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Treo 800w & Treo Pro Car Charger & Wall Charger

Wall Charger & Car Charger for Treo 800w & Treo Pro Are Not All Created Equal


As we all know most of our new gadgets including the Treo Pro, Treo 800w as well as most Bluetooth Headsets can now be charged using standard miniUSB and microUSB cables and wall as well as car chargers.

Having said this, the thing that I didn’t fully understand until recently is that not all USB chargers are created equal.  The main difference relates to the actual Milliamp (mA) output that these charger provide as the higher the mA output rating is the faster your device will charge.

With this in mind I decided to have a look at all the microUSB chargers currently on sale in the Treo Store for the 800w and Pro to see exactly what the differences are.  Below are the results of my interesting findings:

1000mA – Palm International Travel Charger – $39.95
Palm-travel-chargerI have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the standard Palm USB wall charger actually has the highest output with a full 1000mA.  It’s evidently not the cheapest but this model conveniently includes three interchangeable power plugs for Europe, the UK and Australia and naturally will charge your smartphone some 20–40% faster than with the other chargers below.

850mA – Motorola MicroUSB Rapid Travel Charger – $19.95
Motorola-Rapid-Travel-ChargerGiven its higher (compared to the others below) 850mA output rating I guess that the Motorola MicroUSB Rapid Travel Charger probably offers the best value – particularly if most of your charging takes place in the US.

700mA – SPE Travel Charger MicroUSB – $14.95
Even though this wall charger from SPE is only rated with an output of 700mA, its price nonetheless makes it the most affordable charger for your smartphone.

700mA – LG Travel Charger – $24.95
700mA – BlackBerry MicroUSB Travel Charger – $19.95
700mA – BlackBerry MicroUSB International Travel Charger – $34.95

Given my top selections, the remaining three wall chargers listed above all seem to offer rather poor overall value – both because of their price as well as their low 700mA output rating so I basically will not even both to look at them.

Motorola-Car-ChargerSeparately, in terms of car chargers the issue is slightly simpler as all of the available models are essentially limited to an output of 500mA.  Having said this, my top choice based on price is the terrific and rather beautifully designed Motorola MicroUSB High Performance Car Charger ($14.95) as well as the ultrasmall and ultralight (but more expensive at $29.95) Palm Vehicle Power Charger.

Sync-charge-cableAdditionally, you should also be aware that the actual mA capacity of cables such as my favourite SPE MicroUSB Retractable Sync & Charge Cable are entirely dependent on the output of the source (for example your PC) and not the cable itself.  A laptop will typically provide you with some 500mA while a USB wall adapter will provide up to 1000mA.

Treonauts are always fully charged

Posted by Andrew on December 5, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Treo 800w Accessories

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by anson | Dec 5, 2008 2:03:41 PM

In your consideration of chargers, did you consider the rate at which a Lithium Ion battery _accepts_ a charge? Is there in fact any difference between a 1000ma charger and a 500ma charger? As I understand it, LIon batteries charge in 4 stages, each governed by the charger's charging control circuit. Do any of the chargers mentioned in the article have such circuits?

by rzabel | Dec 5, 2008 5:45:38 PM

I have a SPE sync and charge cable for my Treo 650 that I used with a Ziplink charger. When I purchased a new Treo Pro, I also purchased a new SPE sync and charge cable for the micro USB, but when I tried to use the Ziplink charger, it didn't work. Why?

by Cameron | Dec 6, 2008 12:43:17 PM

Li-ion and Li-polymer batteries are still pretty sensitive to charge and discharge rates and need to be controlled via a computer chip. Charging them faster by pumping more power into them can have the adverse effect of shortening their lifespan. The units charge controller will limit (or should) the incoming charge to the recommended level. So if the battery charges at 600mA there will be no advantage in using a 1000mA charger.

That said, I have no idea what the charge level is for a Treo battery or the hardware/software that Palm is using to control the charge/cool the battery...so maybe the most powerful charger is the way to go.

by Adam | Dec 8, 2008 5:07:56 PM

the palm VPA actually outputs at 1000mA, 500mA. this article should be adjusted to reflect that correction.

by Dustcarts | Mar 29, 2011 8:38:57 AM

When you buy an iPhone you soon realize that you need an iPhone car charger and this article will give you some tips on chargers you can use for your iPhone in your auto. Before you buy an iPhone charger, you will have to check specifications with the dealer though.

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