|Thu Jun 14, 2007 - 10:05 AM EDT - By Douglas Morse|
I recently too a look at the Krusell open case, the Smartphone Experts leather hard case, and the Sena Leatherskin. The new Smartphone Experts OpenFace Case currently on my 750 gives me that old d�j� vu all over again. The design differences are subtle between this and the others, though I find that Treo owners are discriminating enough to carefully consider each before making their choice.
The most significant difference between the Krusell open case and the Smartphone Experts iteration is the lack of a cross piece between keyboard and screen. I first encountered this design change in Smartphone Experts open hard case and I have come to much appreciate the change. This creates a cleaner, more open design that doesn�t interfere with screen or buttons.
The case I�m using is a lovely textured brown with stitching to match. The back is a complimentary brown leather also with matching stitching. All in all an appropriate color choice. This case comes in Black, Coco, Red, Saddle, Cream � each inexplicably modified by adjective Brandy. The product page also states that this comes with or without the swivel clip, but I can only find one option on the webpage.
The Treo slides into the case from the top, securely held in place at the top by a flap and magnetic snap that clasps in the back. The bottom is held into place by a leather bound, wire like piece that surrounds the sync and charge ports. While I�m thinking of it, why is the sync port this odd collection of connectors. Couldn�t Palm have used a simple USB or even mini-USB connector at the bottom of the device? I�m sure this is some sort of hold over from the older palm cradles and designs, but it�s time for this to go.
On the sides, the case extends halfway down the unit. The left hand side has an interesting change in that the side rocker and select switches are covered by clear plastic. The right hand side is solid leather and covers the SD card slot cover. The Krusell and the other cases, in comparison, have protection down the entire side with a cut out for the SD slot. Other cut outs on the OpenFace include status light, top rocker switch, IR port and of course speaker.
The back of this case has a cut out for camera and six large holes for the back speaker which do not seem to impede volume. Also stitched into the back is a low profile belt clip nub. I was excited to see a newer type of belt clip included with the case. The clip itself is more stylishly oval, smaller and slightly lower profile than others I�ve used. The mechanisms are the same. Snap it in and it locks into place and press the top and the Treo springs free.
I do have a bit of trouble with the belt clip however. I have to be careful to make sure the nub is engaged, otherwise I think it is in the belt clip correctly, and it is not. The other problem with this case is the lack of access to the SD slot, however it is very easy to slide the Treo out of the top of the case to gain access.
Other than those quibbles, this is an excellent case. I love the way it is held securely in the case, while allowing full access to the front of the Treo. The half side design is a welcome option and the plastic covering the rocker switches seems like a good idea. These days the Treos seem to be fairly rugged and a case like this will offer a reasonable amount of protection.
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