The Price:
  • ~$31
  • Exact price depends on exchange rate
The Pros:
  • Not much bigger than the handheld
  • Provides decent protection
  • Good price

The Cons:
  • Cover in the way when open
  • Not waterproof Ratings*:

*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms

Proporta m500 Series Aluminium Case Review
By Ed Hardy

A good number of people feel nervous about carrying around an expensive handheld without some kind of protection. For them, a nice hardcase just fits the bill, like the one Proporta offers for the m500 series.

This hardcase has a fairly standard shape: It opens like a book with the hinge on the left side. The advantage of this is it allows the case to be barely larger than the handheld itself. It is only a quarter of an inch wider and taller than an m515 and just an eighth of an inch thicker.

The disadvantage of this shape is, when it is opened and you are using the handheld, the front cover is hanging off to the left, which is frequently in your way. There is no way to fold it around to the back.

It has a rail that is connected to the hinge and fits into the slot on the left side of the handheld. This holds the Palm in the case even when the cover is open.

In case some of you aren't aware of this, the m500 is thinner than the m505 and m515. This means it will fit in this case but will rattle around a little bit. If you can find something to add some extra lining, it would help a lot.

This case has slots that allow you to easily insert and remove the stylus and SD/MMC cards. These work quite well. On some hardcases you have to turn the case over and open the back in order to get at the SD card, but not this one. And you can take out the stylus without opening the case at all, which will come in handy for those of you who use a stylus/pen combination.

These slots have other advantages, too. You might be able to tell from the pictures that I'm currently using the ttools SLIMpoint stylus, which doesn't fit inside most hardcases. Fortunately, the Proporta one has no problem.

The downside of the slots is the case isn't even a tiny bit waterproof. If you are looking for protection from the rain, look elsewhere.

The cradle that comes with Palm's handhelds doesn't make it easy for any handheld in a hardcase to be HotSynched. There are two possibilities for this one from Proporta.

You can open the front and back as much as they'll go, which kind of makes a T shape with the handheld at a right angle to the case. If you put your cradle up on a thick book or on the edge of your desk, this creates enough clearance for the case to allow you to fit the Palm into the cradle.

The other possibility is to give up your cradle and buy a HotSync cable. However, there isn't a slot at the bottom of the case for the HotSync port so you'll have to open the case to connect the cable.

Just about the whole purpose of carrying a hardcase is to protect your handheld. Of course, the aluminium of the case itself gives a certain amount of protection for its contents in case of accidents. I don't think it is strong enough that you should consider carrying your hardcase in your back pocket and regularly sitting on it. If nothing else, this wouldn't be very comfortable and it's bad for your back.

Of course, it will definitely protect your handheld's screens from getting scratched up if you carry it around in your purse or backpack.

The interior of this case is lined with neoprene, which gives the handheld some cushioning if you drop it. Still, I wouldn't recommend you throw it out a window. The lining isn't very thick.

As I mentioned earlier, this case isn't waterproof because of the cut-outs for the stylus and SD slot.

The Proporta hardcase looks good. I think it is very professional. It has the Proporta logo stamped into the front but I don't think this distracts from its appearance. Let's face it, everything is branded these days. Anyway, as they say "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". Take a look at the pictures and make up you own mind.

This is a good looking case that comes at a good price. Proporta is a British company so its exact cost fluctuates depending on the exchange rate but it's currently just over $30, which is quite competitive. If you want to give your precious Palm some extra protection, you should consider the Proporta m500 Series Aluminium Case.

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I love my Proporta Hard Case. : )

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 1:25:30 PM #
Got mine almost 2 months ago thru their online store. Had it delivered all the way to the Philippines! Unfortunately, had to pay $18 for tax! Anyway, I just had to retire my Kensington PDA protector. After 5 months of use(w/ my old M505), I ended up stripping the paint due to the deep scratches caused by back pocker buttons on some of my pants. Well, the stainless steel look wasn't bad. Upon inserting my 515, fit was like a hand is to a glove. I thought the Kensington was slim already but Proporta really made sure they got it right. The casing seems durable enough that I still put my 515 in my back pocket. (Just a small gripe: the cover sometimes pushes the power button when I have too much weight on the case.) As an extra measure to prevent scratches, I took off all my back pocket (left only) buttons. As of today, its still scratch & dent free. : ) I like the cut out for the memory card. I get to switch my SD & BT sdio easily. If you're after a case that will let you bring your palm to the gym or outdoors, get the case Proporta made out of ABS plastic. But if its gonna be for regular home & office use, this might just be the one you're looking for.
RE: I love my Proporta Hard Case. : )
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 1:55:56 PM #
oh yeah, It's great to be able to just slip my pentopia in & out of the stylus slot. Convenient when signing credit card slips & issuing checks right before inputting the data in AccsNLoans.
RE: I love my Proporta Hard Case. : )
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 2:28:56 PM #
I am still awaiting an m500 series hardcase with at least one internal slot/pocket for a spare memory card. How hard can it be to engineer this? I tried the Riley Dog SD credit card holder thingies and they were a joke, so I am still looking for a way to at least carry a backup card and/or games card with me at all times (since I keep my 32 meg SD card in the Palm most of the time).

RE: I love my Proporta Hard Case. : )
mrscarey @ 7/30/2002 7:42:11 PM #
Bought my case a couple of months ago when I first saw it advertised by Proporta as I got fed up with waiting for the T-Mod and Palm models.

