MobileInfocenter
Review: BoxWave miniSync USB Cable-Charger
By: Davy Fields (davy@davyfields.com)
March 17, 2003

Boxwave minisync reviewThe BoxWave miniSync USB Cable can both charge and sync a wide range of palm os handhelds. Its most remarkable feature is its ability to extend from a compact 5 inch cord to almost three feet long.

Installation
The miniSync comes in a small box with brief instructions on the back. Since it is essentially simple cable, it's pretty self-explanatory and no additional drivers are necessary. To install, plug it into a computer's USB port and connect your handheld. There is no physical hotsync button, so you must tap the icon in the hotsync software to initiate a sync.

Impressions
Just to set the tone, If you're looking for quantity in this review, you're not in the right place. It is a simply a cable, with an innovative twist. First and foremost, it syncs great? I did not notice any difference in the Hotsync speed. Secondly, the miniSync cable can also supply a power charge to your handheld. There's some caveats with that... obviously, your computer has to be on and if you're using a laptop on battery power, it can add a bit of a battery drain.

So, we know that it works great as a hotsync-charger unit, but what about the design? The miniSync is a tiny 5 inches when closed, and pulls out to a generous 35 inches of cord when extended. You pull it out as far as you want, and it will stay in position. When you're done, just pull it out a little bit and the cord retracts back in. But be careful? it really snaps back! Check out this quicktime movie clip (116k) to see it in action. Overall, it's a really smart design, and darn if it doesn't look like something off of the batman utility belt.

Boxwave minisync review Boxwave minisync review

Conclusion
So, if you're a frequent traveler or you're looking for a fancy way to reduce desk clutter, the miniSync is deserves a look. Besides being a great hotsync-charger solutions, it has a really spiffy design as well, and is a must for anyone who's a real palm aficionado. The miniSync is available for $24.95 from Boxwave, there is a $18.50 web special.

PIC Bottom Line

PROS
CONS
  • Goes from ultra small to generously long
  • Charges using your computer's USB port
  • Cord is a little thin
  • No hotsync button

 

RATING: 9 / 10
Design: 5 stores small, reduces clutter
Features: 5 extends to 35"
Value: 4.5 not much more than replacement cables

Article Comments

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I may buy this one...

i2oadi2unnei2 @ 3/17/2003 5:44:45 PM #
I used to have an M505 car charger kit from belkin and since I can't use it (my M505 croaked), I can always use the charger end witch can be attached to a USB connection like this one and charge it in my truck...


...|3eep |3eep!!...

Connection to T/T when in use...

bjh @ 3/17/2003 5:59:43 PM #
Does anyone know if the cable stay firmly connected to a T/T when it's being used? The current cable that i'm using has a horrible connection - almost to the point of having to actually hold the connector in place when using.

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
Davy Fields @ 3/17/2003 6:08:22 PM #
It's really nice... it snaps into place (on the NX that I tested it on), but I'm sure that it'd be solid on the Tungsten as well. It's a very nice product.

-Davy Fields
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Palm_OS_5/
RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
bjh @ 3/17/2003 6:15:48 PM #
Great, thanks for the reply. I just put in my order. Anything has to be better than what i have now. I'll let you know how it fits the T/T when i it comes in.

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
tritan @ 3/17/2003 6:20:22 PM #
excellent connection on a TT I also have tried it on my M515 . Company told me the cables are the same.

May the Palm os be with you
RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
hkklife @ 3/17/2003 6:33:41 PM #
I *really* hope that this one fits well on my T|T. On my old m505, I had three essential cables that I carried with me--my Belkin sync cable, my SupplyNet Motorola v series to Palm UC cable and my Palm travel charger. All have a tenuous (at best) connection to my T|T and have to be taped or held in place. The SupplyNet cable is the worst, as the slightest motion will dislodge it and drop my connection.

I'll probably pony up for the BoxWave one if there is some more positive feedback from T|T users. if nothing else, it sure looks cooler! Does anyone know of a Motorola to T|T cable that fits more securely than the SupplyNet one?



RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
PixelPusher @ 3/17/2003 7:50:47 PM #
Since all your cables are loose, I would suspect the connector on your T/T might be the culprit. Have you tried one of your cables on another T/T?

-Eric

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
mloewenstein @ 3/17/2003 8:11:37 PM #
I have the same problem on My T/T with another cable. Would be interested in knowing if
(1) if there are any sync/charge cables that don't keep popping out and
(2) if there are T/Ts out there without this problem.

I think on my cable the design is fine but the spring behind the connectors is too strong and overpowers the 2 little hooks that hold the unit to the palm.

Mark


RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
Altema @ 3/18/2003 12:06:51 AM #
"The current cable that i'm using has a horrible connection - almost to the point of having to actually hold the connector in place when using."

Let me guess; it's the Belkin sync/charge cable you have to hold, and the charge light goes out unless you hold the connector up, right?

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
variance @ 3/18/2003 8:51:55 AM #
I have the EXACT same problem.

The Belkin USB sync charger worked beatifully on my m505, but with the T|T, it keeps snapping off after a couple of seconds.

I have to find the "sweet spot" for it to actually charge.

