Hands-on Review: Palm cases for the Tungsten T
By: Steve Gingras (steve@gingras.org)
April 10, 2003

Like any new proud Tungsten T owner, I want to protect my investment...and data. Unfortunately, the clear plastic "cover" that ships with the TT is about as functional as the cardboard box that the unit shipped in. Clearly, Palm was just providing the absolute minimum in hopes of selling high-margin accessories...and I am just the sucker to buy them.

Many vendors have cases on the market for the TT and we are sure to see many more in the near future. Unfortunately, many of these cases do not lend themselves to effective utilization of the TT's unique collapsible design. A good TT case should allow the user to extend the TT with ease without removing it from the case as well as provide access to the TT's controls and ports. Also, while many exciting third-party designs are available, most are not available in you local store...so trying one out on a trial basis is rather difficult without committing to the purchase. Thus, I decided to try out Palm's TT cases given their relatively wide availability in my local computer and office supply stores. I also assumed that the Palm cases would provide unparalleled functional design given the designers' unique and advanced access to the TT prototypes. Did these assumptions prove correct? Well, yes and no.

Palm currently sells three cases for the Tungsten T. During the past week, I have had the opportunity to try all three and own two. The following is a short review of each based on my experiences. Your mileage may vary.

Palm Tungsten T Scuba Sleeve Case ($29.95 USD)

The Scuba Sleeve case was my first choice. This case just looked cool and the description implied that it was pretty rugged...and that's what I need. My last Palm (a IIIx) lasted nearly four years in large part due to its bullet proof case a Rubber Bumper model from Fellowes. Unfortunately, that case was rather large and, if you are anything like me, the TT's form factor helped sell you on the unit. Thus, I started looking for a rugged case that mated well with the TT. The Scuba Sleeve was candidate number one.

So how bullet proof is the Scuba? Well, let's just say that I was ready to fire a couple bullets into it after using it for a day.

The case consists of a lightweight internal metal structure covered with a black rubber-like finish. It's not actually rubber. It's softer and more pleasing to the touch. Palm refers to the material as a "scuba-finish surface"...if that means anything to you. I suppose that the surface does feel somewhat like a dive suit, but please avoid the obvious temptation if you go with this one

The case description states that the case is a "sleeve." Here, the definition of sleeve means that the case is open on the top and bottom not that the TT slides in. The case is hinged. Unfortunately, the case design does not seem to allow ambidextrous use. The case opens to the left as you face the TT. Thus, southpaws need not apply. This one is designed for the vast, unwashed right-handed masses...as are all of the cases contained in this review. Being right-handed, I cannot comment on any associated difficulties. I did notice, however, that the case did not open far enough. I constantly felt like the case was in danger of closing while I was using it. The lid tends to only open comfortably to the point that it is pointing straight at the user...threatening to close at any moment. Time and usage (i.e., wear and tear), however, might mitigate this issue.

So how did I like the sleeve design? Well, open on the top and bottom should be a good thing. The Tungsten needs to slide open and closed and we need access to the universal connector, stylus, IR port, and SD Card slot. So how did the case fare in real world tests? Horribly. While the opening on the bottom did allow me to connect to my portable charge/synch cable, it provided no help at all to slide the TT open. This case is designed to allow the TT to slide out the bottom. This option sounds attractive since it should also allow you to place the unit in the cradle when extended. Unfortunately, sliding the Tungsten open in this case is nearly impossible unless you pry it open by placing your fingernails in the seam on the front of the TT and claw it open. Palm did not provide the same thoughtful cutout that they designed into the hard side case (reviewed below) to allow you to grip the unit. I struggled with this design flaw for a day before I boxed it back up and returned it. Not being able to open the TT with ease was just an absolute show stopper.

If I still haven't scared you away from the Scuba, then I'll also mention that the case provides ready access to the record button, microphone hole, and earphone connector on the side. Personally, however, I don't care if the Scuba design provides front, top, bottom, and side access. It could get my newspaper off of the front lawn and fetch my slippers and I would still hit it with a rolled up newspaper. Any case that prevents me from opening my TT has no value to me. Bad case! Baaaaaaaaaad case! Get off of my PDA and go sit in the corner!

