As everyone should realize by now, PDA's are all about mobility.
Wireless internet is one of the main avenues where we see mobility come
into play, but often we forget about the mobility for the even more
essential aspects of PDA's. Three important aspects to supporting
mobility are screen protection, synchronization connectivity, and power
connectivity. BoxWave has the solution for them all and has put them all in a kit they call the Complete
Essentials Kit. For screen protection, the kit includes a ClearTouch three pack. Now I have already done a
review of the ClearTouch, and since
completing the review, I am still using the ClearTouch system. So while
ClearTouch is part of the kit, you can read the other review because I
cannot find anything better to say about them other than I have stopped
looking for a good screen protector because ClearTouch is the best. For
synchronization, BoxWave includes the miniSync. The miniSync is
basically a USB cable for your device like that of the one from the
device manufacture only it retracts to only be a couple inches long.
For power, BoxWave has three solutions, all of which interface with the
miniSync to power your device. The Car Charger connects USB to
your car power adapter, the Wall Charger to a connect to a standard power
outlet, and finally one of BoxWave's most impressive solutions, a
Battery Adapter which recharges your device with batteries.
The miniSync is the first thing that caught my
attention in the kit. The miniSync is only a couple inches long
but holds enough cable to reach 35 inches. No more bundling cables,
the miniSync packs them away quickly and easily. I have a set of
headphones that do the same thing and have found this system makes it really easy
to put away your cables quickly in a mobile setting. Also, the
retraction system can lock in seven different points making the cable
effectively seven different lengths. One end of the miniSync is a
standard USB cable for connecting to your computer (or as I will talk
about soon, connecting to one of the other BoxWave adapters).
The other end of the cable connects to the sync port of you device.
In the case of the miniSync in this kit, it connects only to the Dell
Axim X5. While it is bad that you can only connect the miniSync to
one device (in some rare cases more than one), it isn't really the fault
of BoxWave, but of device manufactures for not having standard sync
ports. The cable connecting to the two ends is similar to that of
a headphone cable being that it is much smaller than a standard USB
cable. My problem with the miniSync is that there is on locking
mechanism on the sync connection. This may be a Axim X5 problem,
but the biggest problem I have with the miniSync is it falling out.
Alone, the miniSync for the X5 is $15 on a web special. Compare
that to $19 for a "travel" cable from Dell (travel is in quotes because
the miniSync is much more travel oriented with its retraction system) or
$30 for the cradle.
Since I don't smoke, I don't use my car lighter
adapter, but I hate to leave something plugged into it because usually
that means there is some cord hanging around in my car. One of the
coolest things about the BoxWave Car Charger is that it, in essence,
changes my car lighter into a USB power port. What would be even
cooler is if the Car Charger would power any device, but it only will
power those devices you have a miniSync to use with it. Since
it does use the miniSync, that means you get the feature of having a
retracted cable. If nothing else, you could leave the Car Charger
in your car and the miniSync plugged in and only have a couple inches
to deal with instead of a couple feet. Another nice thing is if
you have multiple devices or someone else wants to plug into your Car
Charger, they just need a miniSync, not another Car Charger.
Interestingly, for my device Dell doesn't even offer a Car Changer, so I
checked out Belkin's website and their Car Charger is $20.
BoxWave's is only $10 on a web special and is compatible with a devices
In similar for of the Car Charger, the BoxWave
Wall Charger allows you to connect your device to a power outlet via a
miniSync cable. The Wall Charger plugs in horizontally so it is out
of the way of for other devices. Again, it would be nice if this
charger could charge other USB devices, but at least it allows for
connection to multiple devices though the use of the miniSync as opposed
to having a cable that may only work for one device. The other
device thing is Wall Charger is $15 on a web special instead of $21 for
the standard Dell adapter. While you still must purchase a
miniSync to make it work, in the setting of my office, it is a much
cheaper alternative than buying standard Dell adapters and allows more
flexibility in how I can connect my devices.
The final part of the Complete Essentials Kit is what I
would consider BoxWave's most interesting item in their power product
line. The Battery Adapter allows you to charge your PDA with four
standard AA batteries. The unit connects to your device via the
miniSync via a USB connection. It is an innovative way to recharge
your PDA while on the go. BoxWave also included a switch to allow
the unit to be turned on or off so the batteries won't discharge
themselves and you can level it connected while you use your device (and
don't want your device to charge). Since having the Battery
Adapter I have used it a number of times to refill my device from a
partial to the full charge, and haven't had to change the batteries.
BoxWave states you should be able to charge a device five times, which I
think is pretty good, though number of charges will depend on how
powerful a battery you have. Especially extended batteries will
take more "juice" out of the batteries.
The BoxWave Complete Essentials Kit is something any
user on the go should consider getting. Priced at just under $75,
it may be out of reach for some, but the power user that needs their
device to be charged at all times will pay more to buy each item in the
Kit individually elsewhere. Not to mention, you would have cables
running everywhere. If you bought just a travel sync cable, wall
adapter, and car charger elsewhere it would cost $60. From
BoxWave, for $15 more, you get all of those as well as the last screen
protectors you will ever buy and the Battery Adapter which is a great
addition to anyone's PDA arsenal. I have been taking both the
Battery Adapter and the miniSync with me to work almost daily incase my
Pocket PC needs an extra bit of juice or I need to sync with my PDA.
The best part is, when I decide to upgrade, I can just get a new
miniSync and use all other power adapters in the kit. The Complete
Essentials Kit from BoxWave has everything you will need to keep you
PDA's screen safe, memory synced, and battery charged.
Dave's Score - 9.0
This means, this product is about
as close to "the best" as you can get. This product
embodies quality in its design and application, and is something I
would use. Though you still should consider it for yourself,
most would probably be happy with this product even if they were
unable to try it prior to purchase.
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