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MemPlug Dual CF and CF + Memory Stick Expansion Sleeves for iPAQ
$49.99 and 79.99
by Lisa Gade, Editor-in-Chief

Sleeves seem to be the latest cottage industry in PDA land. Heck, even the HP Jornada 560 and Casio E-200 have jumped on the bandwagon with slide-on expansion devices that allow you to use PC cards and extended batteries. But let's face it, the iPAQ expansion sleeve system is one of the iPAQ's strongest selling points. If you're a power user, the myriad devices and expansion cards you can use via sleeves is fantastic. These sleeves aren't always cheap, but the new MemPlug expansion sleeves from Portable Innovation Technology are affordable and an exceptionally good value. Not only that, they've got a slim profile thanks to their clever design: one CF slot is at the top, while the 2nd expansion card goes in the side so that there's no bulky overlap of slots.

The sleeves work with all iPAQs that can use sleeves, including the 3900 series (we tested it!). Both models come with a protective plastic insert for the top slot which fits snuggly and flush with the sleeve surface. The sleeves have the same notches as the Compaq Cover Pack and Plus Sleeves, so you can use the screen cover from these (righty and lefty) with the MemPlugs.

There are no internal batteries in these sleeves, if you need extra power for IBM Microdrives and power hungry type II networking cards, see the Compaq Plus line of expansion sleeves, which have internal Lithium Ion batteries in our sleeves article. However, the lack of a battery in these sleeves does help keep their cost and size down. Both sleeves are the same size and are a bit slimmer than the Compaq Expansion Plus Sleeve (see picture below).

You won't need to install any drivers for these sleeves: just slip your iPAQ in the sleeve and you're off!

Dual Compact Flash Sleeve

The $49 US Dual Compact Flash model has two Compact Flash card slots. There's a type II slot at the top, and a second type I slot on the left side of the sleeve. The type II slot worked fine with WiFi network cards and the IBM Microdrive. The side slot only works with type I memory cards (no type II or I/O).

the 2 MemPlug iPAQ expansion sleeve models

Left: MemPlug dual CF, right MemPlug CF + Memory Stick iPAQ sleeves. There's one slot at the top and a second slot you can see on the right side.

comparing sleeve size
Compaq's CF Plus Expansion Sleeve, left, and the slightly thinner MemPlug right


Memory Stick/Compact Flash Sleeve

This $79.99 US sleeve has a type II slot up top that works with all the type II accessories we threw at it. The left side midway down, when viewed from the front holds the Memory Stick. It worked well with our Sony Clié's Memory Sticks and ones used in digital cameras. If you've got a Sony digicam and have a desire to use your iPAQ as a slide-viewer for your digital pictures, this will do the trick.


How can you go wrong? These sleeves are well made, sturdy, require no drivers and are very affordable. Only if you need some extra battery in your sleeve will you be less than happy with these.

Portable Innovation Technology,
Where to buy: CompUSA stores and online



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