MobileInfocenter
Developer: The Price:
  • $18
The Pros:
  • Look very good
  • Small
  • Inexpensive
  • Doesn't use tape or velcro
  • Doesn't interfere with cradle or folding keyboard
The Cons:
  • Interferes with some clip-on accessories
  • Provides minimal protection
  • Blocks Reset button
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*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms



Personality Pack for m505 Review
By Ed Hardy
3/5/2002


Overview
Parallel Design's Personality Pack for the m505 is a flip cover that has been designed to protect the screen without adding very much bulk to the handheld. It comes in a variety of colors.

Functionality
The Personality Pack isn't designed to be a case. It's a flip-cover that protects the screen from scratches. As such, it's very light weight and adds little to the size of the handheld when it's closed.

I think it was designed for people who keep their handheld in their pocket and don't want their keys or pocket change to scratch up the screen. It's so small, it isn't going to provide much protection at all if you drop your handheld.

It is made of polycarbonate, which is a strong, durable plastic, so the cover isn't going to break easily.

The Personality Pack doesn't cover the buttons. When I first got one, I was nervous that the buttons would be pushed in my pocket, turning the handheld on and draining the battery. No longer. I typically carry my m505 in my front pants pocket and I've made a point of keeping an eye on my battery life. If I put my handheld in my pocket in the morning with the battery at 100%, if the next time I use it it's late afternoon, the battery is still at 100%.

The Personality Pack flips up, rather than to the side. It doesn't flip all the way around to the back. This may bother some people but I never really noticed or cared.

It's held closed only by gravity and the friction of the hinge. After a few weeks of use the hinge no longer offers any friction so, if I hold the handheld face down, it will come open and hang down. I'm not complaining about this; that's how all just about all flip covers work.

There are three notches to help you open the cover. One is in the middle of the bottom and other two are on the sides near the bottom. These were necessary when the hinge was new; now I can flip the cover around one-handed, a la Star Trek.

The Personality Pack doesn't make use of the left slot at all. I wish someone would come up with something to put in there because, with it empty, the m505 is slightly uncomfortable to hold.

It clips onto the top of the handheld and clips into the two Universal Connector slots. This holds the flip-cover on very well. In the month I've been using the Personality Pack, it hasn't shown any signs of coming loose.

The good news is it doesn't block the SD/MMC slot. There is a slot that allows access. The infrared port is covered but it works fine right through the clear plastic. I've beamed stuff and even used my IR modem with the Personality Pack on dozens of times and haven't had any problems.

The handheld fits perfectly in the cradle with the Personality Pack on. The same goes for the Stowaway folding keyboard.

The bad news is it takes up the Universal Connector slots so peripherals that need to use these, like some clip-on keyboards, can't be used at the same time. It also blocks the Reset button. The only way to get to it is to take the flip cover off.

The Personality Pack does add a bit to the thickness of the handheld, especially at the top of the handheld where there is a hinge on the front and the strips on the back to hold it on. At its thickest, it is about .8 inches. But the thickness tapers off rapidly. A side view shows that, starting near its middle, the handheld is scarcely thicker with the Personality Pack on as is it is without.

Appearance
I not only love the way the Personality Pack looks, but I love the way it makes my m505 look. I've been using the clear one and I think it gives the m505 a very hi-tech look. I've never been fond of the leather flip cover that comes with the m505 and the Personality Pack looks ten times better.

Even the back looks good, with an arrowhead shape leading down to the two Universal Connector slots.

Parallel Design makes these in a variety of colors. I prefer the clear one but there is also translucent blue, translucent black, solid black, and two clear ones with blue or black hinges. There are over twenty possibilities in colors for the V series so the company could be planning to introduce more.

As its name suggest, the Personality Pack isn't just about protecting your screen. It is also designed to make your handheld look good and better reflect your taste in colors.

Like I said, I think the Personality Pack makes my m505 look great and I've gotten lots of compliments on it, too. If I could have given it more than five Coolness Points, I would have.

Other Handhelds
I haven't had a chance to see if this works with the m515 yet but I don't see why it shouldn't; the m515 is the exact same size as the m505.

Update: I got a confirmation from the people at Parallel Design that the m505 Personality Pack fits the m515.

Because the m500 is thinner than the m505, it cannot use the one designed for m505. The company is working on a model for the m500, though

Like I said earlier, Parallel Design also makes a versions for the Palm V series in tons of colors.

Conclusion
I think after reading all my comments you've got the idea that I think the Personality Pack is great. It's fun, stylish, and even useful. At only $18 it's a good value, too.

Article Comments

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Just got mine today

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 3:20:10 PM #
Just got my personality pack today, and I agree with the reviewer; it's way cool.

Can you post a pic of a side profile

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 3:25:09 PM #
?

RE: Can you post a pic of a side profile
Ed @ 3/5/2002 3:33:26 PM #
Read the review again. You must have skipped over the paragraph with the link to the side view in it.

---
News Editor

Clarification

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 3:42:30 PM #
"At its thickest, it is about .8 inches."

Like 8 10ths of an inch? Or 1/8th? 8 tenths of an inch would be rather bulky ;).

RE: Clarification
Ed @ 3/5/2002 3:53:26 PM #
It is every bit of 8/10ths of an inch thick at its top where the hinge is. It wraps around the handheld so it is thicker than the m505. See the side view in the article.