  • Looks and feels cool
  • Access to top, bottom, and side mounted TT controls and ports when case is closed
  • Rigid design prevents inadvertent hard button presses when front lid is closed
  • Right-handed design
  • Case lid does not open very far
  • Almost impossible to open the TT without getting a manicure

RATING: 4.7 / 10
Usability: 1
Appearance: 4
Value: 2

Palm Tungsten T Slim Leather Case ($29.95 USD)

Okay, so with my TT and repackaged Scuba Sleeve in hand, it's back to the local Office Depot to try another case. The next case that I tried was Palm's slim leather case. Fortunately, my local Office Depot manager was kind enough to open the packaging and let me try the case with my TT prior to purchasing. He slipped into the back room and returned with the chainsaw that was necessary to break through the plastic packaging. Apparently, Palm designed the packaging to ensure that each case will survive a nuclear holocaust. I only wish that the flimsy plastic cover that ships with the TT was designed this well.

After rescuing the slim leather case from its 20 mil thick plastic tomb, we dropped in my TT. The case uses a side clip scheme similar to the flimso-plastico-cheapo bundled TT cover to hold the unit in. While not rock solid, the connection is adequate. Extending the unit while it is in this case is a breeze as is gaining access to front, top, and bottom mounted ports and controls.

When the case is open, the user has easy access to the face and all four sides of the TT. Access to the earphone jack, however, is not available when the case is closed. One interesting way around this limitation is to place the TT in the case upside down. This approach reverses the side on which the case opens and provides access to the jack even when the case is not open. This approach also has the unfortunate side effect, however, of inverting the business card holder on the inside of the front cover. Regardless of which orientation you choose, reports indicate that the case resting directly against the hard buttons on the TT's front face results in frequent inadvertent button pushes. While this design flaw is generally frustrating, it is maddening when those buttons control track skip and volume for your MP3 software.

So what was the final assessment? Back into your tiny plastic tomb leather man! The earphone jack wasn't the show stopper for me. Instead, I decided to leave this one on the shelf simply because I didn't like the overall form factor. The case resembles a small day planner. The cover stays closed with a leather tab that is fairly secure. Nevertheless, the case did not strike me as being able to provide much protection for my beloved (and abused) TT. I am sure that the case would do fine if your TT went from your desk to your inside suit pocket and back out to a meeting room table, but that's not me. I'm not in sales or marketing. I develop software and I do not wear a suit. Instead, my Palms tend to get thrown around quite a bit. Thrown into my laptop case...thrown into my backpack...thrown into my Jeep's glove compartment...you get the idea. I need the case to fight back. This leather portfolio just wasn't going to cut it for me. If you are in sales or marketing, however, this case might work very well for you. It has space inside the cover for your business cards and looks rather professional. Personally, however, carrying around a Barbie doll size day planner just isn't my speed. I travel with geeks and we need bullet proof. I need a case that I can throw into the pocket of my floor length-leather jacket on my way to go rescue Morpheus from the agents. Well, something that will at least survive the trip in my backpack while mountain biking. This one just isn't for me.

"Hey Mr. Manager, still got that chainsaw handy? I see one more case that I haven't tried yet."

  • Looks professional
  • Access to top and bottom mounted TT controls and ports when case is closed
  • Easy TT extension while in case
  • Built in business card holder
  • Right-handed design, but less of an issue than with the Scuba Sleeve since the case opens fully
  • No access to earphone jack and voice record control when case is closed
  • Pressure on case cover will result in inadvertent hard button presses when front cover is closed
  • Looks like Barbie lost her day planner

RATING: 6.3 / 10
Usability: 2.5
Appearance: 3.5
Value: 3.5

Palm Tungsten T Aluminum Hard Case ($39.95 USD)

The helpful folks at Office Depot next used a machete to open up the Kevlar packaging on the aluminum hard side case. While I wasn't excited with the case's appearance, I was running out of options. Not that the case is ugly, but it just isn't up to the TT design standard in my opinion. The color is all wrong for a TT case. It's a coated brushed aluminum similar to that of a Palm V/Vx. I'm not sure why they didn't choose an alloy color that more closely resembles the TT's own color. Thus, I ignored this one on the first trip to the store. After the Scuba Sleeve debacle, however, I was ready to be a little more open minded.

