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Swiss Mobility Lara Side Pouch for Centro

Mon Sep 8, 2008 - 3:38 AM EDT - By Jay Gross

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Not much screams fashion, or anything else, louder than pink, and the delightful little Lara Side Pouch from Swiss Mobility takes pink out to the next galaxy. With pizzazz!

The lovely � I cringe at the word �cute�, but that�s what it is � Lara Side Pouch is hand stitched (so says the manufacturer) of soft pink leather. An attached, soft, satiny pink lanyard sports a pink (!) plastic adjustment button. Even the company�s logo, emblazoned on the flap, sports a pink background, instead of their usual Swiss red.

The light-weight case, less than two ounces, also comes in a more sedate model made of back leather with pink accents - nylon decoration and stitching that whisper, rather than shout, their presence. I�m glad to report that my review unit is the full-on, mega-scale, loud pink model with the pink button and the pink-background logo tab. If you�re going to flaunt it, and I am, why not go all the way.

Thanks to all the pink, for sure, this case is a dependable attention-getter. I whipped it out to answer a call in the elevator, and felt a palpable glow of Centro-case-envy all around me. Slyly making a call in the coffee shop downstairs, the pink case had the same effect. I knew it would, having already flaunted my red Centro there to great advantage.

Aside from grandstanding, the Lara�s looks, even its plentiful �cute,� afford considerably more benefit. It�s high fashion with high value for other things, too. Namely: protecting your Centro�s finish and screen from hazards while you�re on the go. First off, the case�s soft nylon lining is easy on the finish, unlikely to scrub the Centro�s paint when you slip the Centro into the pouch. Once your treasure�s latched in, the pink leather covering will do a great job of fending off flying objects. Beautifully. If you store your Centro in a pocket, a purse, or a bookbag, there are probably plenty of objects that could do damage to an unprotected Centro � keys, coins of the realm, your geode collection, whatever.


While inside the Lara pouch, the Centro isn�t all that useful. A (pink!) flap lops over to hold the Centro in, secured by a magnetic button catch. The result is an almost entirely covered, and almost entirely protected smartphone. Although the pouch�s ends remain open, only one connector stays accessible � your choice of the phone�s power port or earphone jack. So, you could use a wired headset (my favorite), or hook the Centro up to your computer or to an AC power supply and keep it charged. HotSync is out of the question, as the opening isn�t wide enough. The tradeoff of course is protection. It�s super-easy to remove the Centro from the case for a HotSync.

There is a way, however. Does blue coordinate with pink? In this case, yes � Bluetooth, that is. One of the nice things about Bluetooth headsets is their ability to answer (and reject) calls without physical access to the smartphone. Unless you�re using a Bluetooth headset, there�ll be no taking calls while the Centro is in the Lara pouch. Easy enough to get to it, however, and so much fun to brandish the pinkness in the process. What? Your Centro is pink, too? Ohhhhh, the joy.


Whether you opt for the pink-accented model or my favorite, the all-pink one, the Swiss Mobility Lara Side Pouch for the Palm Centro is a well designed pouch case of excellent workmanship and quality materials. It offers great protection for your Centro, and is quite likely to attract admiring glances, whether for its sweet looks, or (as in my case) for your having the nerve to tote it. You can get it here for $29.95.



Design 5
Usability 5
Protection 5
Cost/Benefit 5
(not an average)
  • Great looks, excellent feel, superior quality construction
  • Strong magnetic and button flap closures
  • Zippered, gusseted compartment for cash, memory cards, spare key, etc.
  • Soft, silky lanyard with draw button that adjusts its length
  • Cons
  • Fit is initially a little snug for one-handed use
  • Pretty as it is, it will inevitably get dirty and not look so snazzy.

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