There wasn't much missing from the HandEra 330 when it came out, perhaps because it had so many groundbreaking features to begin with: a 320 x 240 screen, a stunning backlight, both CF and SD card slots, a shrinkable Graffiti area, toggle navigation, simple reset button, a gaggle of fonts, and the ability to record and playback voice memos. What could be missing? Well, USB HotSync, and a rechargeable battery would be nice.
I'm happy to report that the latter need has been met with the release of the HandEra Power Options bundle, which includes a Lithium-ion battery pack and an AC adapter for US$79.95. They're available separately as well, in case you want an extra, but if you want the battery, you're going to want the AC adapter so you can charge it up.
There's only one modification necessary to the Handera 330, and that's removing a header inside the battery compartment. It's clear this was planned all along, because this little piece of plastic and metal (which allows the four batteries to connect and pass current), has a special release tab, not unlike the tab you pull back to release the door. With this out of the way, you just drop the battery pack in as you would put the door in, and you're in business.
One thing to note: if your 330's battery has drained completely, always remember that to get it to come back on again, you have to press the reset button, or you'll think it's just up and died on you. A simple reset works just fine.
Charging can be done either with the built-in power jack or by plugging the AC adapter into the serial cradle connector. The AC power supply will actually run the device whether you use Alkalines or the battery pack-or even nothing at all. Power is bypassed in favor of the fresh incoming current, leaving the batteries for when they're needed.
As for weight, the battery pack actually makes the 330 lighter. Four AAA batteries weigh 1.7 ounces, and the battery pack is 1.3. And the power seems to last a lot longer, as far as I can tell. The icon displayed is different, indicating that the Lithium-ion pack is in place with its three gaps toward the bottom of the battery, indicative of the three contacts used to connect the battery inside the unit. When charging or under AC adapter power, a small plug icon appears, and the unit's green LED lights (flashing for charging, solid for charged).
If you've joined the happy ranks of HandEra 330 users, you'll be even more pleased with this upgrade.
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