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Speck Techstyle-Classic Leather Case and Holster for Treo 680

Mon May 21, 2007 - 10:51 AM EDT - By Jay Gross

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Product Info


Overview

For Treo 680 owners, Speck Products offers a form fitted leather case lined in, no kidding, plaid. It sports a large plastic window through which you can operate the Treo keyboard and use the stylus or do some finger tapping on the touch screen to operate the Treo.

The case comes with a matching holster that clips over belt or clothing. The clip rotates to 45-degree detents, but making it do so requires such major effort that I almost concluded it doesnít rotate, notwithstanding the companyís claim. Put this down as a feature you canít use lightly. Get your gym membership up to date. Youíll need strength training to use the holster horizontally.


The holster also blazes trails in tight fit. The leather-covered, plaid (!) lined holster offers outstanding protection. Out of the box, it was too tight, so I stretched its metal jaws slightly to keep it from activating the Treoís buttons when the case-wrapped 680 goes in or out. With adjustment, itís comfy as you please. Donít overly loosen it. The fit has to be tight to keep the Treo from going flying.

The 680 fits into the holster facing inward and resists going the other way, so its plastic covered screen rests against a plaid covered, heavy metal plate. Nothing short of explosives is likely to harm it there. Nice. Although this scheme leaves the Treoís camera and speaker facing out, unprotected, you could still access the side volume buttons. But for what?




Usability

The Techstyle-Classic case covers the Treo with a full-face window made of clear, flexible plastic. That leaves the keyboard and screen usable, though with some extra effort required to operate the touch screen, especially near the edges. I have no trouble using the keyboard, even the outermost keys. However, for marathon keying sessions, I recommend removing the Treo from the case Ė a simple matter Ė or use an external keyboard.

The side buttons and the bottom connectors shine through stitched-edge cutouts in the leather covering. Additional openings expose the 680ís ear speaker and LED. The SD card stays inaccessible.

Although the TreoĎs phone remains quite usable when encased in the case, youíd have to employ a Bluetooth headset to use it while itís in the holster.

Thereís something about rubbing on plastic that causes static electricity, which acts like a vacuum, sucking dirt, dust, and dragon feathers out of the atmosphere and onto the cool windows in cases like the Techstyle-Classic. Be prepared to clean the window now and then (or just ignore the dirt, as I do).

If weight is an issue, the case alone isnít a problem, but the extra protection that the holster affords comes at a weighty price. By itself, the case weighs only seven tenths of an ounce (20 grams), but the holster brings the total way up Ė a little over four ounces (118 grams).

Without the holster, a wired headset will work fine, on account of the bottom cutout. The holsterís wide metal bar covers Ė but also protects - the opening. Youíll have to remove the encased Treo to charge it by wire or cradle.



Protection

At first blush, it looks like this case offers excellent protection. Considering only external influences, thatís definitely the case. Pun intended. Wrapped up in contrast-stitched leather, your Treo will probably fend off most bumps, plus any flying objects the Gremlins might fling at it - unless something smacks the camera head-on.

However, the Techstyle-Classicís outside leather feels softer than its rather coarse lining. The snug fit, appropriate for cases of this design, means the Treo rubs the inside of the case on the way in or out of the case. Iíd definitely wish for a less coarse material lining this case, even if itís not plaid.

In fact, I really wouldnít mind losing that Clan MacSpeck plaid altogether. It competes with the already busy look of the contrast stitching. The leatherís pretty, but Clan McLeod and I arenít too sure about the plaid, and it ought to be softer, or calmer. Its only saving grace is that the 680 covers it up while in its clutches.




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