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RhinoSkin

PalmInfoCenter.com Bottom Line:

The Price:
  • Aluminium: $50
  • Titanium: $100
The Pros:
  • Folds Into small package
  • Light weight
  • IR port still accessible

The Cons:
  • Edges a bit rough
  • Poor protection from rain

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*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



Rhinoskin Molded Slider Case Review
By Ed Hardy
10/29/2001


Introduction
RhinoSkin's new molded slider case for the m500/m505/V has a lot in common with its predecessor. If you're curious, a review of the original version is available. But take my word for it, this new version is better. Like its predecessor, it's a hardcase who's front cover can fold around to the back when open to take up the least amount of room. But the new one is smaller and better looking.

Exterior
The Molder Slider is 4.7 by 3.4 by .75 inches and weighs about 2.6 ounces. For reference, the m505 is 4.5 by 3.1 by .5 inches.

The original slider case looks like a block of aluminum. The new slider case has been molded to better fit around the handheld. This makes it smaller and lighter. But it has the ridges on the front and back that make it more rugged. The company name has been stamped into the front in raised letters. I'm not terribly fond of its industrial-looking design but opinions vary widely on this.

It isn't as curvy as the non-sliding version because the top and bottom have to be straight so the two parts can slide sideways against each other. The case opens kind of like a book, except that it would have to be a book who's back cover can slide up to fit inside of the front cover. This makes the case the same size, open or closed.

This case closes tightly so there should be few worries about it accidentally coming open but most of the other edges don't come close to sealing.

Interior
It is lined with a layer of Neoprene, which helps cushion the palmtop if the case gets dropped. The handheld is held in place inside the case with just pressure from the Neoprene. There isn't a rail for the stylus silo or Velcro.

It fits the m505 pretty well. I was able to hold it upside down and shake it without the Palm falling out or even slipping.

There aren't any cutouts in the Neoprene to prevent the buttons on the V series from being accidentally pushed by the cover but they don't appear to necessary on this model. It isn't as form-fitting as some, especially where the handheld tapers at the bottom.

Some people have complained that the edges of many RhinoSkin cases aren't smooth and they have scratched the finish on their handheld on them. I'm sorry to report that the molded slider's edges aren't any smoother.

Accessibility
There are cutouts at the top that allow the infrared port and the stylus to be used without having to take the handheld out of the case. It still needs to be removed in order to access the serial port, which means you'll have to take it out to use the cradle. The SD/MMC slot isn't accessible while the palmtop is in the case, either. Still, taking the handheld out of the case or putting it back in is pretty darn easy so this isn't much of a drawback.

Protection
The whole point of a hardcase is to protect the handheld and the RhinoSkin Molded Slider does a pretty good job of it. It will certainly protect your Palm if it gets stepped on or sat on. The Neoprene is there to provide some shock absorbancy if the case gets dropped.

The only weak area in this case is waterproofing. Between the slider mechanism and the infrared port and stylus cutouts, there are a couple of good sized gaps in this case which might let rain get in. I know, this case isn't advertised as being water proof and I don't want to go swimming with my handheld but I'd be a bit nervous about just carrying this case in the rain without some extra protection.

Conclusion
There isn't another hardcase that can do what the RhinoSkin Molded Slider does: allow use of the handheld while still maintaining its small size. This case is more expensive than other cases but its innovative design means it really has no peers.

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A little off topic

jtopf @ 10/29/2001 5:43:19 PM #
Speaking of swimming with my hand held...

Last thanksgiving I was playing with my nephews and we ended up in their pool. I had completely forgotten that my TRGpro was in my cargo pockets of my shorts.

We played water polo for about 30 minutes befor I realized my mistake.

I removed the flashcard, batteries and let it dry out for 2 days. After that I plugged everything back in and it started right up!

I think the key is removing the batteries and being patient to let it dry thoroughly befor turning it on.

jt

GO TRG/HANDERA!!!
Noah @ 10/29/2001 10:19:47 PM #
I gotta 330 [;-)]. Haven't dropped mine (yet) but I've heard that they're made really tough.

Palms are better!
RE: A little off topic
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/30/2001 6:45:26 AM #
I second this. A couple years ago, I managed to completly submerge my top-end Sony portable CD player in diet soda. I ripped the batteries out, and rinsed it thoroughly. After a few hours of drying with hot air, it was all right. And the player is still working.

Only the Aluminum is available at this time

I.M. Anonymous @ 11/8/2001 4:41:41 PM #
The Ti Slider I just purchased was actually the case for the Palm V and does not have the IR cutout for the M505. I had to return it.

This new Molded Slider seemed like the perfect answer, except it only comes in the aluminum. There is no expected shipping date for the Ti version, which is geekier but definitely cooler.

Signed,
Disappointed but eagerly waiting

RE: Only the Aluminum is available at this time
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/26/2002 3:05:05 AM #
JUST PURCHASED A M515... LOOKING FOR THE TI MOLDED SLIDER VERSION.. IS IT OUT YET?

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