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Rhinoskin
www.handheld-cases.com

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The Price:
  • $50
The Pros:
  • Provides good protection
  • Sliding design makes for easy use
  • Allows access to stylus
  • m500 version allows access to IR port

The Cons:
  • Increases the size of the Palm
  • Clié version blocks IR port

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Rhinoskin Aluminum Slider Cases Review
By Ed Hardy
7/5/2001


Overview
The Rhinoskin aluminum slider cases are designed to hold a handheld almost all the time. Their covers slide around to the back when open so the handheld can still be easily used without having to completely remove it from the case.

Aluminum Palm V/m500/m505 Slider
This version of the Slider case opens to the side like a book but, unlike a book, the cover slides around the side and onto the back.

It has an opening at the top for the infrared port so you can still beam without taking the Palm out of the case. There is also one on the side to remove the stylus.

For the nitty gritty details, this case is 4.875 by 3.375 by 0.625 inches and weighs only 2.9 ounces.

Inside is some neoprene padding to hold the Palm in place and give a measure of protection in case of accident. I'm not sure exactly how much protection this case would give if, for example, you dropped it down the stairs. But it's rigid frame certainly will protect your Palm if someone stepped or sat on it.

As for appearance, both of these cases are rigidly functional. They are unadorned brushed aluminum rectangles without a curve to be found and just a small Rhinoskin logo on the front. If you like the simple look, you'll like them.

Actually, my only complaint in reference to this case isn't really with the case at all. In order for my m505 to fit properly into it, the leather flip cover that came with it must be removed. This turned out to be a job about as tough as Hercules cleaning out the Augean stables. The damn cover was in there so tight I almost had to rip the thing apart in order to remove it. Before you buy one of these, I suggest you try removing your flip cover. If can't, you won't be able to use this hard case.

Aluminum Sony Clié Slider
This case is similar to the previous one but instead of opening sideways, it opens downward. The cover still slides around to the back, though. It is 4.75 by 3.125 by .875 inches and weighs about 4 ounces.

According to Rhinoskin, this case is only supposed to fit the S320. However, I was able to use it with the N710C I have on loan with only one problem. In order to be put into the case, the N710C needs to have its flip cover removed. Once this is off, a MemoryStick in its slot actually protrudes slightly above the top of the handheld. This means the padding inside the case pushes down on the MemoryStick constantly.

To make a long story short, in order to put the N710C into this case, you have to take out the MemoryStick. There isn't a way to use the handheld and MemoryStick together inside the case. If you are just going to use this case occasionally, perhaps while travelling, this isn't any big deal. But for everyday use, this is a deal killer.

I don't know whether to qualify this as a big drawback or not. This case isn't designed to be used the way I'm trying to use it so I probably shouldn't complain too much. Unfortunately, I don't have a Sony PEG-S320 to test it with so I can't tell you whether it will have the same issue with its MemoryStick.

Because the clasp is on the top, it doesn't have an infrared slot. It does have one to allow access to the stylus. There is also an opening that allows use of the Jog Dial on the S320. On the N710C the Jog Dial is blocked but the earphones can be plugged in.

For an extra $13, you can buy a add-on for these cases that will allow you to clip them onto your belt. I didn't get one of these so I can't comment on how secure it is.

Conclusion
The sliding case is a nifty idea and I understand why Rhinoskin has applied for a patent on it. Your typical hardcase's cover is in the way if you try to use the Palm still in its case but this isn't true with these. This allows you to keep the Palm in the case most of the time. It still needs to be removed to be put in the cradle, though.

Both of these cases do have the same drawback that all hardcases do: they increase the size of the handheld you are carrying around. But if you take a look at the Palm Graveyard, you'll see that bad things happen to good Palms. Many of these tragedies could have been prevented by a good case. So perhaps for you the tradeoff is worth it.

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A few questions....

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 11:02:19 AM #
I have a couple of questions. Is it possible to use the Universal Connector on the bottom with the m500 series case on? I have a hard case on order from Palm, but it seems like it's going to take forever to get it. Is this a better case?

RE: A few questions....
Ed @ 7/5/2001 11:18:08 AM #
The serial ports on both handhelds are totally enclosed so no peripherals of any kind that use the serial port can be used.

I went out to the Palm Store and didn't see a hard case listed for the m500 series. Could you post a URL for the case you are referring to? In any case, unless the cover of the one you have ordered can fold around the the back, odds are I'll recommend the Slider case.

