Anyone that has been around PDAs for any amount of time has most likely heard
of the titanium hard cases made by
Rhinoskin. Beginning with the
titanium book-style case that Rhinoskin offered for the original
Palm Pilot, and evolving into the
Ti – slider style that appeared when the
Palm III first came out, Rhinoskin has continued to add innovative ruggedized
solutions to their line of cases. In recent years, Rhinoskin has also made
several styles using aluminum for those that wanted the protection of
metal, without all of the weight of titanium.
Palm V owners have enjoyed special treatment from Rhinoskin. Not only did
they get a choice of aluminum or titanium for their cases, they were also
offered a choice of fitted or slider styles. In this review, Julie and I want to
show you the next generation of Rhinoskin offerings for the next generation of
the Palm V/Vx – the m500 and the m505.
Aluminum Hardcase for the Palm m500 and m505
by Judie Clark
I have been a fan of the Rhinoskin line of hard cases for years – almost
every Palm that ever accompanied me to the ranch I work at came along inside a
Rhinoskin Ti – slider. It seemed almost a crime to hide my Palm m505’s gorgeous
curves in a square block of metal, and I am quite pleased that with the fitted
Aluminum Hardcase, I don’t have to.
This case’s beauty lies in its smooth industrial design. The Rhinoskin case
is subtly decorated by the deep grooves on its front and back, and by the
two-toned hinge in its left side. The raised Rhinoskin logo on the front is this
case’s only decoration.
Opening the Rhinoskin, you will find that your Palm is to be held in place
with a thin metal rail that inserts into the left silo. Thus, there is no need
for Velcro or tension between the Palm and the case’s lining to keep your PDA
Both the front and back sides of the Hardcase are lined in thin,
shock-absorbing neoprene. There are identical cutouts in both sides of the
neoprene to accommodate the up/down scrollbar on the front of the Palm.
Why both sides? Well, because if you are left-handed you might want to
install the Palm so that the side-rail is inserted on the right side. Since this
case opens book-style, this might make it a bit easier for you "lefties" to
enjoy the case. There is a catch, though…
Even though the Rhinoskin comes with plastic inserts so that you can
install the case using the rail in the larger right silo, there is no stylus
that I am aware of that will fit the smaller left silo. You will be forced to
use another type stylus entirely, such as a multi-pen that you would carry in
your pocket. This is certainly not a design flaw of the Rhinoskin case, the
fault rests entirely with Palm.
You can also use the included plastic rail inserts for retrofitting an older
Palm V/Vx into this aluminum case. So, if you have been holding back on
purchasing this type of protective metal case, it is good to know that Rhinoskin
saw fit to keep this model backwards compatible.
The measurements of the Aluminum Hardcase are 4.8" (12.2cm) tall x 3.5" (9cm)
wide x 0.8" (2cm) thick. With a Palm m505 inserted, the total weight is 7.7
ounces (220g). Even though the Rhinoskin Hardcase does add extra bulk, the
package still remains easily pocketable.
When the Rhinoskin case is opened, you have easy access to the stylus, the
infrared port, and the on/off button.
I won’t say that this case could stop a bullet or keep a car from squishing
your PDA should you drop it under a tire, but I do think that for just about any
other extreme you and your PDA might encounter during the course of the day –
you will be covered. I believe that
This case is extraordinary. If you are a person that likes to get outdoors
and bring your Palm along, or if you work in a harsh environment where
protection is a necessity, then you owe it to yourself to get this case.
Neoprene cushions Palm from dings and knocks inside aluminum shell
Includes plastic rail-guards to retro-fit to a Palm V/Vx
Edges are smooth and fit perfectly together
When case is closed – every surface of Palm is covered and protected
Adds only 2.3 ounces (66g) to Palm
Makes Palm a bit bulkier
Cannot sync easily with the cradle while the PDA is in the case
Titanium Hardcase for the Palm m500 and m505
by Julie Strietelmeier
When people think about the ultimate PDA case, the first thing that automatically
comes to mind (at least to me) is the
almost legendary Rhinoskin Titanium cases. Rhinoskin has had several titanium
cases for Palm III series, and Palm V series PDAs. Now they have a brand new molded
titanium case specifically for the Palm m500 series PDA.
The Palm m500/m505 Molded Titanium Hardcase is a crush resistant, scratch
resistant, neoprene lined case made of 100% grade 1 titanium. This bad boy is
definitely built to last and to protect your PDA. Titanium is a metal that is
lighter and harder than stainless steel and unfortunately, about three times as
This hardcase looks almost identical to the
Molded Palm V case that I reviewed a year ago. But instead of having a
satiny silver color, it has the grayish golden color associated with the metal
titanium. It is also a little heftier than the aluminum case.
I found this hardcase to be very solid. It didn’t flex at all when I would
squeeze or twist it. It has a clamshell design that opens and closes like a book. The two
halves of the case are lined with a black neoprene material that protects the
PDA from scratches as well as providing a bit of cushion. Both sides of the case
have a cutout in the neoprene that lines up with the Up / Down scroll buttons.
The cutout helps prevent any type of accidental activation while the case is
You might ask why there is a cutout on both sides of the case instead of just
the left side. It is there because you can attach the PDA by either the left or
right side depending on preference. This is a nice benefit for other southpaws
Besides the cutouts for the Up/Down buttons, there is a cutout for the IR
port and a cutout to allow you access to your stylus.
The PDA attaches to the case with a rail that is built into the hinge. The
rail is also made of titanium and is fashioned to fit into the left stylus silo on the
PDA. It fits securely and will not detach of its own accord. For those of you that want to
attach the PDA by the right silo which is larger, Rhinoskin has included two plastic sleeves
which fit over each end of
the rail to increase its size. These sleeves also make the case compatible with the Palm V/Vx
Although these sleeves are easy to slide on and off the rail, I found that the
resulting rail needed to be just a little bit larger for the Palm V. It would not stay
securely on the rail. It worked fine with the m505 though.
The case is held closed with a press fit latch. Although the case stays
closed fine, I would feel more secure if there were some type of locking
mechanism to make doubly sure that it couldn’t come open during a fall.
The Titanium Hardcase is plain except for the small Rhinoskin logo which is
embossed on the front. It has a cool industrial look to it that I really like.
The whole case is molded to the contours of the m500 which keeps it as small as
possible while still providing protection. That said, the case does add some
bulk and weight to your PDA. The size is: 4.81 x 3.54 x 0.89in (122.2 x 90
x 22.6mm) and weight is 8.6oz (243.8g) with an m505 inside.
Upon close inspection, I found this case to be very well made. The finish is
attractive, the edges are smooth and not sharp like some previous versions and
the hinge opens and closes without sticking or squeaking. Although this case is
pretty expensive, if you need the most crushproof case available, this is the
one you definitely want to check out!
Excellent overall protection
PDA can be attached by either rail for lefties
Doesn’t have a secure lock to keep cover closed