One accessories for my Pocket PC I don't want miss anymore is my Stowaway foldable keyboard I used to use with my Compaq iPAQ H3600. Unfortunately Compaq changed the connector on the the bottom for its new H3800 series, that I wasn't able for a longer time to use the keyboard with my H3870 iPAQ. Thanks to Jason Dunn and Think Outside, I got the new and required adapter last month, that I can use my keyboard with my H3870 again. :-)
So how does the adapter works and fits to the new iPAQ?
The adapter is plugged onto the keyboard connector, a guide mark on the adaptor assists with insertion of the adaptor. After you plugged it - which is a little bit difficult the first 2, 3 times - you can plug the iPAQ H3800 on top. That's it!
The iPAQ is located a little bit higher now, which isn't a real problem in the daily usage. To be honest, I feel more comfortable with the new position, I think the display is better visible now.
It also works perfect - as before without the adapter - with any jacket. In that case I've tested the heaviest one, the Compaq Wireless Pack and it fits perfect. Also all the other expansion packs like the CF card of PC card aren't a problem, even if it looks on the first sight, that the pillar on the back site wouldn't fits.
The adapter includes a power plug on the left side for the H3600 series iPAQ charger. With that plug, you can charge/run your iPAQ without using the battery. The plug accepts all chargers from the previous H3600/H3700 series as well as accessories like Electric Fuel's Instant Power. The adapter also works stand alone for charging, this is very interesting because otherwise you have to carry the iPAQ power adapter with you too, if you want to charge your H3800 without the cradle.
What I miss is a solution to carry the adapter with the keyboard in a save way, without losing it. If you put it in your pocket only, I'm sure anytime it is gone. So I will attach a Velcro tape on the back side of the adapter and on the closed keyboard to attach the adapter. This should beware me of losing it (I will keep you updated ;-).
A word if the adapter works with other iPAQ H3600 series accessories too. Yes, it seems so, even if you don't get the full functionality. I've tested the adapter with my Pharos GPS receiver and after some fumble I was able to attach the GPS antenna to the adapter. However, the iPAQ wasn't charged through the cable. Also the adapter doesn't snap into the the iPAQ, it's just a plain adapter without any mechanics. So it works but it's not the best solution.
If you already own a iPAQ 3600 series Stowaway keyboard, you can order the adapter for US$ 9,95 through the Think Outside online shop. If you want to buy a new foldable keyboard, you can order it for US$ 99,00 too through the Think Outside online shop. In that case the adapter is already included.
Don't order the keyboard via Amazon.com (see the note from the Amazon.com web site): An adapter is available that will allow the Targus Stowaway Portable Keyboard for Compaq iPAQ Pocket PCs to support newer iPAQ models in the 3800 series. This adapter is not for sale, and it is not packaged.
The adapter is more than useful if you want to enter longer texts onto your Compaq H3800 series iPAQ. The keyboard by itself is one of the best accessories available for Pocket PCs and other PDAs today. The price of US$ 9,95 is more than fair, specially because it's not Think Outside's fault that an adapter is required.
Cheers ~ Arne
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