After bandaging our package-inflicted wounds, we dropped my TT into the hard case. My first thought was, "wow, nice fit." The TT fits snuggly and even locks into place using two tabs on the case that mate with two openings on the back of the TT (back, not the sides). I hadn't noticed the openings on the TT before, but I suppose this application is for what they were designed. Got to love an "all Palm" solution.

The major difference between this case and the Scuba is that the TT slides out of the top of this case. In fact, the bottom of the case isn't even open. The case features a thoughtful cutout on the top portion of the case back to allow you to grip the TT firmly and slide it open. This feature works very well. So well, in fact, that I boxed it up and brought it to the register to take home.

So how has it fared in day-to-day use? Better then horrible. In fact, it's pretty darn good. The case lid opens fully and locks in place when open or closed. The case opening on the top allows easy access to the stylus, IR port, and SD Card slot. Another opening on the side provides similar access to the record button, microphone hole, and earphone connector. The design of this opening also allows you to extend the TT without removing the headphones a feature not offered by the popular Innopocket/Proporta/Rhinoskin alternative hard case. The TT slide action works well and the case is fairly rugged. The case also has two slots on the inside of the cover to hold your spare SD cards...a very nice touch, and also not offered by the Innopocket/Proporta/Rhinoskin case. So what's not to like? Well, besides the color, not much...except the complete inability to synch or charge the unit while it is in this case. The case features a spring device in the base to enable the rear-mounted tab locks to function. This design prevented Palm from providing an opening in which even a portable universal connector could fit. Fortunately, removing the TT from the case is a breeze.

All things considered, it's a pretty darn good case. It's functional and rugged. I also won't mind if it gets scratched because the finish isn't on the top of my list of favorite features. All in all, it's a keeper. The nice folks at Office Depot can now lock up the jaws of life.

  • Fairly rugged
  • Access to top and side mounted TT controls and ports when case is closed
  • Easy TT extension while in case
  • Rigid design prevents inadvertent hard button presses when front lid is closed
  • Built in SD card holder
  • Locks firmly in place yet is easy to remove for charging/synching
  • Right-handed design, but less of an issue than with the Scuba Sleeve since the case opens fully
  • No access to universal connector while in case
  • Finish not on par with the TT design

RATING: 7.3 / 10
Usability: 4
Appearance: 3
Value: 4


While many cases for the Tungsten T are on the market, the Palm-branded cases are likely to be the most plentiful in your local chain store. If you are like me and need immediate gratification, feel free to grab one to protect your new loved one. Just stay away from the Scuba Sleeve like the black plague wrapped in an Ebola virus crepe. The slim leather case is fine for executive types. The fit and finish is excellent for the price and the business card holder is a plus. The real winner in my opinion, however, is the aluminum hard side case. It's fairly rugged, allows easy extension of the TT, and provides access to all of the controls and ports except the universal connector...but hey, it's a clamshell, what did you expect? You might even consider the sealed bottom to just be an added measure of protection for your TT's delicate universal connector port.

If lack of access to the universal connector while your TT is in the case is a showstopper, then consider the Innopocket/Proporta/Rhinoskin hard case as an alternative. This case, which is sold under these three brands, offers some of the same features as the Palm-branded hard case but also provides access to the universal connector while the TT is in the case. While you cannot place the TT in the cradle while the unit is in this case, you can connect a portable charge/synch cable. The case is also somewhat slimmer than the Palm aluminum hard side case. Unfortunately, no case is perfect. Users of this case complain about sharp edges, poor lid clearance for the front of the TT, and the inability to extend the TT while the earphones are connected. The case is also not widely available so you will most likely need to mail order this one.

If Palm made a couple minor modifications to their cases, they would own most of this market. The Palm cases are available in most office supply and computer stores while their competition is primarily available via the web. Unfortunately (for Palm), the limitations of their cases have power users scouring the web for alternatives. Palm could stem the flow of this migration by just tweaking the existing designs. A simple cut out on the back of the Scuba Sleeve would make that case a winner. Change the finish on the hard side case and redesign the internal spring to allow access to the universal connector for a portable charge/synch cable and that case would also be nearly perfect. If Palm makes these changes, then I will be right back at my local Office Depot making another donation to my favorite charity. Until then, however, the market is still wide open for innovation. In the meantime, my TT will be safe in my Palm aluminum hard case bouncing around in my backpack. See you on the trail.


