Palm m125, m130, m500, m505, m515, i705
When you first buy your PDA, you basically have one option for charging the internal batteries… thru the cradle or cable that was supplied with it. This is perfectly fine for those of you that don’t travel often, or don’t care about alternative ways to keep your PDA batteries charged. For those of you that own a Palm m125, m130, m500, m505, m515 or i705 and do care, the Kirrio 5-in-1 charger is a product to take a closer look at.
The Kirrio charger is a plastic sled that is molded especially for the Palm m500 series PDAs. You can use it with the m125, m130 and i705, but this requires you to
Velcro it to the sled… not something I would particularly want to do
considering my almost famous loathing of Velcro. And, since I don’t have either of those three devices, this review will focus on using the charger with the Palm m500 series
The main component of the 5-in-1 charger is the sled. It has the universal connector, hence its ability to work with any Palm device also employing that connector.
Charcoal in color, the sled is made of a sturdy material.
The front of the sled has 2 status LEDs and a hotsync button at the bottom. The left LED indicates the status of the Alkaline or
rechargeable batteries in the charger itself. If it is yellow, the batteries are low, and if it is off, the batteries are full. The right LED indicates the status of the PDA battery. According to the manual that shipped with the 5-in-1, red indicates the batteries are low, and no light indicates they are full. I found that whenever the PDA is in the sled, this LED will glow red regardless to the status of the PDA’s batteries.
The left side of the charger has a small hole that lines up with the
cigarette charger stand. There is also an AC adapter connector on this side.
The right side has a matching hole for the cigarette charger stand, and a compact sized USB connector for the USB sync/charge cable
which is included with the charger.
The back of the sled has the battery compartment which holds 4 AA batteries (Alkaline or
rechargeable). The back also has 2 plastic tabs that slide up to hold the m500 series PDA in place.
To insert the PDA, you slide the holding tabs into the up position, plug the PDA into the universal connector, and press the PDA down into the sled. When the PDA is
lying flat and the tabs are extended over the top, everything is securely connected.
The Kirrio is called the 5-in-1 charger because surprisingly enough, it can charge 5 ways. :o)
#1 Most compact and wireless method:
You can install 4 AA alkaline batteries or 4 AA sized rechargeable batteries (NiMH or
NiCad) into the sled, and the charge will use their power to charge the PDA’s internal battery. The right status LED will glow red while the PDA is connected. Unfortunately, it never turns off, so you won’t know when the PDA is fully charged. According to Kirrio, you can charge the Palm
several times on the same set of 4 AA batteries.
This method is the most convenient for travelers as you do not need to pack
an AC adapter with you.
#2 USB Charging / Syncing method:
Using the supplied USB (3ft long) cable, you can charge your PDA thru your laptop or desktop
(if it has a USB port). It also allows you to sync with the computer by pressing the blue hotsync button on the sled, just as if it were a regular cradle.
Just like the method above, you have no indication of when the PDA’s batteries are fully charged as the LED does not turn off.
This method is useful for people that need to replace their original cradle or need a spare for the office, etc.
#3 & #4 Charging in your car via the cigarette lighter:
For those of you that need the ability to charge your PDA while you are in a motor vehicle, you can do it one of two ways with the 5-in-1 charger. Included with the sled is a standard cigarette lighter adapter
(3ft long) that plugs into the sled and then into the lighter. This will charge the PDA batteries and the
rechargeable batteries installed in the sled (if you used rechargeable batteries in the sled….) whether the car is running or not.
Also included is a 2nd cigarette lighter adapter. This one does the same thing as the other adapter, but it incorporates an adjustable holder. The holder allows you to position the PDA so that you can see it while you drive.
The holder snaps on to the bottom of the charger and is held securely with a
threaded thumb screw.
Just like the other methods above, you have no indication of when the PDA’s batteries are fully charged as the
status LED does not turn off.
#5 Charging using the original AC cradle adapter:
Last but not least, you can also use the 5-in-1 sled with the original charger that came with your Palm PDA. It can plug into the sled to charge the PDA and the
rechargeable batteries installed in the sled (if you used rechargeable batteries in the sled….).
Again, like the other methods above, you have no indication of when the PDA’s batteries are fully charged as the LED does not turn off. Can you tell this aspect of the charge
kind of bothers me?
It’s true that the Kirrio 5-in-1 Charger is a nice kit for someone that needs the ability to charge in a car, in an office, just with batteries and also sync to a PC.
But, if you really only need to charge and sync in an office via USB, I would just go with a USB charge / sync able like the one from
Brando. Or, if you need an emergency charger, with car and AC features, I’d go with
Seidio instead. Both the Brando and the Seidio are less expensive
and more compact solutions. These solutions also give you an indicator that lets you know when the PDA’s battery is fully charged
which is important to me. The only thing that the Brando and Seidio solutions
don’t do is give you a car mount. If this is important to you, you need all the
different charging features, and you don’t mind not knowing when the PDA is
fully charged, then the Kirrio 5-in-1 is an adequate product.
Price: 59 euro = $57.50 US
Ability to charge in 5 different ways
Convenient car mount included
Can also sync with USB cable
No indication of when the PDA’s batteries are fully charged