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Rhinoskin Aluminum Slider Cases Review
By Ed Hardy
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
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
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.
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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