Developer: The Price:
  • $40
The Pros:
  • Can recharge anywhere

The Cons:
  • A bit pricey

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Battery Adapter for NR and T Series Review
By Ed Hardy
5/15/2002


The new Sony NR series is an amazing bit of equipment, loaded with features, including a 320 by 480 screen and a 66 MHz processor. Not surprisingly though, these really drain the juice out the internal battery. With the backlight on half power, the NR70V lasts four hours and forty minutes of use before the first battery warning. That's OK if you can count on dropping it into the cradle every couple days, but is awfully short if you are thinking of taking it with you on a business trip.

I've been on several trips and lugged a cradle along to keep the handheld going. This is a hassle and I was always nervous what airport security would make of it. That's where the PEGA-BC10 comes in. It lets you use or charge your Sony NR or T series handheld with AA batteries.

The Test
For my test, I drained a NR70V until the first battery warning, then plugged in the charger. I loaded it with standard AA Duracell coppertops.

I knew the NR series drew a lot of power and therefore its battery would need a lot of capacity but even I was surprised with the results I got.

Four brand new AA batteries were able to give the handheld only a 75% charge before being exhausted. I was expecting they would be able to fully charge it at least once. Of course, this isn't a knock against the BC10; it can only provide as much power as are in the batteries.

Charging the handheld took a bit over two hours.

Sorry, I don't have a T series handheld to do a similar test on. However, the HotSync ports on the NR series and the T series are identical so both can use this battery adapter.

Hardware
The BC10 is 4.75 by 1.75 by .75 inches, which isn't much bigger than the four AA batteries. It weighs 1.75 ounces. Its cord is a bit over 5 inches long.

You don't have to use the BC10 to charge the battery. There is a small switch on the front that will tell it to just power the handheld without also sending current to its internal battery. While I'm sure someone will find this useful, I don't see much point in it. You can also use this switch to leave it connected, but transferring no power at all.

There is one change Sony could have made to the BC10 that would have significantly improved it, at least in my book. The connector that plugs into the HotSync port is permanently connected to the rest of the adapter. Sony's HotSync Cable comes with a stand alone connector that lets the cradle's AC adapter be used to charge the handheld without the whole cradle. It would have been great if the BC10 also used this, as it would give you much more flexibility in recharging your handheld.

Conclusion
I can see the advantage of the BC10. If you are going on a trip, you don't have to lug along a cradle. You can also recharge your handheld in places where there are no electrical plugs. However, I think $40 is a bit much. If Sony dropped the price a bit, or if you are able to find this somewhere else at a lower price, I'd give this an unqualified endorsement.

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Overpriced

IanJD @ 5/15/2002 12:13:34 PM #
This is more than twice the price of similar devices, such as the Brando NR/T series 9V charger!? (or the m5xx AA charger) Is there some extra electronics in there besides the three-way switch?

RE: Overpriced
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:01:36 PM #
Maybe the Sony log lights up?
WAY OVERPRICED
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:02:21 PM #
I litterally bought my Landware BattPack from BLOOMINGDALES, no other, for my Palm Vx last year for ONLY $1.98. No joke, and this is also a syncing cradle too, I don't know where Sony gets the notion to sell a battery harness with a wire for $40, I can understand $20, but $40 is pure BS.
RE: WAY OVERPRICED
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/15/2002 1:06:32 PM #
Come on, there r different. By BC10 , you can "full charge" your clie and you even can run the power directly from the battery adapter without charging your built-in battery.
RE: WAY OVERPRICED
c_blue @ 5/15/2002 1:29:22 PM #
Landware doesn't make it anymore, but when in production the battpac was US $49.00

RE: WAY OVERPRICED
IanJD @ 5/15/2002 1:39:04 PM #
> Come on, there r different. By BC10 , you can
> "full charge" your clie and you even can run the
> power directly from the battery adapter without
> charging your built-in battery.

And this is useful because..?

RE: Overpriced
Altema @ 5/15/2002 3:34:48 PM #
"And this is useful because..?"

Because you could use it while enroute (as a PASSENGER!) to an all day seminar or other event, and arrive onsite with the internal battery still full. A rare occassion for anybody, but possible.

Some people would be more comfortable using it this way on the train/plane/bus, rather than hooking it up midday and letting it hang there like, like,.. well, I won't go there.

RE: Overpriced
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/16/2002 3:59:45 AM