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Open Hard Case

Sun Nov 21, 2004 - 10:39 PM EST - By James Hromadka

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Product Info
> Name Open Hard Case
> Company Pacific Rim Technologies
> Size 116 x 69 x 32 mm
> Weight 55g
> Fact Sheet & User Opinions
> Available
> $39.95


Ever since I got a Treo 600, I've been on a quest to find the perfect case. I wanted a case that didn't add much to the Treo's size and didn't make the Treo a hassle to use. The Pacific Rim Open Hard Case is one of the most functional cases that I have ever used.


Making a hard case that doesn't compromise on utility has always been a challenge for case makers. Generally, users buy a hard case for the increased protection, but that's usually meant that the PDA was completely enclosed. This makes quickly answering a phone call or entering data somewhat cumbersome. The Open Hard Case resolves this by using a split barn-door approach to covering the front of the Treo 600. The keyboard and application buttons are completely exposed, while the Treo's screen has a windowed door that opens to the right so you can use the touchscreen.

I really like this approach, as I can type unencumbered by keyboard covers or door hinges. Many applications do a good job of letting you use the keyboard for most actions, so I found that I wasn't having to open the door as often as I thought I would, except in HandyShopper and Timesheet. I may eventually switch to more Treo-friendly equivalents for those applications.

I also like that you can see the Treo's screen when the door is closed so you can quickly identify incoming callers. The only issue I've seen with the door is that you can wiggle it slightly when the doors open and that I sometimes press the bottom of the door instead of the Up button on the Treo. These have been minor issues for me, however.

There are holes cut in the case so that all ports, pinholes, etc. are available to the user, so there's no real excuse to ever slide the Treo out from the Open Hard Case. If you do slide the case out, you will notice the thin black neoprene lining inside. This snugly holds the Treo in and also offers some shock absorption for the inevitable times when you will drop the Treo.

The case also has some rubber lines in certain areas that makes it easier to grip the case. The feeling of the case is different than the Aluminum Hard Case, which has amore cold and metallic feeling to it. The Open Hard Case's casing seems to have been lightly coated with a rubber spray to help prevent sliding and make the case easier to hold; however, over time, this coating does rub off. I carry my Treo mostly in my front pocket, and after two weeks of use, the case has worn away on the front near the ear hole and on the bottom of the door, and on the back near the HotSync port.

Other parts of the Open Hard Case seem ok, and the aluminum in worn spots is a little shinier. The worn spots aren't enough to bother me, but it can take away from the avant garde look that anodized aluminum can bring.

You can also wear the Open Hard Case on a belt by attaching the beltclip using a nub that screws into the back of the Treo, similarly to the Aluminum Hard Case. This does expose the Treo's keyboard, however, so be careful what you bump into (which is good advice for anything worn on the belt). Because the nub screws in, there�s a chance of it unscrewing and letting the Treo drop.

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