Product Requirements: Any PDA
I’ve been using PDA’s in their various forms since 1997. My first PDA
was a Casio E11: a 4MB WindowsCE 2.0 Palm Sized PC. From there, I
graduated to an HP 360LX (an 8MB, clam-shell HPC) to a Jornada 680 (a 16MB,
clam-shell HPC Pro) to a Casio E115 Pocket PC, to an iPAQ 3150, then 3535, then
3765, then 3835, and now an iPAQ 3955. I’ve also owned (and just recently
sold) an HP Jornada 567. I also have a 128MB upgraded Toshiba e310. (Look
for a way cool comparative review involving the Toshiba e310, the iPAQ 3835 and
the iPAQ 3955 here on The Gadgeteer in the near future.) As soon as the
new iPAQ 5400 hits the shelves, I’ll be getting one of those, too.
Why am I so much with the PDA’s..? Good question. As soon as I
hear back from my Analyst, I’ll let you know; but suffice it to say, I truly
believe in them. I am NEVER without at least one PDA, and its usually an
iPAQ. I have a PC Card Sleeve and a Toshiba 2GB PC Card Hard Drive that I
use to carry music around on. I love the iPAQ as a digital music player
and strongly encourage everyone that is considering the purchase of an MP3
Player to give serious consideration to a PDA and some sort of add-on (read SD,
MMC or CF/ PC Card) storage. You’ll get more mileage out of your purchase,
without a doubt. (As a related aside, I must concur with my esteemed
Gadgeteer’s comments Regarding the
Vosonic Digital Data Player. She was dead on…)
Anyway, I mention all of this because your PDA is for naught without a good
case. I am the kind of guy that takes his PDA, literally, EVERYWHERE.
I use it to keep track of my checking account with Ilium Software’s KeepTrack.
I play digital music (WMA’s) with Windows Media Player. I’ve got all of my
PIM info there and access it via SnoopSoft Dashboard and WebIS’ Pocket
Informant. I live out of this thing.
I began looking for a replacement for my Targus CH300 Case a short while ago.
The CH300 is a dinosaur left over from my Jornada 680 days. Its a leather
wallet case that has a zippered PDA compartment. In my opinion, its almost
the perfect case. The only thing its missing is a Franklin Covey Compact 6
ring compatible binder. I began searching for a new case because the CH300 uses
a velcro closure system that wears out and isn’t replaceable. So while
searching for a replacement, Julie asked me to look at the
Nite Ize Stand-Up Holster.
Bottom line, I’m torn by this case. It doesn’t have nearly the wallet
capabilities that I need and want; and it doesn’t offer the form factor that I
want, but, this case has a lot to offer. As you can see from the picture
below, this case can do a lot.
|In short, functionality
The biggest winning features of this case is that it can stand up on its own.
The case comes with rubber, friction feet that allow it to remain stationary
while the case stands. The back flap is actually a galvanized steel frame
that bends back and forth allowing you to create the standing angle that works
best for you. The case will hold just about any Pocket PC or Palm unit but
won’t hold HPC Pro, clam shell units. Its not deep or wide enough.
|I HATE those grey
The case can be used to hold your device while connected to power as well as
sync cables, however, don’t try sticking it in your cradle. It won’t fit.
The galvanized steel frame gets in the way. The design of this case, for
what it does is really very good, except…Man, I hate those darn grey straps!
Who in the world thought that STRAPPING your PDA to your case was a good
idea obviously didn’t do a lot of consumer research, in my opinion. If I
was asked about the use of grey elastic straps (see the above picture) I would
have told the designer to go back to the drawing board. This case would
have been a 100% winner in my book if it allowed the user to access the PDA via
some sort of flap or other means. As it stands, to use the case as
designed, you have to take it out of the case, and strap it to the case body
with those darn grey straps. If I have to take my PDA out of my case, I’m
not going to use it as a stand. I’m going to stick the PDA back in its
The other problem I have with this case is its galvanized steel frame.
If its used as much as I might use this case, then surely, after a while the
steel is going to start suffering from metal fatigue and will break. Its
going to happen…its just a matter of time. The case is otherwise well
made and should last as long as you have a portrait oriented PDA. However,
the first time it breaks…game over.
The documentation also shows you different ways to bend the steel frame so
that you can hang it from your belt, or other surface. Frankly I have real
doubts about this. This is galvanized steel folks. While bendable,
and malleable to a point, galvanized steel isn’t silly putty. It just
doesn’t bend that easily.
At the end of the day, the Nite Ize Stand-Up Holster is a decent case.
It has plenty of pockets, multiple uses, and is well made. For $29.95, its not a
bad buy; but it won’t, unfortunately replace my Targus CH300.
Universal Case: it fits most PDA’s
Those Darn Grey Straps! Gosh I hate those!
Bendable Metal Frame: Two words…Metal Fatigue