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HotLink USB Cable
By Davy Fields
The LandWare HotLink USB Cable can both charge and HotSync a Palm m500 or m505 and HotSync an m125 on any computer with a USB port, Windows or Mac.
So why get it, if it's so similar? Well, the main reason, of course, is for travel. Anyone who's ever had to take their Palm and it's cradle on a trip knows what a pain it is. Especially with Palm's new cradle design, consisting of a heavy cradle, a USB and a power cord, plus the power transformer, and you've got yourself a monster. This cable is, well, just a cable, so it's quite easy to pack and use. If you've ever had to go overseas, just sorting out your laptop's power can be a pain, so charging of the laptop or desktop itself is a welcome feature.
It charges at about the same rate as the normal Hotsync cradle, which can be a drain on a laptop's battery because it can take an hour or so. Fortunately, most laptops still power the USB port while they're sleeping so it's not an issue. Overall, this is a great product, and it's a Palming Roadwarrior's must-have.
I only had a few minor problems with the cable, but they're all outside the realm of what it's advertised to do. One, if you don't have a laptop, you can't charge it away from a computer. Of course, if you didn't have a computer, you wouldn't need to sync your Palm either, so it's kind of a moot point.
It doesn't charge while your computer is off, but that's the computer's fault for not powering USB either.
My final quibble is with the cable length. It's three feet, if you're wondering, but it seems like an odd length to me. It's too long to be easily used on an airline tray-table, or any small surface, because the cable might fall over the edge and drag the Palm with it. On a desk, the cable's too short for having all the way around the back of your computer to the front where you'd typically put your Palm. But, it's a minor issue in an otherwise great product.
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