2003 Stephen Gingras

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sgingras @ 4/11/2003 1:57:11 PM #


RE: :-)
Lucky Bob @ 4/11/2003 2:03:01 PM #
How nice

(Why do some people say you can kill two birds with one stone when it's hard enough killing one bird with two stones?)
RE: :-)
TDS Computer @ 4/12/2003 1:37:53 AM #
(I feel special, now...)

I bought the leather flip case for my Treo 90, and after a few weeks of using it, it just felt to "Bulky" in my pocket. I went back to using the built in flip cover. That sure comes in handy!
I will hopefully be getting the Tunngsten C at the end of the month, and It sure would be nice to have the built in flip cover on it! I don't think it does, though...
Funny review, BTW...

Visit us at www.tdscomputer.com

RE: :-)
adamrichman @ 4/14/2003 4:33:05 PM #
Great reviews here as always, though i would liked to seen some more on the Innopocket solution, as it's my favorite :).

Also checkout this review of the 6 top cases for the TT. More pictures here of each case too.


RE: :-)
sgingras @ 4/15/2003 12:03:16 AM #
Thanks for the comments. Look forward to a complete Innopocket review, which will include a detailed comparison of this case with the Palm hard case.


Palm Scuba Sleeve Thingy

Louis Berk @ 4/11/2003 3:01:00 PM #
I completely agree with the review of the scuba case. I bought the Tungsten the day it was announced and was anxious from the get go to get a case. The only early option were the Palm cases and in fact I'd always been pleased with the Palm belt-clip case for my Pilot 500 which then worked quite well with my Palm IIIc. So, what they hey, I got the scuba sleeve. To describe it as dross is unfair to real dross which at least knows its place in the world as dross and not masquerading as something other than dross, which this case is. Not that I'd want to put you off, or anything. The flap does not really open far enough in my opinion to make it comfortable to use the Tungsten while in it. It is bulky. There is no belt clip. The flap does not even lock in place. There is no easy way to extend the palm, I'm forever getting thumb marks on my screen when pulling down the extension. I doubt this case was designed by Palm but whoever the subscontracted it to: you was robbed. The case is very solid but then the top and the bottom of the Tugsten are exposed. Am I complaining - yes. Did I do anything about it? Well, I'm such a wimp that I just put up with it - but as soon as I come across a case which I like then I'll unload this one into my rubbish bin.

RE: Palm Scuba Sleeve Thingy
posterboy @ 4/11/2003 10:41:49 PM #
I own a Palm Scuba Sleeve Case and I happen to love it! :) The inabillty to open the case 180 degrees might be a flaw, but the others listed (I totally disagree).

How to "easily" slide the slider when the T is attached on the case? You use your thumb, place it on the horizontal center, directly on top of the 5-way navigator and gently slide it down. Magic? Not!

Thumb marks all over the screen? Have you ever heard about screen protectors?! The screen protectors from Brando Workshop are smudge proof and washable (not disposable). http://shop.brando.com.hk/

Belt clip? Get a Body Glove PDA belt clip and attach it on your Sleeve case. Works for me! ;)

Got Palm? Don't keep it, flaunt it!

RE: Palm Scuba Sleeve Thingy
Louis Berk @ 4/12/2003 6:18:13 AM #
Posterboy, look, I agree - these things are very subjective and I'm sure it works for you - as you can tell by my opinions I'm not delighted with the case but on the other hand I've yet to be taken with any of the alternatives. I'll check out the Rhino case you recommend, thanks for the response.


Best Case . . . so far

nakolo @ 4/11/2003 4:10:34 PM #
I bought my T|T back on 10/28 and spent weeks trying to find a suitable case (I was using an EB case for my IIIc). I *really* wanted to check out the Palm hardcase (I like the fold-around feature found on the case for the m515), but they were nowhere to be found. After reading an article in The Gadgeteer (http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/comdex-2002-article.html), I checked the Rhinoskin website and ordered one like in the pictures. I was planning to give it a one week "test," but still absolutely love it! While it adds a little bulk to the T|T, it fits nicely in my pocket, protects from the accidental falls (less than four feet), and has access to all the controls (including the earphone jack). I don't use the belt-clip thingy (just too nerdy), and the "through the case" syncing leaves a lot to be desired, but the "over the top" flap enables one-handed operation and and with the snap closure, I don't have to worry about problems with my credit cards.

