Spectral Core iPAQ Cases Review

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Product Requirements:
Compaq iPAQ 3600, 3700 and 3800 series Pocket PCs

Here is a review for Compaq iPAQ owners looking for yet another choice in
slipper style cases. Spectral Core
based in Switzerland have leather cases available for both the 3600, 3700 series
iPAQ as well as the 3800 series. These cases are for a naked iPAQ and are
available in a variety of color, and styles that are suitable for both business
and casual settings. I was sent two 3800 series cases and two 3600 series cases
to review. Let’s take a closer look at them.

[3800 series cases]

[3600 series cases]

The 3600 series cases come in 4 styles: Smooth Brown,
Smooth Black, Textured Brown, and Cherry Croc. I was sent the
Black and Cherry Croc versions to review. The 3800 series cases come in 2
styles: Brown with suede and Black with suede. I was sent
both styles to review.

As you can see, these cases are based on the Popular Vaja line of cases. They
are slipper style play through cases. The PDA slides into a holster and is held
there with friction. Three of the four cases that I was sent just didn’t seem to
fit as well as I would have liked. The holster part of the case is made of
thin leather with a satin lining. I found that the sides of the holster sort of
slid side to side on all but one of the cases due to the lack of structural
integrity. The Smooth Black 3600 case seemed to have the best fit of the bunch.
I’m hoping that these quality issues will be or have already been resolved in
their current case offerings.

The cases use one large cutout which encompasses the screen, application
buttons and joy pad. This cutout on the Cherry Croc case was a bit crooked at
the top. This is nothing that would hinder PDA usage, but it did make the case
look a little tacky.  The cutouts on the other cases lined up just fine.

While the iPAQ is in one of these cases, you have access to all the necessary
features. Cutouts at the top of the holster give you access to the power button
and status LEDs. The top of the PDA is exposed so that you can use the earphone
jack, IR port and stylus silo. The bottom of the PDA has openings for the AC
adapter (3600 version), reset switch and serial port.

It should be noted that these cases are not sync-able. You will need to
remove the PDA to sync / charge with the cradle. Syncing with a cable will work
just fine though.

The cover portion of these cases has a stiffener in them to help protect the
screen from bumps. On the inside of the 3600 series cover there are 3 card slots
with one larger slot behind them. On the 3800 series there are 2 card slots, 2
SD memory card slots and one large slot behind them.

The outside of the 3600 series cover has a leather swoosh that gives the case a
unique style while the 3800 series case covers has a soft suede area.

The cover is held closed with a metal snap. I noticed that the shank on the
snaps used to hold the cover closed appear to be a bit longer than needed. Also,
one of the snaps actually broke on one of the 3800 cases that I was sent! It
‘snapped’ right in two at the shank.

[Snap shank too long]

[Broken snap]

The Spectral Core line of iPAQ cases are nice cases with a unique style. I
personally like the 3800 series style best. As they are however, I think these
cases have some quality issues that need resolved before I can recommend them.
But, when they fix the thin holster problem and snap problem,
they will be a good alternative to similar more expensive cases.


Price: $47.00 3800 series
           $41.00 3600 / 3700

Interesting styles and colors

Holster fit not the best on cases reviewed
Snap broke on one of the review cases


Product Information

Manufacturer:Spectral Core
  • Interesting styles and colors
  • Holster fit not the best on cases reviewed
  • Snap broke on one of the review cases

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