Any PDA smaller than The Newton
Anyone out there remember my review of the PDA Plus case??? (If so, you get a Master’s
Degree in Gadgeteer Third-String reviewer
trivia; I used to be Second String but let’s not talk about the Axim).
Anyhoo, as I was reviewing said leather flip-out case, I kept thinking that if the item
were more rigid (say…made out of a solid material…like plastic…any idea where
this is going??) that it would be a better option for a wearable computing solution (okay,
that’s it for the buzz words – stop me before I write "value-added").
Be careful what you wish for, because Adapture just might do it with the PreZent.
When I first saw pictures on their site, I was floored! This case was just the thing
for those folks who need to use their PDA and have another hand free. The uber-geek inside
of me was drooling at the prospect of this item.
When it arrived at my house, I was struck with one thought: I have a Clié, not a
This guy is big; I mean really big – I managed to park my Miata inside of the case
during a sudden storm (okay, that may be a bit much). Were I still an Axim owner (no more
flames, please…) I think it would have been just fine – as would any of the
previous generation PocketPCs.
Okay, deep breath…this case is industrial, no doubt about that. A Palm-based PDA
with a bar-code attachment would go just fine in here – but my old Clié T615 just
looked silly, but I doubt that there will be many 615 owners who would buy this item.
Okay, enough with the size of the case…
It is made of plastic with metal hinge pins. There are two plastic belt clips on the
back of the unit for waist wearing. These clips seem ultra-cheap upon first inspection,
but after using the unit for a week, they were still in pristine condition (which says a
lot about the durability of the PreZent if you folks know me at all…)
The PDA is attached via Velcro…enough said.
Something else was bothering be about this case, and it took me a few days of use to
really ferret out my displeasure…the finish of the case is not up to current consumer
standards. Looking at the item, you can see plastic stock sheet has been used extensively
throughout the case, and many of the seams, while functional, are somewhat on the ugly
Once again, however, this is not a case will replace a Piel Frama or Vaja carried by a
middle manager – this is tough item for tough jobs.
Operation of the device is simple. Push out on the tab at the top of the unit and your
PDA appears magically at the approximate level of the top belt clip. The action is smooth
and actually pretty cool (there is a link to a video of the
operation from the Adapture Site). Once in place, the weight of the PDA (which is
supported by four beefy plastic arms) is placed at the bottom of the case and supported by
the wearer’s thigh. The PDA is provided some protection by the sides of the case. The
screen is exposed but an impact from the sides/front/bottom will be absorbed by the case.
The arrangement of the case makes it next to impossible to remove or replace anything
from the stock stylus silo, but a stylus has been included that fits in silo near the top.
Frankly, this stylus is about the worst I have ever seen, making any of the stock styli
with any PDA seem excellent in comparison. I believe that the stylus is a move
on the manufacturer’s part that any industrial user would be using a pen-based stylus, not a
Will I keep using this case? No. Would I recommend it to my friend who likes to play
games over his lunch hour? No. Someone in a warehouse logistics capacity? Sure. Field data
gathering? You Betcha.
At fifty bucks, it really comes down to your needs as to the value (oops, there goes
another buzz-word) of this case.
True Wearable Solution (that adds value)
Adds serious bulk
Stylus an afterthought