One of the official accessories designed exclusively for use with the Sony mylo 2 (COM-2) is the charging cradle (COMP-CR1), which is advertised as a "simple and convenient solution for charging and powering" the personal communicator.
The cradle is true to its name and literally does nothing but charge the mylo. Since this task can already be performed by the AC adapter included with the device, some could balk at the cradle’s $30 asking price. Read my full review below to find out if you would too.
Like the Sony Walkman cradle, the mylo 2 cradle is packaged simply in a hard plastic blister pack. There’s not much to say about the presentation except that I find the orange accent a little eye-catching and that "what you see is what you get" is appropriate here. This is because nothing but operating instructions are included.
The required AC adapter is not supplied with the cradle; you need to use the one that came with the mylo 2.
Weighing approximately 2.4 ounces, the mylo cradle is fashioned largely out of black plastic and measures about 5.25 x 2.25 x 3.25 inches.
What most will probably notice first about the cradle are those metal "wings" attached to both sides of the circular unit. Curiously, they serve absolutely no purpose and are not retractable, making the cradle much larger than it needs to be.
Build quality isn’t exactly up to par with what I usually associate with Sony, but it’s perfectly adequate for its purpose. The unit is lighter than expected and feels a little cheap in hand, but for something that will likely just sit next to a computer or on a table, I suppose it doesn’t matter.
In contrast to the matte plastic used on the front of the cradle, the sides and back are covered in a glossy shell. Also on the back is the power jack, which is actually the only port on the unit.
Just as an official accessory designed for a specific device should, the charging cradle fits the mylo 2 perfectly.
After the notch at the bottom of the mylo is set onto the matching tab on the cradle, a gentle push on the top corners of the device clicks it into place.
The two recessed gold strips (those capsule-looking things on the left) located on the back of the mylo COM-2 are the charging cradle connectors. When they touch the gold prongs that protrude when the mylo is seated in the cradle, the two pieces are properly connected.
The cradle is designed in such a way that most of the mylo’s ports and controls are accessible.
At the top is a dedicated cut-out for the mini USB port, as well as openings for the camera shutter button and headset connector. The mylo’s power jack is covered (it’s between the mini USB and headset ports), which obviously makes sense given the point of the cradle.
Aside from the Memory Stick Duo slot, which is obstructed by the useless metal rail, the hardware controls on the right side of the mylo are readily accessible.
Everything but the lanyard loop on the left are within easy reach as well.
The mylo charging cradle does exactly what its name implies: it charges the mylo. It does nothing else.
The device can be used while the removable battery is charging, which is why Sony attributes both "charging and powering" functions to the cradle, but I wouldn’t call that an additional capability.
Does mylo 2 owners need the charging cradle? Probably not. It’s unnecessarily large (those metal rails should’ve been retractable) and essentially just a wall charger in a different shape. It’s also more expensive than it probably should be (though a spare AC adapter costs the same) and doesn’t come with the charger required for it to work.
But just because we don’t need it doesn’t mean we don’t want it! Such is the life of a gadget addict.