MultiPivot PDA Accessory
Reviewed by: Jack Reikel, send e-mail
Published by: CyberKnight LLC, go to the web site
Requires: Can be used with most PalmOS or PocketPC PDAs, GPS units, GameBoy Advance, many MP3 players, calculators, TV remote control devices, small electronic meters and multimeters
MSRP: $19.95

I dropped a Handspring Prism the other day. Needless to say, a drop on-edge from about 3 feet (1 meter) onto concrete destroyed one side of the case, cracked the screen and rendered the device inoperable. I had been using the PDA as a reference while typing on a laptop. Someone called me, I turned, bumped the laptop which bumped the Prism which tumbled over the edge of the desk on which everything was placed. Bye bye Prism. I had already received the MultiPivot PDA accessory for review when this accident took place and immediately wished I had been using it.

The MultiPivot is a simple device designed to hold a PDA, MP3 player or other small device, propping it up at different angles on a desk or shelf, or securing it to different surfaces while displaying it at a particular angle. The MultiPivot consists of three flat aluminum plates. The plates are connected by a lockable axle which is loosened and tightened by two thumbscrews. Attach a device to the MultiPivot by means of supplied, adhesive backed Velcro patches. MultiPivot's manufacturer, CyberKnight, provides an extra velcro patch which can be used to secure the MultiPivot itself to different surfaces.

Getting used to the MultiPivot takes a bit of time. Although the device is quite sturdy enough for most regular use, avoid overtightening the locking thumbscrews or you'll strip their threads quickly. Remembering to use the MultiPivot in the first place is something else to worry about - old, bad habits die hard apparently. It took about three weeks to become accustomed to the differences between a 'bare' PDA and one attached to a MultiPivot. After placing a patch of velcro (being careful not to cover the reset hole) on a new Sony Clie TG50 (the replacement for my Visor Prism) I was able to attach it to the MultiPivot vertically, horizontally and set it for a variety of different viewing angles. Locking the device position was a simple matter of tightening the pivot axle thumbscrews. One of the aluminum plates on the device has a curled edge which I found hooked nicely onto the upper edge of a copy holder next to my monitor, making it easy for me to transcribe notes from the PDA.

I am getting enough use out of the MultiPivot in enough different locations that I decided to hit the local fabric store for some additional velcro. With additional desktop patches at home and at my office, the MultiPivot can be used securely everywhere I need it.

Cons: The edge finishing on our review unit was good but not great. A little more polishing is needed to really smooth things. Although the MultiPivot can be configured to hang on your belt with the PDA attached, we don't recommend this sort of carry because it's too easy for the PDA to get caught on the edge of a door or other object and be stripped off the velcro and onto the ground. Use of the MultiPivot perched or semi-clamped to the top of a laptop screen (as suggested in the product documentation) is also a questionable practice. The documentation is poorly laid out and crowded onto both sides of a single sheet of paper using a rather small font in order to get everything in.

Pros: It works as advertised. I've been using MultiPivot for weeks on my desk and in the car and it hasn't failed. My Clie does not reflect glare from ceiling lights into my eyes anymore while I'm working at my desk because the PDA is now always supported at a proper reading angle. The MultiPivot is one of those things that you don't think you need until you get one, after which you find all sorts of uses for it. If you're constantly placing your PDA or MP3 player on flat surfaces, try the MultiPivot.

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