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Seidio INNODock Desktop Cradle for Treo 650

Does it bug the bajeezus out of anyone besides myself that it seems to have become a trend for PDA manufacturers not to include a desktop cradle with their PDAs any longer? We as consumers spend hundreds of dollars on these devices only to be given a cheapo charging cable instead of a charging cradle. Such was the case when I spent around $600 for my PalmOne Treo 650 earlier this year. It only came with a cable. A clunky two piece cable to be exact. For charging, you are required to plug in the AC adapter cable into the docking connector. Not the most elegant solution, that’s for certain. Since PalmOne’s Treo cradle kit costs $60 and comes with a bunch of international power adapters that I’ll never use, I opted not to purchase it. Then when Seidio contacted me asking if I might like to review their cradle I was happy to say yes.


Cable / AC adapter that ships with Treo 650

The INNODock Desktop Cradle is a small plastic dome shaped cradle that comes in 3 colors (White, Blue and Silver). I was sent the Blue version which matches the color of my Sprint Treo 650 perfectly. Without the included USB cable, the cradle weighs in at 3.7 ounces and has a footprint of a 3 inch diameter circle.

This accessory is pretty simple. On the front there is the docking connector set into the base of the cradle, a charge LED on the front that glows green when the connected to a USB port on your computer and a hotsync button. The button is actually a contact that is under a rectangular flat plastic membrane sticker. The adhesive on this sticker must not be the best, because I often notice the corner popping up, thus requiring me to press it back down again. This type of button also lacks good tactile feedback.

On the back of the cradle there is a full sized female USB connector that you use to connect the included 41 inch black plastic USB cable. Next to the USB connector is a 3.5mm audio-out connector that can be used to connect headphones or external speakers for listening to music through your Treo. This is a cool feature given the fact that the Treo itself has a mini 2.5mm headphone jack built into it instead of the standard 3.5 mm size. Sound quality and volume through the audio-out jack are very good.

The bottom of the cradle has rubber feet so that the cradle pretty much stays put on your desk. That said, the cradle isn’t heavy enough that you can detach the Treo without holding on to the base.

Besides the audio out jack, the best feature of this cradle is spring loaded hotsync connector. This connector can pivot to allow you to connect the Treo even when housed in a wide variety of cases. I tried the cradle while the Treo was in the Brando leather flip case, Innopocket Metal Deluxe case, Innopocket Magnum case and Vaja iVolution case. With the exception of the Vaja case, all the others worked great with this cradle. Unfortunately, the leather on the bottom of the Vaja case was formed in such a way that it did not allow for the connectors to mate properly. Too bad as this is my favorite case to use with my Treo :o(



Treo without a case, Treo in the Brando leather flip case



Treo in the Innopocket Magnum, Treo in the Innopocket Metal Deluxe case

During my review period, I’ve had no issues whatsoever with charging and/or syncing my Treo 650 using this cradle with both my PC and my iMac G5. I like the fact that it looks good and only requires a USB port to both charge and sync. If you were annoyed that a cradle wasn’t included with your Treo, you will probably enjoy using the Seidio INNODock Desktop Cradle too.

Price: $39.95

Pros:
Plug and play charging and syncing
Doesn’t require an AC adapter
Able to dock Treo while in a case
Audio out

Cons:
Hard to plug in or remove Treo with one hand
Hotsync button doesn’t have very good tactile feedback

 

Product Information

Price:39.95
Manufacturer:Seidio
Pros:
  • Plug and play charging and syncing
  • Doesn't require an AC adapter
  • Able to dock Treo while in a case
  • Audio-out jack
Cons:
  • Hard to plug in or remove Treo with one hand
  • Hotsync button doesn't have very good tactile feedback

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Julie July 29, 2005, 4:50 am

    Post your comments here on the Seidio INNODock Desktop Cradle for Treo 650 review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/seidio_innodock_desktop_cradle_for_treo_650

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • mattp9 July 30, 2005, 1:07 am

    Julie —

    I’ve had my Seidio cradle for about a month – I bought it when I saw the first review. I agree with you on how anoying it is that Palm put that Frankenstein of a connector/charger in the Treo box – what were they thinking!! I love the Seidio Treo 650 cradle – It’s almost perfect.