I'm considering my options to purchase this new unit, as with the first poster, I'm wondering if this problem is just myself and the poster, or if it's a re-occuring problem?

Thanx,
var


RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
bjh @ 3/18/2003 12:03:19 PM #
""The current cable that i'm using has a horrible connection - almost to the point of having to actually hold the connector in place when using.""

"Let me guess; it's the Belkin sync/charge cable you have to hold, and the charge light goes out unless you hold the connector up, right?"

Bingo

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
dboehme @ 3/18/2003 1:24:50 PM #
I'm using the BoxWave cable with my TT and it's great. Since I now have the Proportia metal case, I ordered a second cable to use in place of my cradle. I bought another usb charge/sync cable for work and it always pops off but the BoxWave always stays attached so I'm going to replace the cheaper cable.

BTW, I've been using the cable for about 3 or 4 weeks now on a daily basis without issue.

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
hkklife @ 3/18/2003 2:39:21 PM #
""The current cable that i'm using has a horrible connection - almost to the point of having to actually hold the connector in place when using.""

"Let me guess; it's the Belkin sync/charge cable you have to hold, and the charge light goes out unless you hold the connector up, right?"

Same here. It's these sorts of little issues, along with the digitizer bug, the MP3/sound quality promises, and the missing 2mb of ram that make me wish I had kept my m505 or bought a Sony. What good is a UC if only 1/2 of your UC peripherals attach securely?

Additionally, my Palm UC modem attaches almost _too_ tightly to my T|T and doesn't like to let go unless you jiggle and pry it loose.

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
s1101 @ 8/30/2004 2:25:35 PM #
Try some alternative websites with this coupon:


discount15coupon


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RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
suntek @ 4/5/2005 1:11:45 AM #
Try again..

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Pocket Loox Accessories: Charger, Sync Cable, Stylus and Keyboards for Pocket
Loox
http://www.suntekstore.com/pda-cases-innopocket-metal-deluxe-cases.html">New
PDA Metal Cases: Protect your PDA with light weight metal case, choose brand
from InnoPocket (recommended!) or Rhinoskin.
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Pocket PC Cases: Toshiba Pocket PC Accessories.
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600 Screen Protectors: Best online shopping service for PDA accessories.
http://www.suntekshipping.com/20000225/samsung_i300_accessories_1.html">Samsung
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4155 cases, stylus, charges and cables: Higher standard of online store for smartphone
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http://www.flatshipping.com">iPOD Cases: Flat shipping for
PDA and Smartphone accessories for US and Canada.
http://www.flashshipping.com">Car
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Loox sync cable (retractable): Brand name for PDA and Cell phone accessories.
 

RE: Connection to T/T when in use...
The_Voice_of_Reason @ 4/5/2005 2:24:44 AM #
I hope Ryan bans your spammin' a$$.





*************************************************************************************

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******************************************************************
Sony CLIE UX100: 128 MB real RAM, OLED screen. All the PDA anyone really ever wanted.

chord vs. cord

aardvarko @ 3/17/2003 9:13:40 PM #
a chord is three or more harmonizing notes in a piece of music
RE: chord vs. cord
Davy Fields @ 3/17/2003 11:41:51 PM #
Where does anyone call it a chord?

-Davy Fields
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Palm_OS_5/
RE: chord vs. cord
Davy Fields @ 3/17/2003 11:41:51 PM #
The main page title of course... duh. Need to read before posting.

-Davy Fields
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Palm_OS_5/

Never mind the hotsync...

ceejay @ 3/18/2003 7:49:29 AM #
I've been interested in this for a while to replace the desktop hotsync cradle but can anyone tell me how quickly it charges a TT? Is it as good as the normal plug in charger?

Same review as on InfoSync?

Scott R @ 3/18/2003 11:46:09 AM #
Interesting that this same cable was reviewed by InfoSync within the last week. I also found it strange that in both reviews, a negative comment was made about how "thin" the cable was. The reason I find this negative comment strange is because BoxWave's web site has the following quote:

"miniSync is made with an ultra-thin reinforced cable. Unlike standard cables that can fray and break with constant pulling and stretching, miniSync's cable is durable and able to withstand heavy usage.
miniSync is capable of supporting the weight of two heavy bricks, which is far more force than would be normally exerted on it in everyday use!"

So, it would seem that the "thin" issue is not really an issue at all.

Scott

RE: Same review as on InfoSync?
Davy Fields @ 3/18/2003 5:01:55 PM #
They have to pitch it a certain way, either they make it thick which makes the device thicker, or they keep it how it is. It's a legitimate con, it's a thin cable, but that's more of a physical cable... It's not much of an issue, but it is enough to deserve a con.... but the product is still great.

-Davy Fields
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Palm_OS_5/
RE: Same review as on InfoSync?
Scott R @ 3/18/2003 8:23:53 PM #
I guess my point is that the only reason the cable being "too thin" would be a con, would be because of the concern that it would break easily, no? If they've demonstrated that it can hold a significant amount of weight, then this would seem to indicate that despite being thin, it's quite strong.

Scott

Update - Works like a charm!

bjh @ 3/28/2003 11:01:54 PM #
I've been using the cable now for almost a week and it's fantastic. The connection to my T/T is very secure - what a difference from the Belkin cable - amazing.

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