i-Vox and Syncharger

The i-Vox replaces the Palm V flip cover with a digital recorder that can capture up to eight minutes of audio in 99 individual voice-memos. Five teal-coloured buttons give instant access to record, play, delete, rewind and forward functions, while a small built-in microphone and speaker provide audio in and out. All the action is controlled by a circuit board set inside the see-through flap, with power courtesy of a pair of 2032 lithium batteries.

While the i-Vox draws on none of the resources of your Palm V, it offers no real integration, either. Voice memos, for example, can't be downloaded to your host PC, or e-mailed to other users. In fact, the only advantage the i-Vox offers over a stand-alone voice recorder is that it clips onto the side of your PDA. And while the see-through styling tries hard to be aesthetically hip, design-conscious Palm V users may not be convinced.

From the same manufacturer comes the more useful Syncharger. Although the Palm V's built-in Lithium-Ion battery pack has been warmly received, mobile users quickly discovered the down-side. If your batteries fail while you're on the road, you can't simply grab a pack of AAA cells and reload - and if your recharging cradle is connected to your PC back at the office, you're stuck.

The Syncharger offers a simple and very portable solution. Modelled in the same dark-tinted plastic as the i-Vox, it clips onto the back of the Palm V and provides a battery-powered quick charge. Two standard alkaline AA cells are said to provide three full charge cycles. Connecting the Syncharger to your laptop with the included serial cable makes the unit a fully functional on-road hotsync solution. Under test, the Syncharger performed as promised, with a minor exception - though the package claims you can run your battery-dead Palm V as soon as you clip on the charger, we found the same initial-charge delay you'll experience in a deskbound cradle.i-Vox and SynchargerPrice: i-Vox $129.95 (Palm V), $120 (Palm III), Syncharger $130Supplier: Harvey NormanPhone: 1800 012 600URL: www.i-vox.com

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Phil Campbell

PC World

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