---
News Editor
Palm Infocenter

RE: Any Other Hard Cases?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 11:23:50 AM #
has anyone else seen any other hard cases available on other sites? i went and took a look at the rhinoskin slider for the m500 series... the problem is its way too bulky, the palm doesn't stay in there too good, plus you have to remove it from the case to put an sd card in, and if there is any pressure on the case it turns on the palm.

i am looking towards the molded cases... does anyone know or can recommend a case else where other then rhinoskin.com?

any help would be much appreciated.

~e

RE: A few questions....
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 11:49:52 AM #
it looks ugly

RE: A few questions....
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 9:39:14 PM #
Hey Ed, I'm replying to my original post. The hard case I was referring to is the one I ordered from Palm back in March when I preordered my m505. They have never had it on their website, and aren't taking orders anymore over the phone. Sometimes they will send me emails about the status, but it's always one of those automated things. Anyway, that's the case and I really hate how I have that crappy leather flap and my case is already scratched. I WANT MY HARD CASE!


I have one, don't you get one.

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 11:57:52 AM #
I bought one. It was dissapointing. Pressure will make the button turn on and it has real sharp corners that will cut a hole in your pocket inside a day. Not to mention the fact that it makes my dainty m505 into a PocketPC sized behemoth.

I think this case is strickly for those inclined to carry a purse, or who would keep it in thier backpack. (But then if thats where you keep your PDA, buy a pocketpc or something because, for my money, the reason why you buy a m505 is because you can keep it in your pocket.)

I would pay big bucks to get a molded palm made hardcase like I had for for my Vx. I really really miss my hardcase for the Vx. Almost enough to make me go back. (I got a guy in the office who won't buy a 500 series untill they start selling a decent hardcase for the 500.)

RE: I have one, don't you get one.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2001 8:36:35 AM #
I agree, the slider is abit of an eyesore for the 505.
But if they bring out a moulded hardcase then I'll be near the front of the queue.

My only complaint is that I could never find a decent beltcase to carry it around, the Rhinoskin belt case was a bit naff and started looking tatty very quickly, also as it was the saem case as for the slider it was bit too big.

RE: I have one, don't you get one.
c_blue @ 7/6/2001 12:29:23 PM #
Agree with you guys... I have it for my Vx.. I think Rhinosking just add M50X series to the model name without customizing it for them,

According to a rhinosking representative, the slider is the option for "desk - suitcase - purse" and the molded case is for pocket carring that's why I change to a slim leather when not using a backpack!!



RE: I have one, don't you get one.
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/7/2001 9:31:03 AM #
What is the molded hardcase? Any URL?

m505 Molded Aluminum Hardshell Case
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/30/2001 6:51:47 AM #
Go to www.galenworldwide.com to see their molded aluminum hardshell case. It's definitely the best on the market. Plus, if you tell them you're a PIC member, you get a 10% rebate on your order!

Had mine 12 hours

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 12:13:02 PM #
Yep, I have to agree with the author. I have a Clie N710C and I had my rhinoskin for 12 hours before I boxed the sucker back up and sent it back. Save yourself the non-refundable shipping costs. You have to cram it in there to get it to fit, and then you can't use any of the side buttons or memory stick port while it's in there. Big disappointment.

RE: Had mine 12 hours
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 3:08:52 PM #
It states on the RhinoSkin website that it is designed for the S320. What did you expect?

PalmPix for m500

Ed @ 7/5/2001 12:23:22 PM #
The review of the PalmPix for the m500 series is still in a holding pattern while I talk to Kodak's product manager but I thought you might be interested to know that I took the photos in this article with my demo unit.

---
News Editor
Palm Infocenter
RE: PalmPix for m500
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2001 9:00:41 AM #
You tease us too much Ed with the PalmPix (500) review, you remind me of a girl I met a couple of years ago...

Solo

RE: PalmPix for m500
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2001 9:03:23 AM #
I refrained myself of calling you "Mr. Ed", I was afraid of a lousy singer putting a tune in our head for the rest of the day...

Solo

Rhodiana...

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 12:40:13 PM #
I loved my Rhinoskin molded hardcase when I had a V, but I
was disappointed by the slider case I purchased for my m505;
The fit was poor and it's much bulkier than my old molded case.
I ended up returning it the next day.

While I wait for Rhinoskin to produce a molded m505 case, I've
switched to the Rhodiana case; I've been using the Palm V
version as that was all that was available when I got my m505.
I see now that Rhodiana has added an m505 case to their website.

