Palm PDA Accessories for PalmZire 71: Combo Pack, USB
Multi Travel Kit, P-Arno Model 641 4-in-1 Stylus/Pen
to the web site
Zire 71 PDA; cleaning cloth & stylus work with all
other PDAs; retractable USB HotSync cable & chargers
work with some other Palm PDAs
the web site
PDA contains everything I need on a day to day basis:
telephone directory, confidential data, daily schedules,
some games to while away a few minutes here and there
(before meetings, in waiting rooms, etc.), a calculator
and a variety of utilities specific to the various kinds
of work I do. The problem is that the PDA screen gets
filthy, the stylus gets lost, the battery runs low when
I'm miles away from the HotSync cradle and the last time
I looked closely, the Graffiti area was starting to get
all scratched. My Palm Zire 71 needs help. That's where
Styrite's Palm Zire 71 Combo Pack, USB Multi Travel Kit
and P-Arno Stylus/Pen come in.
package consists of a Styfilm clear screen protector,
a P-Arno model 661 3-in-1 Stylus/Pen, a retractable USB
HotSync connector (also used to connect the PDA to optional
chargers), and a Styrite Magic Cloth specifically designed
for PDA screens.
most interesting part of the package is the Styfilm clear
screen protector. That's right - I said clear. Untextured.
Not like the textured WriteRight product from Fellowes
which is the only product on the market that can turn
the superb Zire 71 display into just another average
screen. Begone WriteRight! The Styfilm screen protector
is crystal clear and visually undistorted. We used Palm
Reader with the protector in place for hours with no
eye strain or visual fatigue. The only problem we encountered
was that the protector scratched somewhat easier in the
Graffiti area than competing products.
The P-Arno 661 Stylus/Pen also proved to be a worthy contender;
among the best in its class actually. It's short, has an
integrated pocket clip, is available is several colors,
has a grippy matte finish, and is tipped at each end (ballpoint
pen and stylus tip at opposite ends of the tube). Pull
off the top to get at the built in reset pin. This stylus
looks good, grips well, writes well and is easy to control
when printing Graffiti. That's the most important feature
of the design: ease of control. Although it's not designed
to fit into the stylus storage slot, it's clearly superior
to the one really bad thing about the Zire - the truly
awful standard stylus (a skinny, gloss finish, hard-to-grip
piece of plastic junk). This P-Arno model is among the
better stylus/pen combos we've tested.
The retractable USB HotSync cable is simple and works
properly. Best of all, unlike some other Zire 71 accessories
on the market right now, the business end of the cable
locks securely into place on the Zire. There are a number
of accessory devices on the market right now which do not
lock properly on the Zire, a serious problem which is generating
a huge amount of discussion on the Palm message boards.
Buy this cable with confidence. The soft rubber insulation
coating on the wire itself withstood all of the carelessness
usually associated with cables stuffed into briefcases,
automobile cup holders and so on.
The Styrite Magic Cloth seems to work effectively when
cleaning typical dust and other detritus from the PDA screen.
It's not particularly absorbent however, so you may be
better off using recommended cleaning solution and a cloth
designed for coated eyeglasses when it comes to removing
spatter, oils and other stuff from the screen. But for
general clean up of loose particles without building up
static charge (which attracts more dust) the Magic Cloth
works just fine.
USB Multi Travel Kit
The kit is designed for PDA users who spend a lot of time
away from home or office. The kit includes three items:
a retractable USB HotSync charging cable, a USB AC wall
charger and a USB car charger. Both chargers connect to
the Zire via the retractable USB HotSync cable. We were
pleased to see that both chargers are solidly built. We
dropped both items repeatedly onto hard floors (vinyl tile,
hardwood and cement sidewalk) with no ill effects.
P-Arno model 641 4-in-1 Stylus Pen
This device is more novel than practical. On the other
hand, every time someone notices the thing when we're using
it, we get asked to explain it. The barrel of the stylus/pen
contains four retractables: red ballpoint, black ballpoint,
PDA stylus and a mechanical pencil. Spare pencil leads
are stored in the pusher cap. The device works by gravity
- hold it horizontally, rotate the pen until one of the
tip selections is on top, then activate your choice with
the pusher. Press the retraction button located on top
of the pocket clip to withdraw the tip. We've seen these
devices before and although Styrite's version offer a slightly
slimmer profile it's still a bit bulky for everyday use.
However, it's yet another stylus/pen offering from Styrite
that's made from decent materials (turned aluminum in this
case), provides a pleasant grip for effective control when
writing or when printing Graffiti, and seems to be very
durable. It is not cheap plastic and we think you'll tire
of it long before you wear it out. That's a compliment.
Cons: We really like the clear screen protector but for
one thing: while its clear transparency provides an excellent,
undistorted screen view, the surface is too soft. Significant
use of the Graffiti area will rapidly result in a protector
surface that is so badly scratched that Graffiti input
becomes problematic. That means you've got to change the
screen protector quite often - once a week in my case.
Pros: Oh that Styfilm clear screen protector - a little
more surface durability and you can kiss the ridiculously
expensive Fellowes WriteRight protectors goodbye forever.
The P-Arno 661 Stylus/Pen is very good, small enough to
store easily, but large enough to grip and use effectively,
an excellent balance between size and effectiveness. The
chargers and retractable HotSync/charger connector cable
are extremely well made and survived repeated drops and
other mishaps. If you're looking for some truly usable
accessories for your Palm Zire 71, look no farther. Recommended.
Letters to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public. Send e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org