I bought my Toshiba e740 Pocket PC a little after I started flying for work. In addition to using it for standard Personal Information Management (PIM) applications such as tracking appointments and contacts, I also use it for entertainment. Some applications, such as playing music or video, can drain quite a bit of the battery during a six hour flight cross-country, and so I found myself looking for ways to keep the pocket pc charged while I was away from home. At first, I carried my AC power adapter with me to charge the pocket pc in the hotel. Later, I found another option which involves less bulk and more flexibility. The solution I found for keeping my pocket pc charged will probably work for any of a number of other devices out there, including other PDAs, cell phones, and digital cameras.

The AC adapter for Toshiba e740 is a 5 volt, 2 amp power supply. As it turns out, pretty much any 5 volt power source will work to charge the lithium ion battery in the pocket pc, as long as it does not supply too much current. Taking advantage of this fact, a number of companies have produced USB cables to charge a pocket pc. A USB port will supply 5 volts at 0.5 amps. Because the USB port supplies less current, the device will take longer to charge, but it still successfully charges. The USB cable that I bought was the miniSync from BoxWave. I like it because it automatically retracts, and it is very compact and light.

The USB adapter allows me to keep my pocket pc charged while I have my laptop with me, but my laptop isn’t always the most convenient thing to carry around. Luckily, various companies have produced other power sources with a USB port. Belkin produces a car adapter with a USB port and an AC adapter with a USB port. CoolerStar produces a 4 AA battery pack that has a USB port. These power sources give me a lot of flexibility on how to charge my pocket pc. Below, you can see a picture for these three power sources. I have no idea why CoolerStar displays their battery pack with a USB light plugged in.

By getting a USB charging cable for my pocket pc, I have a lot of options for charging my pocket pc. These options should be available to anyone who can find a USB charging cable for their device.