---
News Editor
RE: Clarification
crustyedgeofinnovation @ 3/5/2002 4:25:12 PM #
you thought it was 1/8 th of an inch, c'mon, Palm isn't peddling those cheap Rex units..

RE: Clarification
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 7:40:07 AM #
In that case, please accept my humblest and most self-abasing apologies for my mistake.

RE: Clarification
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 10:36:46 AM #
If you used metrics there would be no misunderstanding!

;-)

Thanks for the review. It's of real benefit to all of us.

Cool, but $6.00 for shipping is a rip off

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 4:35:40 PM #
I cant believe they charge so much to ship something that weighs less than an ounce.

Better price!

scat_sweeney @ 3/5/2002 5:06:06 PM #
You can get it for a $1 cheeper here:

http://www.styluscentral.com/perpacform5.html

and the S&H is only $3.95!



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
* Commit random acts of coolness. *
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

RE: Better price!
scat_sweeney @ 3/5/2002 5:10:28 PM #
Sorry, same price but shipping is cheeper

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
* Commit random acts of coolness. *
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
RE: Better price!
higgy @ 3/6/2002 6:30:36 AM #
Please commit random acts of spell checking.

RE: Better price!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 10:26:38 PM #
what does it matter?

$24 (with shipping) for a piece of plastic

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 5:11:26 PM #
. . . . what will they think of next?

RE: $24 (with shipping) for a piece of plastic
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 7:29:06 PM #
Hey, you're just jealous because you didn't think of it first.

Seriously though, for those who bitch about this, go sign a contract for x thousand pieces of molded plastic with a distributor in China and sell a competing product.

RE: $24 (with shipping) for a piece of plastic
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 1:53:40 AM #
But it is very high quality plastic, and perfect fit!



so its kinda like a palm iii/visor/handera flip cover...

scaught @ 3/5/2002 6:12:07 PM #
except it doesnt cover the buttons.

ive had a palm iii for about 4 years and a handera for a couple months now and the flip cover is all ive ever used to protect it. its always in my right front pants pocket and ive never had any issues.

No reset hole!!!

EnocH @ 3/5/2002 6:11:09 PM #
I absolutely love my personality pack. I opted for the blue one. However there is one shortcoming to this great product that irks me to no end. NO RESET HOLE. I hate having to take the hold cover out to reset my palm (which happens once in a while due to the high amount of beta programs and hack i play around with). Why couldn't the guys at parallel design just make a small hole for me the reset!!! arghhh...!!!!

Nevertheless, i found myself admiring my 505 alot more after putting that cover on.

God Bless,
EnocH

RE: No reset hole!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 7:51:12 PM #
So drill a hole...

RE: No reset hole!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 9:25:43 PM #
Just make sure you take it off your palm before drilling. :)

RE: No reset hole!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/5/2002 10:23:13 PM #
I drilled a hole. Not an easy thing to do without scratching the cover. So my cover is scratched, and the transparency of the cover is less of a bonus now, but I'm still mostly please. They're really ought to start putting holes in by themselves.

RE: No reset hole!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 12:28:46 AM #
Take a pin, or a nail, hold it, (with pliers) over a lit match. Then take the nail and make a small indentation in the plastic cover in the area where the reset button is...use this as a pilot hole for a small drill bit and make the hole yourself. The plastic is quite resistant and it may be difficult to make the pilot hole, you may want to use a soldering iron...now you have a reset hole... easy...

Mario

RE: No reset hole!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 12:36:43 AM #
you can refer to the pilot hole as "The Palm Pilot Hole"...get it...

Mario

RE: No reset hole!!!
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 1:29:43 AM #
One word... Dremel ;)

RE: No reset hole!!!
Lock @ 3/6/2002 3:10:29 AM #
Why don't you simply try making the nail hot with fire? This will prevent the plastic to be scratched.


These will be a raffle Item at the LAPUG Meeting!

PalmAddict @ 3/5/2002 7:16:15 PM #
Parallel Design was exceptionally cool to donate a handful of the new Personality Packs in a variety of colors for the m505/515 to raffle off at our next meeting.

I would be snagging one of these for myself but unfortunately I have everything but the m505 (m500, T615, Vx and a III) so, more for the group!

If you're in the L.A. area, drop on by for our March 16th meeting have a chance at winning one.

http://www.naxera.com/lapug


BTW... Looks like their site might have gotten hacked... There is nothing there anymore....

"We're a planet of nearly six billion ninnies living in a civilization that was designed by a few thousand amazingly smart deviants."

-Scott Adams

Vielleicht interessant...

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 4:58:35 AM #
Vielleicht interessant...

Gru▀
Markus

Personality Pack?

I.M. Anonymous @ 3/6/2002 12:59:33 PM #
Do I understand this correctly? It's called a personality pack, but all it is is a flip cover? I read this thinking it would be at least a few things to change the palm, like a new case, a smiley face cover, or a new pen.

But a flip cover? Even in different colors, "Personality Pack" is a little grand.

RE: Personality Pack?
dagger2k @ 3/6/2002 2:29:09 PM #
The Vx vers also had a kind of stylus holder for the left silo, but it wasn't useful so it got removed.

-Dagger
----
"Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to." -- Mark Twain

Availability within EU?

Liljeberg @ 3/7/2002 4:09:02 AM #
Is theáPersonality Pack available from an European reseller?

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