Tactilis Flip-Clip and Screen Cover Review

Product Requirements:
Handspring Visor, Deluxe, Platinum, and Prism

I have been an enthusiastic Handspring Visor user since they first came out.
And although I have lots of praises for the thinking that went into the design
of the Visor, and also the idea of the Springboard Modules, I thought they could
have done better with the plastic screen cover. I never liked it. In fact, I
took it off as soon as I got a case for the Visor and it has been living in the
bottom of my junk drawer ever since. One reason I don’t like it is that it is
loose when removed. Sure, you can flip it to the other side of the Visor,
snapping it into the same grooves on top and bottom. But lots of us remember the
commotion when the Visor first came out about the top groove breaking off with
repeated use of the Visor’s plastic cover. Why would they design something great
like the Springboard Module, and then make a cover that restricts it’s use? And
with the change in the Prism’s backside, you can’t even connect it’s cover to
the device’s back! Not to mention the fact that you need to remove the cover to
perform a HotSync. (OK, so I mentioned it 🙂

Well now there is a clever alternative to those who like the
“flip-lid” style covers on the Palm III style PDA that is designed for
the Visor, Visor DX, Platinum, and Prism. The Flip-Clip from Tactilis
is a small plastic bracket that clips to the top of the Visor or Prism, (without
adhesives or Velcro, etc…), to fit with the Palm III style flip lid. Tactilis
offers the covers in an assortment of colors that somewhat
match the colors available for the Handspring PDAs.


My first impression of the Flip-Clip & Cover
was, “Ah, finally someone made a flip cover for this thing!” But I
will have to admit, I think that the covers, while fully functional and fitting,
are a bit lacking in the “form” category. This is mostly due to the
fact that the covers are “exactly” the same as the
ones on the Palm III style PDAs. Tactilis is now designing a
Flip-Lid that is specifically shaped for the Handspring PDAs. That’s good because
the Palm III covers, with their curved shape, are just a bit too awkward for the
Visor and Prism. And like the flip cover on a Palm III, it can’t be swung
completely around to the back of the PDA. But they do cover the screen well, and
that may be more important for you.


Tactilis states that the newly designed lids will be in the
colors that match the Handspring PDAs, and will be more transparent. This will
make the Flip-Clip & Flip-Lid even more
attractive as an alternative to the stock cover. Currently the only colors that
seemed to match the Visor are the Ice and Black colors. They make a Graphite
lid, it’s sort of translucent dark gray, and the lid also comes in Blue, Green,
Orange, Indigo, Purple, and Yellow. In all colors, you really can’t see through
them, (yet), so keep that in mind if you are looking for a see-through lid.

fliplid3 fliplid2

My advice would be that if you are looking to have a flip lid for your
Handspring PDA, the Flip-Clip & Cover would fit your needs quite nicely. It enables you to HotSync, and access the
Springboard modules without removing it, and it covers the screen and buttons
without adding much to the overall size of the Visor or Prism. But if the form
of the cover is a concern for you, and you want one that
exactly matches your Handspring PDA’s color, I would suggest waiting for their new
lids to come out.

$6.00 Flip-Clip (Available in Ice or Black)
$4.00 Coverss (Available in Ice,
Black, Graphite, Blue, Green, Orange, Indigo, Purple , and Yellow)
$10.00 Combo Packs (one Flip-Clip and one Cover)

Protects the screen and buttons
Doesn’t restrict the HotSync port or Springboard module
Comes in a variety of colors


Palm III covers are not a perfect fit on the Visor
Can’t be swung completely around to the back of the PDA


Product Information


21 thoughts on “Tactilis Flip-Clip and Screen Cover Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I recently purchased the Pentax Optio S, as I was looking for a tiny camera that would fit into my eHolster PDA Plus that I wear on my belt.

    It has a LOT of features (all can be automated for those who don’t wish to mess around with settings), is 3.2 Mpixels as compared to the U20’s 2, and has an optical viewfinder and both optical and digital zoom. It also has an excellent super macro mode to take pictures of items from a few inches away.

    It also takes SD cards, which are a LOT cheaper and come in larger capacities.

    The picture quality is spectacular.

