Compaq iPAQ with Compact Flash Sleeve
Cyberpocket, the same
company responsible for the Flipout PDA Case
that I reviewed earlier this summer, has another type of case that might
interest those that are only satisfied when their PDA is wrapped in some serious
protection: the Spider.
I will be looking at the version made specifically for the Compaq
iPAQ with Compact Flash Sleeve in this review; but you should be aware that
there are also Spider cases available for the Naked
iPAQ, the Casio
E115/E125, the @migo,
and the Palm
The Spider is a flip-style case, and is available in olive green, black, and
yellow. I was presented with the olive green.
The majority of my case is made of
olive accented with black ballistic nylon. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this
material, it is a type of fabric that is virtually impossible to rip or
otherwise damage unintentionally.
The front of the Spider is comprised of a reinforced flip-lid that has a
1/8” thick sheet of Plexiglas permanently inserted between its layers. I don’t
think it would be possible to accidentally crush your PDA’s screen while it was
protected by this case – unless maybe you sat on it!
There are no credit card or ID slots on the inside of the flip-lid. For some,
this may be a con.
The Spider is held closed when the flip-lid is pressed to the bottom inside of
the case – attaching to a narrow strip of Velcro.
|The rear of this case is made of several tough layers of ballistic |
nylon. A thin piece if flexible plastic has been
inserted in the sleeve that accommodates the belt-holster; but it can also
serve to protect the back of your PDA from dents and dings. Here you can
see a little bit of that plastic peeking from the sleeve…
|Sewn into the left side (the right, when the case is facing |
you), is a long elastic loop that can hold a pen measuring up to .43"
(1.09cm). This loop will work with most available multi-pens. Here I am showing it
with the Rotring Quattro
Opening the Spider reveals a holster made of flexible clear vinyl. All of its edges have been trimmed in a black, ribbed fabric tape – except for the
bottom edge, which is finished in black ballistic nylon.
|The vinyl holster is cut in such a way that the screen of your iPAQ will be |
completely exposed. A 1/8" piece of wire is bent in a U-shape, adding
integrity to the vinyl. By resting on the sides of the iPAQ’s CF sleeve, this wire
will also add assistance to the protected flip-lid, should something press on
your iPAQ’s screen.
|The bottom buttons and joy-pad of your iPAQ are covered by |
the vinyl. Personally, I really don’t like this. Since I do a lot of
reading on my iPAQ, I like un-fettered access to the joy-pad.
The top portion of the iPAQ, where the power button is located,
The 1/8" wire bar that you can see in this picture does not touch your iPAQ.
|The sides of your iPAQ will be completely covered by the |
flexible vinyl that makes up the holster. Since the iPAQ is not a device
with a lot of buttons on its sides (other than record), this is
actually a great method of offering maximum protection of the PDA with
|The bottom of the holster is fashioned in such a way that |
your can snake a charging or syncing cable into their respective ports. It
is a little bit awkward to perform a reset while your iPAQ is in this
case, but it is not impossible.
|This Cyberpocket case has a unique belt attachment method. Instead of a |
permanent clip on the back of the case, the Spider uses a double thickness U-shaped
wire holster that slides into the sleeve on the bottom back of the Spider
|Here is a view of the holster fully inserted in its sleeve.|
|A Velcro belt attachment is affixed to the top of the wire |
holster that can accommodate up to a 1" sized belt. Worth noting is
the fact that this belt attachment was designed so that you could remove
the holster without removing your belt. This is probably a very good
thing, because I am just about positive that the holster would set off
The Spider adds quite a bit of bulk to the iPAQ, but it is a trade-off. When
your PDA is in this case, you will have absolute peace of mind in most
crush-scenarios. I believe that in most accidental drops your PDA should also be
adequately protected, due to the extra ballistic material on the four corners.
Although the Spider feels (and looks) massive when you are holding it
in your hand; once it is on your belt it doesn’t seem awkward at all.
Here are some comparisons for you to consider:
|iPAQ w/CF Sleeve (no case)||5.2" (13.2cm)||3.4" (8.6cm)||1.07" (2.7cm)||9.6oz (274g)|
|iPAQ w/CF Sleeve in Spider||5.85" (14.9cm)||3.5" (8.8cm)||2.05" (5.2cm)||14.1oz (398g)|
|iPAQ w/CF Sleeve in Spider with Belt |
|5.85" (14.9cm)||3.5" (8.8cm)||2.3" (5.75cm)||15.4oz (436g)|
|iPAQ w/CF Sleeve in Vaja iPAQ+CF |
|5.33" (13.5cm)||3.43" (8.71cm)||1.7" (4.3cm)||12.2oz (347g)|
Due to its size and weight, the Spider may not appeal to everyone. I think
that for those that want ultimate protection while their iPAQ is in a sleeve,
yet that aren’t ready to use something quite as large as the Flipout, this case
may be a viable solution.
Available in Olive Green, Black, and Yellow
Tough exterior, screen is extremely well protected
Case is very well made
Every surface of PDA is protected when case is closed
Can use with or without belt holster
Will hold full-size multi-pen next to PDA
Can remove case from belt holster very easily – yet it is secure when installed
Top of PDA is left completely accessible when case is open
Can use charging or sync cable when PDA is in case
Big & Bulky
Plastic covers buttons and joy-pad – although, this will not bother everyone