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Seidio Multi-function Charger Mount & Light Stylus

03rd July 2003

 Review by Dave Burrows

  

When you first take the Seidio Multi-function Charger Mount out of the box, if you haven't seen one up close, you'll instantly like the look of it.  Aesthetically it looks nice, very stylish and looks like it's built to withstand a lot of knocking.  Don't get me wrong, it's not heavy, on the contrary it's about the weight of a Pocket PC, but the edges are finished off nicely, where there's a hole that isn't required a bung is put in place, it just looks a well finished product.

The multimedia mount comes in two colour flavours, one a dark gray, and one a silver.  Although the silver version looks really snazzy and wins my vote, when you have one of each colour and you can place them in car you'll soon get to love the dark gray version as it tends to blend in with the dashboard nicely which usually consists of dark colours.

There are two available mounts, a windscreen suction cup mount and a dashboard mount, the ones we are reviewing here include the windscreen mount.  The windscreen arm is a long arm, and has a huge suction cup, the strength of the suction cup is among the better suction cups I have had the pleasure of testing and although the weight of the mount and Pocket PC will be heavy, there shouldn't be any reason why the suction mount can't hold the weight hanging from it.  Now due to weight problems I have had in the past with other companies mounts, I must say I always like resting these style of mounts on the dashboard, as this absorbs shake and vibration when going over bumps in the road and also takes less stress off of the suction cup and the windscreen.  However the Seidio Multi-function Charger Mount cannot be placed directly on a dashboard (in it's vertical position) because there is an integrated cable coming out of the bottom of the mount, and depending on which options you use one or two USB style cables will also come plug into the bottom of the mount, which makes this a little difficult.  You could angle this mount to a 45 degree angle (backwards), but this takes up length on the suction arm which means that you need to place it further away from you and closer to the windscreen which also attracts more light and reflection to the Pocket PC. 

 

I like the plugs and sockets used on the Seidio mount, they are superb quality, but I think these sockets should have had an inlet into the base/back part of the mount and allowed them to hide all of the plug and just leave part of the cable hanging out, this would allow it to easily be positioned into a vertical position and rested on a dashboard.

The arms have a ratchet system and have lots of teeth, I would say hundreds but that probably isn't true, but the teeth are so fine, you can pull the arms in just a millimetre or two to gain that extra bit of grip, so you shouldn't have an issue gripping any type of item whether it's a Pocket PC, an MP3 player or a large phone. The walls of the arms have foam pads attached, this is where many manufacturers slip up as the foam inserts they include are usually small and really do not help in gripping the device that sits in the mount, Seidio have excelled here, the foam pads are about 1cm wide and they're not that flimsy foam that reduces to nothing when pushed against a device, they consist of hard foam which helps keep your device steady at all times.


The best part of all is this mount is a multimedia mount. It has an internal speaker that can be seen on the rear, and this is not one of those weak speakers that we're all accustomed to.  This speaker is loud!  It's so loud, even with the engine running and driving on small roads you can't have the volume at it's loudest because it's too loud.  This speaker allows you to plug your Pocket PC or MP3 player in and rather than have to contend with broadcasting your navigation directions or music over the FM radio band to your car stereo and pickup all the interference that may occur, the Seidio Multimedia Mount allows you to just play it through the integrated speaker. This is superb!  All you have to do is run the supplied 3.5mm jack lead from the headphone socket on your Pocket PC or MP3 player to the top SPK socket on the mount and adjust the volume and you're in business.

On the bottom of the mount in the middle you have the integrated car charger cable, it would have been nice is this was removable, as I always hate leads that cannot be easily replaced if they break as I tend to always be heavy handed with things in-car.  To the left there's a Handsfree USB socket, combined with the USB to Phone lead, you can turn your phone into a hands free phone (cables supplied separately from Seidio).

To the right of this you have the Charger USB socket. Combined with the supplied USB to Pocket PC lead, this will supply power to your Pocket PC and charge it at the same time. On the top left of the mount there is also a DC jack socket that can be used to charge another device like a Bluetooth GPS Receiver, or just another Pocket PC if you're lucky to have more than one.

The Seidio mount really does feel that it's been built well.  Seidio currently offer two lengths of windscreen suction mount, an 8" which is the standard one offered, or you can purchase a 14" long windscreen suction mount.  There are also two further options available, a vent mount and a 3M multi-angle dashboard mount.

