Targus Leather Universal PDA Case Review

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Product Requirements:
Various handheld PDAs

The Targus Leather Universal PDA Case will fit any PDA with measurements up to 5.375”
x 3.875” x .875”. In case you are wondering, this includes all Palm &
Handspring models, the TRGpro, the Sony Clie, the Compaq iPAQ (without an
expansion sleeve), the HP Jornada 548, the Casio E-100 series, and the new Casio
EM-500. I’m sure that there are a few that I may have left out – but you get
the general idea.

outside of this Targus case is beautiful. It
is made of smooth black
glove leather, and has contrasting gold stitching all around the borders, and
down the backside.

targus univpda1targus univpda2

The front cover has an embossed Targus logo on
the bottom right corner. This is the only real imperfection that I found with
the appearance of this case. Personally, I think that the Targus logo is just
too blocky and big, to emboss on the front of an otherwise flawless exterior. I
believe that the logo should have been placed on the inside of the case, and
believe it or not, they embossed their logo there, too – on the off chance
that you missed it on the front side. J

The stitching that runs down the middle of the
backside, almost gives the appearance that there is a pocket there. There
isn’t, but it would have been a great place to put one.

The Targus Leather Universal PDA Case unzips on
three sides in order to lay flat, like an open book. This style always makes me
think of the Day Runners, Day-Timers and Franklin Planners that I am sure many
of us started out with years ago. Only, instead of a binder full of paper, when
you open this book, you are greeted with your PDA of choice, which in this
picture happens to be the new Handspring Visor Prism.

targus univpda3

Upon opening this case, you will find places for almost everything that you
might need to carry. The left side has four ID or credit card slots, and two
vertical deep pockets. There is an elastic loop for a slim, replacement-style
stylus, and a wide elastic memory-card holder.

targus univpda4

I put a compact flash (type I) card in this
holder, with my HP 548 also in the case, and I found that I kept turning on my
PDA even when I had the Jornada set to only come on when the Power button was
pushed, not the hot keys. Well, the power button is evidently where the Jornada
was being pushed, so I found that it wasn’t a good idea to use the cardholder
with this particular PDA. I suppose you could leave the flip cover on your HP
548, if you needed to carry the extra CF card – However, this seems like

When there is no card inserted in the elastic,
none of the PDAs I experimented with accidentally turned on. Now, I realize that
it is highly unlikely that you will be toting a memory card around with your
Palm OS PDA (unless you have a TRGpro), however, since the slot is there, I
wanted to show something in it, and point out the problem – in case you have
something of similar size that you were thinking about putting in this slot.

On the inside right, there are two Velcro
fasteners, so that you can affix the Velcro to your PDA in a place where nothing
important is covered up – such as your reset button, springboard slot, serial
number, or what have you. You can either discard the extra fuzzy-piece of
Velcro, or save it for the likely event that you will peel the first piece off
your PDA eventually, and will need the replacement.

Just for size-comparison’s sake, here are some
PDAs in this Targus case. From the top left, I show the Palm IIIc, the HP
Jornada 548, and the Palm m100:

targus univpda5 targus univpda6
targus univpda7

You can see that this case looks good with just
about any PDA in place. Even though it is generic as far as fit, its not too
big, so as to “swallow” the smaller PDAs.

This case seems to offer some defense from dings
to the screen of your PDA; however, it is not overly padded, and it is
definitely not crush-proof. I do believe that for ordinary day-to-day use, it
should provide adequate screen protection, though.

All in all, I think that this is a great case, as
long as you don’t mind affixing a tab of Velcro to your PDA. Measuring in at
5.875” x 4.375” x 1-1/8”,
It is a little too large to fit in a suit jacket, but it will fit well in
a medium to large size purse. Of course, it can fit in any briefcase, and can
also be carried on its own as a daybook/wallet.


Price: $39.99 – Comes with a Lifetime Warrantee

Very nicely styled, Looks & feels expensive
Can use as a daybook/wallet

Large “Targus” embossed on the bottom front
Must stick a piece of Velcro to your PDA
If you put a CF card in holder, some PDAs will accidentally power on


Product Information

  • Very nicely styled, Looks & feels expensive
  • Can use as a daybook/wallet
  • Large “Targus” embossed on the bottom front
  • Must stick a piece of Velcro to your PDA
  • If you put a CF card in holder, some PDAs will accidentally power on

16 thoughts on “Targus Leather Universal PDA Case Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I would just like to mention that the screen is actually frontlit as I am aware. There is no light behind the LCD. That is why if you hold the unit at an angle, you will see the light shine across.

    It’s the same as the AfterBurner kit (a kit which modifies the original GBA to have an internal light), I am pretty sure only done very professionally by nintendo.

    I have bought a GBA SP also along with metroid fusion. This is by far the best handheld I have ever owned. (i have owned the orig. gb, pocket gb, gamegear, sega nomad, gb colour, gba). not because it has the best graphics, just because it is the best designed handheld. the library of games for gba is also very good.

