Compaq iPAQ 3600 series
The resourcefulness of PDA owners, and other “gadget-geeks” never
ceases to amaze me. When we need something and it isn’t available on the market
fast enough to suit us, many times we will go and create the needed item –
sometimes from scratch if necessary.
I hear a lot of griping about the fact that the iPAQ didn’t come with built
in screen protection, such as a flip-lid like the Jornada did. While there are
many aftermarket cases for the iPAQ that solve this problem, there are those
that don’t want to hide their iPAQ in a bulky case. These people want to be able
to just slip their iPAQ in a pocket and go.
For the people that are interested in the absolute thinnest form factor –
no matter what sleeve is attached, there is a new product that may answer their
needs: The iPAQ iLID.
While at first, it would be easy to dismiss this simple little screen cover
as “home-brew” due to its lack of slick packaging and unassuming
design; it is actually a clever idea if you are looking for the slimmest form
factor possible for your iPAQ, and if you don’t want to carry any extra
This might even be an idea for people who feel that they need extra screen
protection, even though they ordinarily have their iPAQ’s in a case.
The iLID is available in two colors: transparent red and clear.
The transparent red iLID might afford you more privacy, if you are working in an
environment where you are leery of people looking over your shoulder. It reminds
me of the red film that you put over a flashlight to protect your night vision.
There might be uses for this, if you needed to utilize your iPAQ at night
without jeopardizing your ability to see.
This is how the iLID comes. You get a lid, with hinge and handle already
attached for iPAQ installation – along with a replacement hinge and handle.
Everything is taped to a piece of printed card-stock.
There is a protective piece of sticky paper backing on the iLID that will
need to be removed once you are ready to install.
CLEAR iLID (you can really see the protective backing in this picture)
For this review, I decided to install the clear iLID, as I figured that would
be the version I would get more use from.
are on their web page, but there is really nothing to it…you simply peel off
the paper backing that protects the flexible hinge, and place it on the top
front of your
There is a cut-out that dips where the iPAQ’s power button is, and the rest
of the transparent hinge will run under that area. There are transparent
“wings” that wrap around the top of your iPAQ, to secure the iLID.
After installing the hinge, you remove the paper backing on the screen cover
The flexible hinge covers a small area of the iLID over the iPAQ’s screen, as
you can see in the above picture. This is almost unnoticeable when you are using
This is the fully installed product…
There is really nothing to it. It looks presentable, has a tiny form factor,
and does what it was made to do.
Here you can better see the raised handle, which is attached to the bottom of
the iLID. This handle appears to be a round rubber button that was cut in half.
The edges on mine were a little rough, but it wasn’t unsightly.
The iLID will not stay closed if you pick the iPAQ up and tilt it forward.
There is nothing but gravity actually holding it closed on your iPAQ’s screen.
The iLID will not flip to the back side of the iPAQ. Since it is installed to
the front panel, it in no way obstructs anything on the top or rear of your PDA.
A benefit of this system is that it will work even with an expansion sleeve
installed. This makes it a truly versatile product.
One of the things that I liked best about the iLID was that everything was
visible under it’s transparent screen cover. I was able to leave my iPAQ in it’s
cradle and see what was on my screen at any given time.
Now obviously, if you need to look something up – you will likely need to
flip the iLID – as you cannot tap the screen through it. However, it is possible to read
e-Books and check appointments, contacts, to-do items, or any other things that
you can do without touching the screen.
I did notice that when I removed the iLID from my iPAQ there was a slight
bit of residue left on the iPAQ’s case. It easily cleaned off, and it seemed
more “greasy” than “sticky”.
It would seem that for little shocks and other unexpected taps, the iLID
should definitely protect your iPAQ’s screen.
So is the iLID for you? If you are a person that is concerned about keeping your
iPAQ as small as possible, and if you don’t want the protection of a case: then
this is a product you may want to check out.
Comes with one iLID with handle and hinge installed, and one replacement hinge
Can carry iPAQ without a case
Protects screen with smallest form factor
Can use with or without expansion sleeves
Will swing open if you tilt iPAQ
Hinges will wear out with use, but are easily replaceable
Will leave a residue when removed