Innopocket Aluminum T3 Case Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
PalmOne Tungsten T|3

For those of us who NEED a heavy-duty, protective case for our PDAs, Innopocket and
Proporta have stepped into the role that Rhinoskin used to occupy. In all fairness
– the supplier of the aluminum cases for Innopocket and Proporta seems to be
the same supplier as Rhinoskin’s these days – but Innopocket and Proporta are
much more visible within the market. As a police officer, I use my Palm on
duty and off and need
the strongest, safest case I can find to protect my PDA. A metal case
of some kind with shock and impact resistant features is mandatory. The first
case to reach the market for the T3 was the Innopocket. Metal Deluxe Case.

I received the Innopocket Metal Deluxe Case in a very nice clamshell package
that was very easy to open. The belt clip was included separately from the
clamshell packaging in a small piece of bubble wrap. Make sure you look through
your box when you get it and don’t throw it away by mistake!

The case is very
small, 113 x 84 x 22 mm and weighs: approx. 73g.

The case itself is a very nice pewter/titanium finish that very nicely complements
the silvery color of the T3. The textured finish of the anodized aluminum
is very nice – but is also very slippery.



The
case is designed to open from the left to the right in a book style. It has
openings for the voice recorder, microphone, stylus, IR port, SD card, speaker,
power button and Universal Connector. . It also has slots for two SD cards
in the
cover. It seems like they thought of everything! (they didn’t) All nice touches
and very well thought out – but for one exception, which I’ll mention a bit
later

The T3 is held in place by friction and two back latches. The lower part of
the case grips the T3 very tightly and is slightly adjustable by moving the
two

side arm clamps if need be. There are also two back latches that lock into
the accessory slots on the back of the T3. The T3 is held very firmly in place
and should not be subject to dropping out of the case..

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Here you can see the PalmOne T3 held in place within the case, both in closed
and extended positions.


A look at the back of the case with the closed and open T3, shows the removable
post hole which is very small and not very noticeable until the post is placed
securely
inside
it. Two silicon
washers
are
included with the post to ensure it is held firmly in place.




The belt clip included is of the standard variety belt clips. The post is inserted
securely in the slide and released from the slide by pressing the top release
mechanism which ‘unlocks’ the post and allows it to be slid out.


One of the few faults with this case that I’ve found is that the reset button
is completely inaccessible while the T3 is in the case. In order to access
it, you must slide the T3 almost completely out of the case. You can see this
depicted in the pictures above.

With all the nice touches Innopocket included by making everything accessible,
even the nice touch of speaker holes, you would think they would put a small
hole in the back to reach the reset pin when the T3 is slid open.

Another very noticeable omission was the lack of neoprene lining at the bottom
of the case. The metal that contacts the bottom of the T3 where the Universal
Connector lies, is completely bare – no neoprene at all. I have owned many
metal cases over the years, including the Innopocket aluminum case for the
Zire 71,
and they all had neoprene where they came into contact with the device. I am
not sure why Innopocket chose to omit this small amount of neoprene in
a vital area such as this, but it isn’t there. I looked back at Judie’s review
of the Proporta
T|T case
, which is essentially the same design, but couldn’t
tell for sure if the neoprene was on that model or not. It looks like it wasn’t
there either, but I can’t tell for sure. In any case – in my opinion, they should
have some sort of shock protection all around the case.



In order to defeat the slipperiness of the case, I installed a fresh set of
eGrips provided
to me by Fred Antonini of eGrips. He sent a set of 4th generation eGrips in
a black sparkly finish. They perfectly complement the dark grey/pewter
look of the Innopocket and completely defeat the slipperiness of the metal.
The Innopocket is securely held in your hand now, and feels very comfortable
to use.

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You may notice that I installed the egrips upside down to their normal orientation
on a T3. That is so I could use the "GetBack" slot area to put the post connector
through. It fits perfectly and allows full access and use of the post and belt
clip.

Of special note – you may see how the 4th generation eGrips installed on my
T3 fit inside the Innopocket case in most of the above pictures. Let me clarify
one thing – they fit fine. They seem to cause no problem at all with too much
friction between the eGrips and the neoprene.


If you don’t want to use the post/belt clip system included with the Innopocket,
I highly recommend obtaining a pouch of some sort. I use the Rhinoskin
ClipPack
which is very handy and fits perfectly. I use this on my Sam Browne
uniform belt and off-duty as well. It also adds some shock protection to the
case as the ClipPack is very well padded. This is a nice option to get if you
aren’t comfortable with the post/belt clip system.

All in all this is a very well thought out case with only a few minor drawbacks
which in most instances can be worked around. This case will provide very solid
protection to your T|3 and enable you to carry it daily with complete confidence
in its safety.