  3. You’re right about it being frontlit. I think my brain just substituted backlit for frontlit everywhere I said it… I’ll go fix that. 🙂

  4. If you are looking for the headphone adapter, Mad Catz has the best one………

    However, currently it is only sold in their “Macro Kit’ which comes with:

    – Headphone Adapter
    – Car Adapter
    – Headphones
    – Hard Case

    The reason the Mad Catz adapter is better? It has a pass-through for charging as well. As can be expected, the included headphones suck, the car adapter does what it should, and the case is substandard.

    If they would sell the adapter jack separately, it would be perfect. 🙂

  5. Sucks .After buying my unit the screen just snapped completely off.
    Im going back to the store and buy a GBA with afterburner and maybe a sony clie,tablet pc and a nokia 8910i.
    You should spend your money on a Benz.


  6. Great review Julie. I have the original advance so I’m not going to upgrade right now as you said. Although having a backlit screen could come in handy. Giving he history of the Game Boy was a good idea also. I still play Tetris on my bulky original Game Boy all the time and toss my GBA aside. I love it! 😎

  7. :love: I LOVE MY SP!
    It is simply the best little handheld I have had.
    (I also have had original gameboy, gameboy color and gameboy advance)

    The portability is awesome. The screen is protected by the clamshell design. And I just love the look of it.

    My boyfriend and I like to take turns playing minigames in Wario ware with the lights off before bed. (which was just not possible with the gameboy advance without the light kit.)

    I have heard a lot of hoopla about the Afterburner Kit and I do have it for my GB Advance, but it’s just not as good as the light on the SP.

    So, I say even if you have a GBA, the SP is still great buy… a big step up.
    I don’t regret a single penny of my purchase price.

  8. I like this article, its really done me quite a bit of good. I’ve been pondering wether to sell my GBA and get an SP when the new ‘classic’ versions come out in Canada. (as you may or may not know, a GBA SP in Canada is $139 CAN plus GST and PST o__O)

    I’ve been reading review after review in my search to make a decision, and you know the tempation to get an SP just for the front light is quite bad for me, having poor vision problems.

    But the pricetag gives me the queezies. Should I trade in the GBA and get the Classic SP? Should I hang onto the GBA and buy an afterburner kit? Which would be most worth it?

    After reading this thoughtful article and the posts that followed, I’ve decided to get the SP. I have a bit of spare cash coming up, so I can afford it now if I trade in the GBA. This article clinched it for me. *specially the pictures. Though if I don’t like the Classic SP in person, I’ll probably get the red SP version, or blue if they have it. heh heh. I like the Classic look though. Reminds me of our old Nintendo game controllers, the first system I ever owned.)

    Lee (80’s child. Could ye tell?)

    P.S!!! If you live in North America, and have an Electronics Boutique (EBGames) nearby, they take games and consoles for store credit. A GBA would get about $40 CAN in store credit, depending on the version. Games get you some pretty good prices, I traded in a stack of about 5 old PC games and got $20. 🙂 They take any video game ever made, (though our EB only takes PC games if the box comes with it)

  9. Gamboy Advance SP Owners,

    Is it possible to connect both:
    1. A gameboy advance multiplayer cable AND
    2. A headphone adaptor
    to the Gamboy Advance SP, and use them both at the same time?

  10. afriguru:

    I’ve not tested this, but since the headphone adaptor and the multiplayer cable use two different connectors, I’m going to assume that you can use both of them at the same time.

  11. Hi Julie

    I have had the gameboy color only a month ago and now I have the gameboy
    advance SP………..Its so cooooooool 😎 ….I have it in flame red color
    Its a great console and i think its better than having a playstation or an
    x-box…..coz u cant use a ps or an x-box if there is a blackout and they
    are not portable consoles

    Inspired by ur reviews i decided to buy them
    …………my gameboy color is in kiwi green colour

    the frontlight in SP is the best feature…..
    Nintendo ur all geniuses

    This is the best handheld console i have ever played…


    Faraz Lodhi….Standard 9th……India

  12. Guys,
    I know that there are warnings on your site from time to time about using screen protection with your PDA. Is the same thing necessary on your GBA? I can see that it
    might be needed on the DS, but I’ve just recently bought a GBA SP, and I
    saw that they are selling screen protectors for it.
    If you have tried any of these protectors out, I’d appreciate it if you could let
    us know if you know of any that are any good. I’m leery of bad, sticky, cloudy, screen protectors. Thanks!


  13. Game Boy Advance SP Backlight Intensity Controller(BIC)

    There is a way to control the systems’s display brightness level, this can be done by turning the little knob that is located underneath the battery pack(a screwdriver will be required) clockwise or counter-clockwise.

    This knob is not a screw, it’s underneath the plastic, looks like a cup with the x, if you see the design of the battery printed on the plastic, the hole you are looking for is to the right of the positive pole.

    Try playing with it, turn the knob about 30 degrees in either direction, put the battery in and turn the system on, you’ll see the difference after you do it a couple times.

    I have posted a picture witht his message to help you.

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