Ed, any chance of getting one of those in for a review? I'm curious
about the difference between the m505 and V versions.

Molded Hardshell Case for m505
I.M. Anonymous @ 11/30/2001 6:58:15 AM #
No need to wait for Rhinoskin to come out with their molded hardshell case for the m505.

Go to www.galenworldwide.com and check out their m505 molded solid aluminum hardshell case. It's the best on the market and comes in two colors (black and titanium).

Plus, if you mention you're a PIC member, they'll give you a 10% rebate on your order. They also carry other great gear for the Palm as well.

Molded Hardcase ETA

aleclee @ 7/5/2001 1:50:46 PM #
The Rhinoskin hardcase is listed on the Mobile Planet web site:
www.mobileplanet.com/product.asp?dept%5Fid=3704&pf%5Fid=MP950270

ETA is listed as 7/13

RE: Molded Hardcase ETA
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 1:51:36 PM #
How do you know this is a molded hardcase? mobileplanet doesn't have a picture or a description that says it is molded.

RE: Molded Hardcase ETA
aleclee @ 7/5/2001 8:00:06 PM #
I found the part# in their mail-order catalog and looked it up on the web site. It was listed with the other molded cases.

RE: Molded Hardcase ETA
tritan @ 7/17/2001 4:59:05 PM #
I wrote Rhinoskin and asked on a ETA for the molded case. The reply I got was the demand was high and they are working as fast as they can to get it out. He gave me a rough estimate of 60-90 days. So hold on its on its way.

Zero-Halliburton?

tommer @ 7/5/2001 3:13:54 PM #
Hopefully Franklin Covey will come out with one for you 5xx series. I have it on my Vx and love it! Iooked into the rhinoskin cases but they looked like they would be pretty sharp. (besides looking like an 8th grade shop project). The ZH really fits the vx great and has space in the neoprene for credit/business cards. I haven't dropped it down the stairs but have done the 3.5 ft drop a number of times and all is good. Love this forum. BTW
RE: Zero-Halliburton?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/5/2001 3:34:13 PM #
Have you tried the ZH case with the 50x. series units? The 50x units have an original-size stylus well on their left hand side - I assume so that they can fit into cases (Like the ZH one) that use the stylus well as an attachment point. Personally, I thought losing the symmetry of the case was a mistake for Left-handed users, but I'm not exactly in the market for a 50x unit. (Currently a TRGPro user with a JetPac case (http://www.jpsolutions.com) - I coulden't go back to palm untill they make a signifigant improvement in their alarm volume. - and even then, they're not going to support my III-style keyboard or CF Modem, so the H330's next in my upgrade path, if anything.)

re: Zero-Halliburton

tommer @ 7/5/2001 3:55:20 PM #
I haven't tried, but pretty sure the silo's are a different size.

Re: No REAL Hardcases For The m500 Series

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/6/2001 6:10:15 PM #
hey there!
i've emailed the folks who make the zero-halliburton, bodyglove (because i'd be interested to what they come up with in a case), rhinoskin, E&B, swiss, and a few others... and they all seem to have the same answer.

their current case selection doesn't fit and their researchers are working on it. my question is how much research do you need to do to just change the stylus rod to fit the new m500 series. geeze! and to top it off they give a date of mid-september for a release date.

SOMEONE.... PLEASE help me. i want... i need a nice meatal case to protect it. any suggestions?? of other sites to keep an eye on?

thanks
~e

RE: Re: No REAL Hardcases For The m500 Series
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/8/2001 11:33:02 PM #
It's not that simple... yes the stylus silo is narrower and shorter but its more than that. The newer cases have a different connector, the SD slot, an indicator light for alarms... get the idea?

I for one would like for Rhinoskin and others to take their time AND DO IT RIGHT the first time.

RE: Re: No REAL Hardcases For The m500 Series
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/20/2001 12:55:20 PM #
Plus they have to sell the slider cases they have already invested in...

need one for my N710C

choroni @ 7/7/2001 7:27:59 PM #
i haven't been am
I haven't been able to find a nice case for it. No aluminum, titanium or anything close. Does any one knows about one and can point to their website...thanks.
Last comment: the cover that came with my color Clié is the worst and cheapest thing that Sony could do, it get loose and detachs most of the time.

CLIE 320

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/3/2001 5:04:32 PM #
Has anyone actually seen this hardcase on the 320? I'd like to get one, but if it doesn't have an infared port hole, it doesn't seem worth it...

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