So . . . I went back to the Saunders/Rhinoskin site today . . . and they've replaced it with a side opening version! Why? Can't say, but the replacement looks *really* cheesy compared to mine. You can order a comparable one from Brando in Hong Kong (http://shop.brando.com.hk/detungstentcasef.php) -- just make sure to have it quarantined for SARS first (ooh, bad joke).

TT First Adopter, Purchased 10/29/2002
Palm III, IIIc, T|T

RE: Best Case . . . so far
Wollombi @ 4/11/2003 5:23:52 PM #
I looked at the RhinoSkin flip case, but opted for E&B's Slipper Tungsten instead, as I've owned other models of this case and have always been pleased. This time is no exception; I'm very happy with it. The only advantage I could see with the RhinoSkin case is that it offered a little more side protection than the Slipper. However, the Slipper is quite nice and offers adequate protection as long as I'm not mountain biking or anything, at which point I will buy a hard case for those "special occasions".

Additionally, E&B's new "Techlock" clip is about the sturdiest clip I've ever owned. I'm hard on belt clips, even breaking an Ultra clip at one time. I have yet to even strain this thing. It's great. The design makes the PDA secure on your belt while still being easy to remove when desired. When I first saw it I thought it was cheesy, but now I'm sold.

So if you're looking for a good flip/play though case that you *don't* have to quarantine (based in San Diego, CA), go with E&B.


It is not very comfortable to have the gift of being amused at one's own absurdity.
-Somerset Maugham-

RE: Best Case . . . so far
Wollombi @ 4/11/2003 5:29:57 PM #
I forgot to mentiong that it is a syncable case. You can place the PDA in the cradle with still in the case.


It is not very comfortable to have the gift of being amused at one's own absurdity.
-Somerset Maugham-

RE: Best Case . . . so far
Ben S @ 4/14/2003 10:17:14 AM #
I like the old RhinoSkin leather case too (I posted a few pictures on Brighthand if you care to search for them) -- my favorite "feature" is that you can flip the cover back and use it in a "tripod" mode -- coupled with an autoscrolling book reader (like PalmReader), it's very handy.

It is a bit bulky so I've ordered a Palm hard case (based mostly on this review) for use this summer -- we'll see how it goes. Maybe one of my cases will end up on eBay! :)

Great review

NR_Alien @ 4/11/2003 4:48:18 PM #
What a great read/review! Very entertaining. Had me lol a number of times. PIC should post more reviews like this.

RE: Great review
Altema @ 4/11/2003 8:16:20 PM #
Agreed, this one is a keeper. Informative and entertaining. Well done Stephen!

RE: Great review
niolonra @ 4/12/2003 8:39:06 PM #
I too loved the review. The only thing I would add is that in my experience the hard case from Palm has two additional flaws:
1) the memory card storage slots in the flip lid require you to store the card with the metal connectors facing out, and you almost can't help but touch them when you slide a card out
2) the open top means that when you drop the Tungsten into your backpack or jacket pocket upside down, when it lands the memory card or stylus can be pressed and pop out. It's only happened a few times, but it's a few times more than I like.

OTHEr than that, I am very satisfied with its durability, access to the voice memo button (remapped to play OGG files) and headphone jack

RE: Great review
Ling @ 4/12/2003 10:24:30 PM #
A really funny and comprehensive review! :)

I own the Tungsten T Hard Case and am am concerned abt the inadeqancy of the memory storage card slots. As rightly pointed out, the metal connectors are pointing facing out. Would that spoil my memory cards esp. with frequent usage?

RE: Great review
peitron @ 4/13/2003 12:27:27 AM #
Kudos! Great Job!

"Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?" - Groucho Marx

Rating icons?

alanh @ 4/11/2003 4:57:15 PM #
Is it just me, or is it almost impossible to tell the difference between a full and a half icon for the ratings? I have pretty good vision, and there's just not enough contrast.... It's even worse when I try to read the review on my T|T instead of my CRT.

