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Pelican Starter Kit Plus Review

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Overall:

 

8.0

So-called "starter kits" typically don't provide much value for the dollar. Often, you'll buy one in order to get the carrying case or link cable that are included, and end up saddled with dozens of other accessories you'll never use.

The Pelican Starter Kit Plus for PSP, Part #PL-6024 from Pelican Accessories, is an exception to the rule. It retails for $49.99 and comes with 12 items.

Here's what you get:

  • HeadBanger Travel Case (see our review)
  • PC-to-PSP USB data transfer cable
  • Protective Screen Guard film (see our review)
  • 4 UMD disc jackets
  • System Cleaning Cloth
  • Car Charger
  • Power Brick backup battery (charger)
  • Earbud headphones
  • UMD disc cleaner
The travel case, data cable, and screen protecting film are the stars of this package. Those three items alone will allow you to keep your PSP screen free of dust and fingerprints, transfer MP3's and video clips from your PC to the PSP, and tote around the PSP unit along with 4 games and 2 memory sticks.

Meanwhile, the majority of other items are pretty useful too.

Everyone can use an extra micro-fiber cleaning cloth. Pelican has included one with this kit. It's identical to the one that comes packaged with the PSP.

The UMD disc jackets latch onto UMD game discs and cover up the open hole, so that dust and fingerprints don't creep inside.

If a game disc does end up gathering fingerprints, you can use the UMD disc cleaner to remove them. It's a funny little gadget that resembles one of those large crank-driven CD cleaners you've no-doubt seen before. Just open it up, pop in a UMD, turn the crank a couple times, and -- poof -- no more fingerprints on the UMD.

Those of you that travel frequently will be able to make use of the car charger, which plugs into an automobile's cigarette lighter and lets you recharge or play your PSP. Just don't play it while driving.

The Power Brick accessory also lets you recharge and play the PSP when the internal battery runs down. It's a bizarre little gadget that measures approximately 2-inches square. Basically, it's an external 3600mA battery. You charge it by plugging it into the AC adapter that came with the PSP. Once it's charged, you have two options: (1) plug it into the PSP, turn on the system, and play for 8 more hours, or (2) plug it into the PSP, leave the system off, and let the Power Brick recharge the internal PSP battery in less than 2 hours.

Unfortunately, in our tests, the Power Brick became extremely hot while charing, which led us to lock it away in a drawer for fear it might explode or damage the $250 PSP unit. Pelican does offer a guarantee on their products at least, which states that they'll replace your PSP if it is damaged by one of their accessories. Even so, we're not taking chances. Besides, it's not like the Power Brick is the main draw of this package.

Finally, the last item included with the kit is a pair of black earbud headphones. They're acceptable, but don't have a remote control like the standard pair does.

Ultimately, how much value you get from the Pelican Starter Kit Plus will depend on your own needs and what accessories you already own. This is a great kit for anyone that wants to pick up a travel case, data cable, and screen protector in one shot. The disc jackets and cleaning cloth are also nice bonuses. Everything else is gravy.

Right now (March/April 2005), you can get a $10-off coupon for the Pelican Starter Kit Plus at Best Buy stores. Just look for the coupon in a pamphlet located in the PSP section of the store.

3/28/2005 Frank Provo

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