choices;).
    Best regards
    Tam Hanna

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