RE: Rating icons?
sgingras @ 4/11/2003 5:21:41 PM #
No...it's not just you. I struggled with these myself and I wrote the darned thing. ;-)

If you are using IE, you can hover your cursor over the icon and the actual rating number will show up. Perhaps PIC will change the icons at some point to provide better contrast. I'll pass your comments on to Ryan. Thanks.


RE: Rating icons?
abosco @ 4/11/2003 6:01:04 PM #
Actually, I suggested this myself a few weeks ago. I agree, it's hard to make see.

Wow, I just had an epiphany. I very well may be the laziest person in America.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
Now accepting new applications

RE: Rating icons?
abosco @ 4/11/2003 6:04:50 PM #
And I just proved it with my text editing skills on that second sentence.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
Now accepting new applications

The case I have!

Gage @ 4/11/2003 5:17:09 PM #
I strongly suggest getting what I have, and that is the Slipper tungsten case!


It's just COOL.... I use the one that has a belt clip!

The E&B slipper case
robman @ 4/11/2003 8:47:37 PM #
I've got the slipper, (but I made the mistake of buying the one with the belt clip, and I'm not a belt clip guy). It's WAAAAAY better than any of the cases Palm offers.

The E&B case does have problems though. One, while the buttons on the front of the Palm can't be turned on accidentally while the case is closed, the POWER button on the top and the voice memo button on the side can be easily turn the Palm on accidentally. I also often find my SD card half ejected (which really scares me, because it could potentially fall out unnoticed.)

Two, out of the box you can't really open your Tungsten T without sort of half pulling it out of the case. This is easily fixed with a piece of double sided mounting tape (a well documented and effective solution) but E&B still ought to include a piece of the tape in the box.

Three, the case almost completely hides the indicator LED on the front of the Palm. So, you can't see the silent alarms, and when you put your Palm in the cradle you have to crane your neck around to the side to see if you seated it properly and the charging light is on. I'm expecting this problem to become more
frustrating when I upgrade to OS 5.xxx that actually turns the light off when the Palm is fully charged.

Four, the case primarly exists for screen protection, not shock absorbtion. The left and right side of the Palm are almost completly exposed, and the leather covering the bottom and back is thin and flush with the Tungsten's body. If you're looking for a case that would protect your Tungsten on even a few inches drop to a concrete floor, this case would only save you on the front side. This means that for rugged use it's not much better than the included plastic Tungsten doohickey we all love to hate.

Five, it's $35.00 plus shipping. I think we're paying for fine leather with these products (finer still in Vaja-land) and I personally could not care less. It's not worth $35.00, but it's the best case in it's price class, if that makes any sense.

Hope that helps.

Palm Researcher at the University of Texas at Austin

I'll miss my slide connector

palmgator @ 4/11/2003 9:04:43 PM #
In a classic palm engineering screw up I think they totally missed the boat when they got rid of the slide connector on either side, as in the V series.

this is a piece of design mastery, a slick way to place your stylus in either side and a way to solidly connect a slim case without any extra gizmos (mine even stays in my hard case every day when I drop it! . what the heck were they thinking, give me a 5.2 os V series pleaaase!

the only two things keeping from a tungsten are 1. inadequate cse selection and 2. Im waiting for them to ship with graffiti 2

Training sales and real estate professionals on effective palm use!

RE: I'll miss my slide connector
ggeoffre @ 4/12/2003 9:39:46 PM #
I will agree that I did enjoy the slide connector of my Palm V, and I really liked the Palm Hard Case for my Palm V that used this slide connector (as well as the Franklin binder clip). But one design opportunity would have been not to use plastic on the inside rim of the slide connector. I had the top edge chip off making the locking mechanism useless. I would have to say that the stress on the edged of the plastic rim of the slide connector may warrant some re-engineering from my point of view.

I am happy to see Palm continue the innovation and try out the side clasps of the T|T that the cases seem to all be utilizing. My T|T snaps right into my Scuba Sleeve Case. I would hate to have to go to a velcro based solution.