  3. What is the price of the Pentax? Is that the Altoids box cam? I had looked at it when I was shopping for a tiny camera. It wasn’t available at the time though.

  4. “very very quit” should be “very very quick”

    Does the clock lose time when you take the batteries out to charge? My Kodak does.

    Great review! Keep it up!

  5. I bought the U20 a couple of weeks ago (in bright blue!) to replace/augment my Canon Ixus. I found that I wasn’t carrying the Ixus all the time as it is quite heavy and if I go anywhere that I want to do any ‘serious’ photography I lug along my trusty Olympus OM2N. The U20 has provided great results so far, the comment re. the larger card sizes of SD doesn’t bother me as I have found the larger the card you put in a camera the slower the startup time. With a 32Mb card in the U20 the camera is ready to go in less than 1.5 secs, and holds some 60 shots at its largest resolution. The battery charger is very slow but since I have a 2 hour charger both at work and at home for all the other battery operated stuff I have I don’t bother with the Sony one. The fact that I have a Sony Clie that I can stick the MS into and view the pictures, albeit at a fairly poor res., and share MS with was another reason to purchase it.
    The clock doesn’t lose time when you take the batteries out as far as I have been able to tell.

  6. Hi Julie, I visit your site very very often. I love your site. Please double check your pros on the Sony DSC U20. sincerely. LT.

  7. Hi Julie,

    I purchased mine about 3 weeks ago here in NYC from 17th Street Photo (in person) for $397.

    The only real drawback I have found is the lack of a super-slim slip cover to protect it from scratches. I hate buying such micro-sized devices only to carry them in a Glad-bag size case. Then again, this can be said for almost every such device I have ever owned, outside of mp3 players (the Nomad II MG and the iRiver iFp-195T both came with the perfect cases).

    And, yes, it does in fact fit in a can of Altoids (much to my co-workers’ amusement)! :wow:

    I had a bad experience with the Sony P1 model (from which the U20 is derived). The weak flash made it useless indoors, especially in bars and clubs. I sold that puppy and was very happy with the Canon S300, and only switched because I’m a gadget freak, spoiled rotten to the core. :p

  8. Good article. I use mine a lot, except for the shots I want to blow up. The U20 is more than adequate for web shots.

    I think of the U20 as a great party camera. Excellent for candid moments that other cameras are way too slow and is small enough so people know you are taking their picture. The camera is a converation piece. Many think digital cameras have to fairly large. The U20 is sized like those old 110 cameras. Remember those stick cameras? It is so simple that I can give this to a waiter to shoot a group shot without giving him or her a short course on digital photography.

    I think the flash on the camera is adequate. Most flashes only have range of a few feet anyways. The camera does have a pretty decent low-light capabilities. Sometimes I shoot without a flash and color balance later.

    I store mine in a small cell phone case that I sewn on to my Clie case so it is always with me. I feel like a reporter ready to jump in and snap a shot.

  9. what type of device did you purchase at radio shack and how much did it cost. i would like to factor this into the price of the camera. i have been carrying around a review from the new york times technology section for six months about small cameras and this one was the recommended camera.

    i had read a personal review that since the camera is so small there is a very strong red eye factor because the flash is so close to the lens. do you have any suggestions for overcoming this problem?
    this same reviewer also did not like the camera because there was no zoom lens. have you found this to be a problem?


  10. The charger I have from Radio Shack is a couple of years old. I would purchase the NEXcell charger that Judie reviewed:


    We used it in Scotland it is small and very quick.

    As for red eye problems, I’ve not had any real trouble with that. There’s a red eye setting…

    As far as no zoom, it hasn’t bothered me either. This isn’t my main camera. It’s my carry-around-with-me-everyday-for-quick-snaps camera 🙂

  11. Hi guys…
    B4 getting the u20 I had the Sony P31 and then the u10. Got rid of the P31 when I saw how small the u10 was. The P31 produces great pics but the battery consumption was bad n it’s quite big 4 me 2 bring along everywhere. Got rid of the u10 coz of the u20 of course.