Price: $34.90

Pros: 
Great protection for your T3
Well crafted case, solid and sturdy
Very reasonably priced
Thoughtful addition of belt clip and removable post
Nicely thought out accessibility for T3 buttons, stylus, SD card, etc. except
for lack of reset hole access – see con below

Cons: 
Slippery Case
No neoprene on bottom inside edge of case
Have to take T3 almost all the way out to access reset button – very inconvenient
– should have had access hole
Have to use a hotsync cable to synchronize

 

Product Information

Price:34.9
Manufacturer:Innopocket
Pros:
  •  
  • Great protection for your T3
  • Well crafted case, solid and sturdy
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Thoughtful addition of belt clip and removable post
  • Nicely thought out accessibility for T3 buttons, stylus, SD card, etc. except
  • for lack of reset hole access - see con below
Cons:
  •  
  • Slippery Case
  • No neoprene on bottom inside edge of case
  • Have to take T3 almost all the way out to access reset button - very inconvenient
  • - should have had access hole
  • Have to use a hotsync cable to synchronize
13 comments… add one
  • Julie December 26, 2003, 5:29 pm

    Post your comments here on the Innopocket Aluminum T3 Case Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/innopocket-t3-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • tthiel December 27, 2003, 2:53 am

    Good review. How often do you really have to reset your T3 though? Mine has never needed it.

    Originally posted by Julie
    [B]Post your comments here on the Innopocket Aluminum T3 Case Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/innopocket-t3-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page. [/B]

  • wilsondm2 December 27, 2003, 7:53 am

    On mine I have to reset at least once every week or so. But – I install a lot of software and un-install and use the DIA skins, etc.

  • bstryd December 27, 2003, 5:07 pm

    I just received this same case and the T3 seems NOT to fit into the cradle with the case on. This is a big issue. Second, the hinge seems a weak and I don’t expect it to last long. Third, I have been spoiled by the excellent Kensington case for the Vx, which I am just about to leave behind. It was very precise, closed with an excellent magnetic connection, was very durable and (important for me ‘cuz I’m left handed) openned flipping up. This case opens in a way the makes the T3 almost impossible for me to write on without being in landscape mode. Oh, one more thing — the Kensington case cause the Vx to be in an excellent slightly tilted forward mode when laid on a table — all this case does is slid around and get in the way. Hmmm, guess I don’t like this case very much, but that’s all there is right now.

    Bruce

  • wilsondm2 December 27, 2003, 7:14 pm

    Originally posted by bstryd
    I just received this same case and the T3 seems NOT to fit into the cradle with the case on. This is a big issue. <snip> Bruce

    You are correct – this case does not allow synching in the cradle, you must use a cable.

  • jafleming3 December 29, 2003, 1:51 pm

    I bought this case because the Palm aluminium case did not securely hold my T3 – it was prone to falling out of the case!

    The key points raised by the review and others are valid, but not all that critical to me: the need to remove the T3 to reset or to synch in the cradle.

    First the positives: Attractive, sturdy, securely holds the T3.

    The biggest negative is the hinge. The pin fell out within moments of receiving the case. I replaced the pin securing the hinges with a thicker one. Hopefully it will hold. But that is no example of quality construction.

    The second negative is the design of the case – it seems as if it were designed for left-handers. The T3 sits in the right panel, the hinge is on the right side instead of on the left, and the cover opens left to right. That construction feels awkward and backwards to me. The hinge should be on the left and the cover should open right to left.

  • Altema December 29, 2003, 6:13 pm

    Originally posted by jafleming3
    The second negative is the design of the case – it seems as if it were designed for left-handers. The T3 sits in the right panel, the hinge is on the right side instead of on the left, and the cover opens left to right. That construction feels awkward and backwards to me. The hinge should be on the left and the cover should open right to left.

    Yes, it does seem backwards for us, but opening to the right is standard in Asian cultures… which is probably where this case was designed.

  • margoba December 31, 2003, 10:50 pm

    Maybe I use my case differently than most, but I think that it’s incredibly stupid that they didn’t make the lip (on the top of the cover) bigger. When the case is closed nothing protects the IR port, nor keeps the stylus and SD card from getting accidently knocked out, nor keeps the power button from getting accidently pressed. What were they thinking?

    -barry

  • rgray December 31, 2003, 11:12 pm

    I purchased this hard case from DSI. Very similar to the Proporta but you can keep it in the case while using the cradle. So far it’s been great.

    Julie, I’d be curious to hear a review.

    http://www.notestation.com/tungstent3.htm#images

  • Julie January 1, 2004, 3:31 am

    rgray:

    I don’t have a T3, but I’ll see what I can do about getting someone to review this case.

  • margoba January 7, 2004, 7:43 pm

    I have been using the Innopocket case, but not really liking it. As soon as I saw your mention of the DSI case, I ordered one, and (after one hour) I like it very much. The main thing I like about it is that I can hotsync in the cradle without taking the T3 out of the case. This is a big deal for me.

    Thanks for mentioning this one.

    -barry

  • bstryd January 8, 2004, 9:14 pm

    rgray — One of my complaints on this current case is that getting to the voice record button is hard. How is it on this new DSI case?
    Thanks for your info.

    Originally posted by rgray
    [B]I purchased this hard case from DSI. Very similar to the Proporta but you can keep it in the case while using the cradle. So far it’s been great.

    Julie, I’d be curious to hear a review.

    http://www.notestation.com/tungstent3.htm#images [/B]

  • margoba January 8, 2004, 9:44 pm

    I don’t use the voice recorder a lot, but the hole looks to be about the same size on both cases. In playing around with it, I found that the easiest way to use it was to hold the device in my right hand, let my right fingers wrap around the back of the case, and use my right index finger to press the record button from below the pilot. To me it seems more intuitive to use the left thumb, but this is very hard with this case. Try it, it might work for you.

    -barry

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