RE: I'll miss my slide connector
JBonds007 @ 4/13/2003 7:27:44 AM #
I have to admit, I miss the quality of the better hard cases offered for the Palm V series compared to the TT cases. I fell in love with the alumninum Palm Vx Hard case (and I'm talking about the original shiny aluminum hard case and not the cheaper aluminum cases now being offered for the V series). However, as much as the slide connector was effective in keeping my Vx connected to the case, it was a pain to remove the Vx from the case for syncing. I now use the Palm hard case which is a breeze to remove the TT for syncing. Prior to my purchase of the TT Palm hard case, I did inquire with RhinoSkin whether they had plans for a hard case for the TT, but the salesperson was either unaware of future product offerings (this was in Nov. 02) or could not discuss about their case. I probably would have waited for the RhinoSkin TT hard case, but given its restrictions agaisnt allowiing extention of the TT while headphones are connected to the audio jack, I probably would have sold the case by now anyway. I also appreciate the dual SD card slot of the Palm hard case. I'll probably end up buying the Covertec case given its ability to sync while covered and better quality of leather finish compared to other leather cases.

Just a few other comments about my TT hard case...first, I wish it had the softer neoprene padding of my Vx RhinoSkin hard case, second, I agree with the others about the stupidity of having to insert the SD cards with the metal tabs exposed. This design flaw also doesn't allow you to see the cover of the SD cards in the event you want to label them or if you use different memory size cards or brands of SD cards to differentiate the data content. Third, I wish the Palm hard case had a locking clasp to prevent the cover from opening on its own (a la RhinoSkin hard case). Lastly, because I needed the ability to carry my TT on my belt (which the Palm hard case doesn't have an option to provide), I ended up buying a $10 Targus black nylon case with a velcro belt loop at my local Fry's to slide my TT with the hard case into. This Targus case has worked well as an added shock absorber on at least one occassion when my Palm flew out of my hands while exiting a co-worker's van (as I got bumped by another person) and also protects the hard case against further scratches. I know this is overkill to use the Targus case as a cover for my hard case, but its been very helpful for accomodating my need to be able to carry my TT on my belt. As I mention above, I'll probably buy the Covertec case since it provides a quality finish and allows easy syncing while in the case.

Tungsten Cases

NAHuber @ 4/11/2003 9:06:05 PM #
I own all 3 of the Palm branded cases (leather, hard and scuba)Ok, I am a case junkie. I really liked the hardcase the best too..at least initially. However, after several months of use, the 2 ribs just above the card slots on the front cover left wear marks on the front of my Tungsten.

I switched back to the scuba case for a few weeks..and even being a lefty found it to be not too bad. The cover opens more as you use it. I am currently using the leather case, but would really like to get a flip up leather case (ala Slipper, Vaja) but have been disapponted with the quality of the Slipper case..seems kind of unfinished. I have been totally mystified by the attitude of Vaja and their funky marketing techniques..like what is the difference between the 54, 85 and 100 dollar cases..other than the fact that the 54 dollar cases are "sold out" and I can't get the leather combination I want in the more expensive cases (so what makes it custom???? and worth the extra $$$))

Well..I guess I will continue to wait!!!!

RE: Tungsten Cases
peitron @ 4/12/2003 2:52:58 PM #
I totally agree. I own both the Palm hardcase and leather case. I HATE the wear marks that the hard case leaves on the Palm. Makes it look dirty. I do, however, think that the hardcase is the best Palm branded case out there. The leather case is sleek and I love that I can recharge without removing the TT, but it's kind of afeminate and I just hate that I can't plug my headphones in when it's closed.

Has anyone tried the Convertec TT case yet? It looks like it's the best of all possible worlds, you can recharge without removing the PDA and listen to MP3 when it's closed. (http://www.mobileplanet.com/private/covertec/Default.asp)

"Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?" - Groucho Marx

RE: Tungsten Cases
sgingras @ 4/12/2003 9:28:35 PM #
The Covertec case does look very nice. I am attempting to get access to one for a forthoming review.


RE: Tungsten Cases
bringer @ 4/14/2003 1:42:39 PM #
I dont' know if you guys are pressing the cover harder into the Palm while it's in your pocket or something because I've had the hard case for a couple of months now and I don't see any marks on my Palm. Just looking at it, it doesn't look these ridges even touch the Palm normally (unless I press down on the case at that point).

RE: Tungsten Cases
ptc @ 4/14/2003 2:25:00 PM #
Palm hard-case marks on my Tungsten are very subtle - and not permanent. Just dirt smudges. If I take a damp cloth to it, they disappear...

Paul C.

