PDA Pocket Armor Aluminum Hard Case for the Compaq iPAQ Review

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Product Requirements:
Compaq iPAQ 3800 Series

There are some people that aren’t happy until their PDA is placed inside a soft
leather case. Then there are those that are more interested in an industrial
look and the screen protection that a metal case can provide.

But a couple of inherent problems with most metal cases will soon become
evident when you actually use them. The least of which being that they are
heavy, bulky, and will generally have edges that you could poke an eye out with.

Then, if you are an iPAQ owner, there is a whole extra set of problems that
will arise if you even think about using one of this particular PDA’s many
sleeves while the iPAQ is in a protective hard case.

So, it would seem that an iPAQ owner that wanted a metal case would be forced
to either buy one to fit his or her PDA in each of its configurations, or the
owner would just have to learn to do without. That was, until
PDA Pocket Armor came out with an innovative new
aluminum and ABS plastic hard case made to fit the iPAQ in every one of its

The PDA Pocket Armor
Aluminum Hard Case for the Compaq iPAQ
is one of the most original ideas I
have seen in some time as it has actually been engineered to accommodate the
iPAQ and all of its various sleeves. In fact, without inserting your iPAQ into a
sleeve of some sort, you won’t be able to use this case at all.

This case is not boxy at all, in fact, it is one of the few cases that allows
the iPAQ’s curves to shine in all of their glory. There are also no sharp edges
to worry about poking or cutting yourself on…

Top view of empty PDA Armor case

Underside view of PDA Armor case

As you can see, there is no rear end to the PDA Pocket Armor case. This allows you
to slide whatever sleeve you’d like, including several of GM’s Silver Slider
line, into this case’s side rails.

Try doing this with any other iPAQ hard case!

PDA Armor on iPAQ with PCMCIA Sleeve

PDA Armor on iPAQ with Dual PCMCIA sleeve

The cover and top of the PDA Pocket Armor are made of anodized aluminum, while the
side rails are made of ABS plastic. When closed, the cover will flex a tiny bit.
I am talking not even a millimeter. When flexed, the cover comes nowhere near
the screen, and it appears to offer excellent protection from just about any
bump you might be able to send it’s way. Of course, common sense dictates that
you should not drive a car over this case – it isn’t crush-proof.

Perfect cutouts for the iPAQ 3835 allow easy button and
joy-pad access.

One thing that takes a bit of getting used to is how the
case opens from the left, or the opposite of a conventional book. Presumably
this is because of the voice recorder button being on the left side which
might prohibit the hinge from working properly on that side, but I still
wish there had been a way to put the hinge there. As it is, lefties will
most likely most appreciate the placement.

A flexing plastic button-latch keeps everything secure when the cover is

Getting the iPAQ and its sleeve out of the PDA Pocket Armor case
is a little tricky until you learn the secret: there is a small black latch
you will need to lift as you slide everything out. When you do this, it is
simple and quick.

One area in which I feel this case really shines is that of its weight and
size. Because it only weighs 2.75 ounces, it doesn’t create a complete pocket
monster when you have it installed…well, no more of a monster than an iPAQ
already is when a sleeve is attached.

When closed, the Pocket Pocket Armor measures 5.34" high x 3.98" wide x 
0.79" thick. Installed, the thickness would of course depend on the thickness of
whatever sleeve you happened to be using.

Another neat thing about this case is that it is designed to
allow resets and trouble-free charging/syncing with a cable while in the case.

The PDA Pocket Armor is a great alternative
for those that need a bit more protection than a leather case can provide, and
for those that want or need to be able to use the same case with a variety of

I am completely impressed with the flexibility that it offers, although I do
wish it were possible to change the opening to the right side. But that is just
me being petty. ;0)

The PDA Pocket Armor case for the Compaq iPAQ is available from
DS International.

Price: $34
Available in black, silver and titanium


Solid construction
Great screen protection
Can accommodate all sleeves


You must use a sleeve to attach case to your iPAQ
Case opens from left side: fine for lefties, a pain for righties


Product Information

Manufacturer:PDA Armor
  • Solid construction
  • Great screen protection
  • Can accommodate all sleeves
  • You must use a sleeve to attach case to your iPAQ
  • Case opens from left side: fine for lefties, a pain for righties

3 thoughts on “PDA Pocket Armor Aluminum Hard Case for the Compaq iPAQ Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I think this is pretty cool. It’s one step closer to what I really want: a subdermal LCD (or OLED) with Bluetooth connectivity and powered with heat or sunlight.

    No, I won’t be wearing one either.

  3. A subdermal LCD might be cool now that you mention it. Just think, you could have a new ‘tattoo” anytime you wanted. 😀 I’ve always wanted to get a tattoo, but was afraid I’d get tired of it. This way, that wouldn’t be a problem. 😉

  4. Well, I’m a guy, and I think they’re cool. I wouldn’t wear the choker style, but I would wear the looser style neckstrap version. Of course, just like wearing a hat or anything else, not everyone could wear one of these and look good doing it. If you look like a dork from day to day, you’ll still look like a dork wearing one of these.

    Very unique. If they aren’t too expensive – meaning around $50 or so, which is all it should cost, then I’ll buy one. And I’ll wear it too.

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