Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Proporta 3 in 1 Stylus


By Tim Hillebrand

Whenever I see a multi-functional device, I'm interested. Able to fit snugly in the silo of your PDA, the brushed aluminum barrel, or should I translate that to aluminium, (hmm ... it gave me a spell check error) of the Proporta 3 in 1 stylus shown in Figure A immediately caught my attention.


The simple appearance of the 3 in 1 stylus holds a few secrets. (click for larger image)

Not only does it function as a traditional stylus, but you can also remove the nylon tip to reveal a handy, refillable ballpoint pen. As hard as I try to go paperless, I'm all too often caught without a pen, trying frantically to scribble my phone number on a piece of paper with a stylus for some troglodyte unpossessed of a PDA. When will these people ever learn that it is easier to beam than to scribe? The Proporta 3 in 1 Stylus takes care of that by providing me with a pen in the form of something I already carry anyway.

The stylus and the pen are pretty obvious functions, but what's the third one? Just unscrew the top and you'll find out. It's a nice, narrow-tipped reset pin. In Figure B you can see all the functions of the 3 in 1 stylus.


The 3 in 1 stylus covers all bases with a pen, stylus, and reset pin. (click for larger image)

It just so happens that the stylus I'm testing is for an iPAQ 4155, and the tip of the stylus and the reset pin are the same dimensions. But I happen to know from experience that some reset buttons require a slender implement to fit into the reset hole.

My first PDA, before the advent of Pocket PCs, was of the Palm flavor and would only be satisfied with the reset of a paper clip, or some narrow-minded equivalent. That's where this arrangement comes in really handy and saves you from searching for that ever-elusive paper clip to use for resetting.

Happily, Proporta makes these handsome silo stuffers for all popular makes of PDAs, so if you have associates who aren't into beaming, and you're forced to use old-fashioned ink and paper from time to time, the 3 in 1 stylus will save you from having to tote a heavy pen and risk ink stains in your shirt pocket.

For all this, the Proporta 3 in 1 Stylus gets 4 out of 5 plugs. You can get the 3 in 1 for $17.95 plus shipping on Proporta's site. Enjoy.