    I have 2 admit that the single most influencing factor 4 me must be the size…it’s so damn small even 4 someone who is just over 5 ft. Furthermore, the pics come out great n the battery life is excellent. However, the adapter provided sucks tho. Instead I got myself the Sony Super Quick Charger which takes Ni-Mh AA n AAAs. Charging time is abt 1 hr.

    Another factor that influences me 2 get the u20 is that I m using the Clie SJ30. With my Clie I can really check the pics almost immediately. I can also share the MS easily.

    These 2 gadgets are among other things (that I can around with me always), in an Outdoor waist pouch.

    Anyway, nice review! 🙂

  12. I had a Casio Exilim and LOVED it… well, except for a couple minor details.

    1. Had to hot sync and charge in specificed cradle. Even though I got a spare battery, this was still pretty limiting, and made it harder to travel with. I now find it odd to think about a small digital camera that is actually awkward to travel with.

    2. The sync software bothered me. not sure why, but it was just… ‘odd’. It popped right up when I inserted the camera in the cradle and turned it ‘on’. pretty seamless and all, but…

    3. It used SD/MMC cards. Not a problem but I use Memory Sticks in my Clie PDA, and wanted to seamlessly use images between the camera, PDA and desktop computer.

    I now have a DSC-U20, based in part on the review. I don’t quite love it as much (I lost digital zoom, which I know I can replicate with software, but it was a fun feature), my movie recording time is cut in half (15 sec.s as opposed to 30 on the Exilim), it is awfully thick (I really got used to the almost credit card thinness of the Exilim)… BUT-

    1. It uses AAA batteries! With a charger and a couple spare alkies in my bag, I don’t have to worry about juice any more! I also travel with a solar charger when camping, etc., so I should never have to worry about this.

    2. It uses Memory Sticks, AND integrates seamlessly to my Clie (OK, I need a JPEG image viewer, but I had that). This also gives me the option of using MS EXPORT on my Clie to transmit images.

    For me, this was a very good choice. Thanks, Julie!

  13. Glad you like it! Check this out, after reading your post, I thought I’d check the battery status of mine. I carry it with me in my gear bag every day, and haven’t charged it in weeks. I was very surprised to see that the batteries are still at full charge! Pretty good huh? 😀

  14. hi,
    new to this board and would like to know if this Sony camera is still the one that everyone still likes in light of newer cameras that have hit the market since. I’ve never owned a digital camera. Any reccomendations on model and place to buy it.

    many thanks:D

  15. Hi, I’m new to this board although I’ve been a longtime reader of the gadgeteer website.

    I’m a happy owner of the Cybershot U20 (just got it as a present from my boyfriend :love: 3 months ago 😀 ) and it definitely is a great piece of geek gadget… I love it and like Julie carry it around in my bag all the time. It’s so small and handy and has a great pix quality as well as endurance. This summer I took it to mountain hikes every weekend and made some great pix with it 😀 And the good thing, it’s a great companion to my CLIE NX70 :love:

    To answer mark’s question, Sony has come out with the successor to the U20, it’s the U30 but it’s not as you might think a 3 megapix camera in a U20 case, but it’s “just” an update to the U20. The differences are the following:

    – dimensions: the U30 is slightly heavier, but smaller too
    – memory: the U30 accepts Memory Stick Pro
    – pix formats: the U30 has an “in-between” format between the hi-res (1600 x 1200) and the low-res (640 x 480).

    You might want to check out the reviews in dpreview

    Bye for now and bravo Julie and Judie, keep up the great work, because you’re an example for many female geeks out there 😎

  16. By the way, I’m looking for a good case for my Cybershot U20. A nice leather one, or else a decent gore-tex or some neopren material… any ideas ?

    Thanks ! 😉

  17. Julie. Thanks for an excellent review. Have purchased this camera and could not be more pleased. Everything you say about it I endorse. For me, this is the most practical point and shoot quality digital camera that I have ever used. Just amazing what can be done with it.

  18. extra stroke penatly

    sweet camera for sure. throw it in your pocket bring it anywhere. i had it when i broke down here

    handiest camera ever
    good for closeups

    i have to give it back to my friend now. do they still make them?

  19. extra stroke penatly

    does anyone know any other cameras that are similar to this camera? i’m talking size, maybe a bit better resoultion.

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