Sena Tungsten Case

SuperUser @ 4/12/2003 2:47:16 AM #
Sena Tungsten case also looks cool :


Palm Slim Leather Case

tsinvest @ 4/12/2003 2:10:04 PM #
I bought this case and must say I like it quite fine. I would consider myself somewhat particular and waited a while before I bought a case, but this one seemed to have the least annoying features of all. It also has storage space for 2 cards. You can hotsync with the palm in it (which was a big consideration of mine) and the palm comes out easily if you wish to change over to the original plastic cover for occasional suit pocket use. All in all I would rate this one higher than the review.

Regards, Tom S.

The Best Case...

informationrules @ 4/13/2003 5:22:24 AM #
The best case for the leather friends is the one made by covertec. I guess it is not widely spread in the USA because it is made in France. But i can asure you that this is by far the best leather case that i have seen for the T|T. It uses the clip mechanism that also the original plastic cover uses.
When it comes to ultimate protection i use the InnoPocket alu case, which is just great...

RE: The Best Case...
scopes @ 4/13/2003 10:13:31 AM #
I agree, I first thought the Covertec looked best also.
I am personnally looking for the best leather flip case I can find, but have none as of yet.
If you look closely though, you'll see that since there is no slot by the universal connector, you must sync only after extending the slide-out portion of the Tungsten. I try to slide out as little as possible and when walking in to work in the morning do not want to use two hands to slide out and fasten to cradle when sitting down to my desk. I also liked the idea of using the side slots for attachment, but if you tinker with your clear supplied cover you'd see it is actually quite loose, which would be magnified in a case of this sort.
I am seriously considering the Vaja, EB Slipper and Sena cases, price no object, but want the best leather, smallest size, easiest use flip case.
I might use a belt clip occasionally, but will not get a permanent belt clip, since it would be in the way most times.
Any suggestions ?
RE: The Best Case...
scopes @ 4/13/2003 10:20:02 AM #
I've also decided that the extra latching strap that takes an extra step to latch is, not in my best interest, even though more secure. I would prefer the simple flap with magnet.
RE: The Best Case...
informationrules @ 4/13/2003 11:25:19 AM #
i hot sync via a usb cable, so it fits into the palm even in the covertec or the innopocket case. i ordered a bluetooth adapter for my pc, so hopefully soon i will sync without any cable...

RE: The Best Case...
peitron @ 4/14/2003 4:55:49 PM #
Bluetooth syncs are useful, but USB is still much faster. I wouldn't throw out the craddle when you get your adapter.

A good solid, but at the same time slim, case that allows you to sync with the craddle without removing the Palm is still my utopia.

"Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?" - Groucho Marx

Palm-branded TT cases and SD cards

Navamske @ 4/13/2003 3:13:45 PM #
I tried the Slim Leather Case and found I couldn't remove the SD cards from their slots unless I carried a tweezer with me.

I tried the Aluminum case and was appalled to see that the default way to place the SD cards in their slots is with the front side facing in. This makes it rather difficult to tell which card is which. Also, the SD cards are easier to remove from the Aluminum case, but sometimes they remove themselves -- I've found them at the bottom of my backpack.

I've settled on the Vaja i-Vod case.

Anyone in the market for a slightly used Slim Leather Case and/or a slightly used Aluminum case?

I don't understnad the adulation for the hard case

ckrupsha @ 4/13/2003 3:26:42 PM #
I have purchased the palm branded hard case on the basis of this review, and I have to say that although the review is probably spot-on in regards to the other cases -- the hard case is inadequate at rugged environment protection. My previous hard case is the palm branded model for the m500 series. That thing could take a bullet.

First off, if you drop the TT in the case, I GUARANTEE that the TT will jump out of the case after the first bounce. Not a Big deal on carpet or maybe wood surfaces, but how about asphalt and concrete? Furthermore, the case has no substantial method of staying closed -- anything pressing against the joint will push it open. This case also uses a significantly thinner gauge aluminum than the m500 palm hard case. As a result, the shell is quite flexible.

I work as a plant manager in a manufacturing setting, and have concerns that this case will live up to the reptuation of its older brother. Don't get me wrong, this case is decently designed for what it is. But what it is NOT, is $40 worth of accident protection for your TT -- based upon Palm's own prior hard case achievements. I'd say the value is more around $25. and good protection from average -- but not serious abuse.

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