I am very happy with it, it does everything I expect of it, including keeping my m505 in my back pocket EVERY day!

Can't fault it and the price from Proporta or Expansys is now ~25. Compare that to the price of Palm's offering and Proporta wins hands down.


palmist and visionary

RE: I love my Proporta Hard Case. : )
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 9:11:24 PM #
Proporta has a plastic hard case (the Chameleon, I think it is called) that I got from them when it was still Scribble PDA. Its a great case, I still use it today.. and for the poster above, it has a place for exactly one extra SD card behind the device.

Palm Hard case or this one?

wilco @ 7/30/2002 2:22:00 PM #
Anyone who can make a comparison of both Palm's aluminum hardcase and this one?

RE: Palm Hard case or this one?
scouter075 @ 7/30/2002 2:30:17 PM #
I have both. The Palm case is larger. I also had a problem with it pressing against the M515's power button. I like the Proporta better.

Dennis G. Esler
I would suggest
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 3:34:24 PM #
My friend owns a palm branded one and now it has dents and not as shiny as before. I would suggest the kensington hardcase.
RE: Palm Hard case or this one?
IanJD @ 7/30/2002 5:36:22 PM #
I had the Innopocket case (which this looks like a clone of) and the Palm hard case. The Palm case was thinner, but wider because of the hinge, felt a lot more protective, and closed more securely (though was a little trickier to open). I also had a problem with it pushing the power button, but gouging out a little of the plastic lining cured this. Having no cut-outs in the Palm case makes it a little harder to use the SD slot, and the special stylus popped out a little to easily, but I'd feel a lot happier dropping it onto the pavement than these thinner cases.

Flip Case with latch?

I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 4:40:32 PM #
If the problem with nicer cases is always about thickness, why hasn't someone come out with a flip cover that snaps shut? THe standard flip cover is the most convenient way to protect the screen and it's thin and light, but it's ultimately insufficient b/c it doesn't snap shut. Us gear-freaks like things that are shiny and close properly. The flip cover fails to do this.

If someone would just make a flip cover that is thin, offers a variety of colors/finishes, stays shut via some sort of latch, and is able to swing all the way around to the back, this would satisfy the vast majority of palm users.

It wouldn't provide back/front protection, but I'm actually wondering where most of these people think they're taking their palms to, field combat?

RE: Flip Case with latch?
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 5:02:54 PM #
The Proporta case adds about the same thickness (1/8 inch) as the palm flip cover that comes with the m5xx series. You may be able to buy the Proporta case and cut the back panel off. I have a friend who did that to an old Palm V case. You would end up with a solution that is thinner and stronger than the cover that comes with the Palm m5xx series. If you don't mind the thickness with the provided cover, why not just buy the Proporta case and use it as it was intended though?
RE: Flip Case with latch?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/8/2002 12:37:12 AM #
Actually, I am in the US Marine Corps, and I carry my M515, and before that my Vx into the field with me all the time. I love this case and have never had a problem with it, and because of it, I have never had a problem with my Palm.


I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 5:37:04 PM #
Looks like an EXACT clone of the Innopocket Aluminium case, and costs a little more too.
RE: Hmm..
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/30/2002 8:54:24 PM #
The additional costs are for putting the logo there.

Paul Revere edition

quacksalve @ 7/31/2002 10:22:29 AM #
Does anyone know how much their special handmade silver case costs? Makes me want to upgrade my m130 to an m515 just to have the case. Too bad I can't afford either! (doesn't work in Mozilla, does work in IE, darn it)

RE: Paul Revere edition
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/31/2002 10:44:17 AM #
looks nice but I bet it would scratch up like a bastard!

You'd need a case to protect the CASE!!!

RE: Paul Revere edition
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/31/2002 1:54:04 PM #
Had mine for 2 months now & I take extra care to keep it away from situations that might scratch the case: Back pocket buttons, keys, rivets on your denim jeans. Not a scratch up to now. The same care was given to my previous case, The Kensington PDA Protetor. Unfortunately, it easily got scratches as compared to this one. The anodized paint finish is just better than the rest. Btw, the inno pocket is bigger than this one.
RE: Paul Revere edition
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/29/2002 10:56:30 AM #
i think it costs 1500

Alternate hotsync method

Altema @ 7/31/2002 4:59:05 PM #
Ed, I found two other ways to hotsync while the Palm is still in this case:

3. Open the back of the case and swing it around to the side (keeping the front of the case covering the face of the Palm), and set the Palm in the cradle. You can't see or use your Palm in this position, but it works for a quick hotsync while on the run.

4. Forget the cradle and cable and hotsync via IR. Of course your desktop or laptop must also have an IR port (standard on some laptops), and it's slow as molasses, but it's a good way to 'stealth sync' while in meetings. Oh, forget syncing that 5Mb movie clip this way, you don't have the time.

I enjoy this case, but sometimes get tired of my thumb hooked over the cover. You can't just hold the Palm in your hand like you can with the flip cover... you must hold it by the opened cover unless you are a leftie holding it in your right hand. Good case though.

SD cutout

PIC mobile user @ 8/2/2002 10:40:35 AM #
Who would need to access the SD slot when the case is closed? I would rather have a water proof case.


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