 

New Swivel Adaptor

Seidio have just released a new Swivel Adaptor which allows you to mount the Swivel Adaptor between the mount and cradle and allows you to swivel the PDA in a 360 degree motion.  This is something that is lacking on most mount solutions, and it's good to see Seidio hard at work here to offer such a huge selection of options for their Multimedia Mount.  The swivel mount works well, and once locked in place, and you have adjusted the tension screw, you'll find you can lock the swivel mount in place or have it slightly loose to rotate the PDA when you need to

 

Mount Options Available

The great thing with the Seidio mount is it should enable you to fit it inside any car.  How many times have you purchased a mount to find it doesn't fit snugly against your vent or on your dashboard and you've sent it back ?  With Seidio mount options, this should be a thing of the past!

 

8" Super Strong Suction Windshield Pedestal

With eight inches of gooseneck, the pedestal is perfect for most cars. This is the best windshield pedestal available - innovative design and engineering. The Super Strong Suction cup can easily hold up to 22 lbs from the windshield. When applied correctly, this windshield pedestal can securely hold your PDA and mount solidly and attractively.
This pedestal can be easily attached to the windshield and can be removed from vehicle to vehicle. The cradle can also be easily detached from the pedestal and stored in the global box or on the car floor when you park.

This windshield pedestal can also work with SEIDIO’s exclusive swivel adaptor.

14" Super Strong Suction Windshield Pedestal

The 14” long windshield pedestal solution is ideal for trucks, vans, and passenger cars with windshield, far back from the lip of the dash. This is the best windshield mount available – innovative design and engineering. The Super Strong Suction cup (14”) can easily hold up to 22 lbs from the windshield. When applied correctly, this windshield pedestal can securely hold your PDA and mount solidly and attractively.
This pedestal can be easily attached to the windshield and can be removed from vehicle to vehicle. The cradle can also be easily detached from the pedestal and stored in the global box or on the car floor when you park.

This windshield pedestal can also work with SEIDIO’s exclusive swivel adaptor.

Multi-Angel Pedestal
This Multi-Angle 1” Adhesive Dash/Console Pedestal can be adjusted in nearly every direction and the flexible pedestal base conforms to the shape of your dash and console. It uses 3M double side adhesive stick (3.75 inch x 2.25 inch) to install. This is a popular method of installation, although screws are included if a more permanent installation is desired. The cradle can also be easily detached from the pedestal for storage purposes.
Locking Vent Clip Pedestal
This locking vent clip pedestal comes with two locking clips and one hinged support arm on the back that can angle the unit up. The combination of locking clips and a hinged support arm ensures the pedestal’s firm attachment to the air conditioning vent of your vehicle. The installation is simple and convenient.

This pedestal can be easily attached to the vent and can be removed from vehicle to vehicle. The mount can also be easily detached from the pedestal and stored in the global box or on the car floor when you park.

This locking vent clip pedestal can works with SEIDIO’ exclusive swivel adaptor.
Swivel Adaptor
The swivel mount is a unique design.  It sits between the PDA holder and the windscreen or vent mount allowing you to not only allow the pedestal to hang from the vent or from the windscreen, but with the addition of the swivel mount, you can now turn the PDA in a 360 degree motion which makes it great if you have an application that switches your PDA into landscape format!
  • Offers side to side movement or 360 degree swivel rotation
  • Allows your PDA to be positioned at every possible angle for the best viewing and GPS reception
  • Allows both the driver and the passenger to see the maps of the GPS system
  • Reduce the windscreen (sun) glare for clear viewing of GPS maps

 

Problems Encountered ?

  • One negative aspect I can really see from this mount is not being able to rest this on the dashboard. In a sense if the cables that fit the bottom had come with a right angle fitted plug, then this would have helped a little. Perhaps something for a later design ?

  • The standard cable supplied with the 3800/3900 models aren't quite long enough to fit a Compaq 5450 for audio use, but Seidio do offer a longer cable for 5450 users, so if you own a 5450 make sure you do order this type from Seidio's online store.

 

Seidio Light Stylus

The Seidio Light Stylus is my latest toy, and it's something I can't put down.  It's a replacement stylus for your Pocket PC, but no ordinary stylus.  It's a nicely finished silver stylus with a black twist top and a clear perspex nib and this fits your current stylus home quite nicely, and not only is a good replacement for your lost stylus, but if you twist the top of the stylus, it lights up and allows you to read what your typing on the Pocket PC. 

 

One thing I do a lot when travelling is to conserve battery power, and this usually means dropping the backlight down to it's lowest setting or turning the backlight out completely.  That way I conserve battery power until I can get to a power source, but it's always hard to read, so if you're on a train, your constantly angling the Pocket PC to get some light to reflect on screen and it makes life difficult, especially if you're trying to read or type on screen. 

 

With the light stylus, you just turn on the light in the stylus and all the light shines down through the nib and onto the Pocket PC screen.  Perfect! 

 

 

Comments ?

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