    The push button for Hotsynching would be much better if it were not a membrane type. One of the rubber feet has worked it’s way off and is lost, making the dock just a wee bit wobbly, but that can be excused and replaced.

    I use a skin cover from Brando as my only protection, as I keep the 650 in my shirt pocket wherever I go. The grip on the skin makes it very easy to one-hand insert and release the Treo from the dock. I just grab the Treo where it joins the dock and use the base of my palm to push the Treo out of the dock. I should take a picture to show you, because it’s worth a thousand words.

    The tilt feature of the dock is great. At my desk at work, I pop the 650 in the dock and can glance at my personal incoming email all through the day. When my main workstation is tied up, I can use the Treo, in the dock, to surf, or do a quick 411 search, or catch up on some RSS feeds. The secure fit of the connector in the INNODock makes it easy to set it and feel that it’s not going to be bumped off accidentaly.

    I have not used the headphone/line-out jack, as I cannot take advantage of headphones at work – no rule – just not practical as I’m on the phone a lot. I’d hook it to my speakers, but then I’d be muting it all day long. I do sometimes like to listen to Shoutcast streams, when the busy-ness has calmed down. The Treo 650 and PocketTunes is a great combination for that.

    Bottom Line – The Seidio INNODock has become the answer to my dream of an easy to use dock for my Treo 650. I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

    Thanks for keeping us Geeks out there informed. – Matt

  • Julie July 30, 2005, 3:56 pm

    MattP:
    Have you noticed the ‘sticker’ over the LED and hotsync button peeling off?

    If you have a digital camera that can take little movies, it would be great if you could do a very short one on removing the Treo as you have explained.

  • mattp9 August 1, 2005, 8:05 pm

    Julie – My sticker is not coming off yet. [EDIT - Movie too large - 117k - I'll email it to you personally - Mattp9]

    I took a movie, using the 650 itself, of me picking up the Treo one handed. I also do put it in the cradle with one hand, it just takes getting the right angle and it pops on for me. As for removing it, I use my pinkey finger and push up with it while grabbing the Treo with the other fingers and thumb. It might be helpful to A.) have large hands like me and B.) have a grippy surface skin such as mine.

    I know that the Treo bare is very slippery. I’d never use it that way. The Brando skin works for me. So far, I’ve only had it fall out of my pocket once, and that was under highly unusual circumstances and when I had an extra large pocket. I’ve since taken to putting the 650 in sideways in a large pocket and all is well. When the 650 did fall out of my pocket, it only had 6 inches to fall and fell right on one of the rubberized surfaces of the skin and bounced just a bit. Still working, thank God.

    One of the first things I did was add a separate, all perils rider to my homeowner’s insurance for $30 a year. I hope I never have to use it.

    Thanks again for all your Gadgeteer work. I enjoy the fruits of your labours. – Matt

  • Julie August 3, 2005, 3:22 am

    Here’s a link to a short QuickTime video clip of Matt removing his Treo from this cradle just using one hand.

    http://static.the-gadgeteer.com/images2/treo-innodock.3g2

  • viacoboni March 10, 2006, 1:44 pm

    Does the Seidio INNODock work with the Sena Magnet Flipper case for Treo 650.

  • brentb March 10, 2006, 3:11 pm

    viacoboni wrote:

    Does the Seidio INNODock work with the Sena Magnet Flipper case for Treo 650.

    Yes, it does, but the flip top may cause the treo to sit more upright in the cradle, almost vertical, instead of slightly ‘reclined’. This doesn’t affect the functionality though.

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