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Facts of the Case: The Art of Holstering

Mon May 1, 2006 - 5:04 PM EDT - By Xious Sonenberg

Compare and Contrast

Visual appeal is obviously one of the chief goals in any fashion statement. A snazzy pocket for your Treo is no exception. This is of course a highly subjective thing, but if you will allow me the privilege, I would have to rate the Covertec and Sena cases as the most visually appealing.

They employ subtle uses of curves and contrasts, with brilliant color patterns and the slickest closure systems and linings. The Krusell case is nice looking too, albeit not as snazzy or eye popping; it is more for the corporate executive type, or maybe Darth Vader.

The TC case isn't going to score any points for beauty at the next board meeting, but it isn't an eye sore either and your Treo looks pretty handsome when installed in its inner sanctum.

Functionality and flexibility of use are of course the next step in guiding you to your perfect match. Here the Krusell wins by it's ability to clip on to or attach itself to almost anything. When you put it on your belt, it's not going to go anywhere or slide off. Being somewhat, uhh, shall we say: hefty, I find this most useful as won't just pop off and drop to the pavement like the Sena or Covertec did while test-wearing them.

The Krusell's lining, or lack thereof, means you can swish your Treo out in a heartbeat and the hardness of its leather provides the best armor of all the cases covered here.

The second best is the Nutshell. Its clip is long and strong meaning it won't fly off your belt at inconvenient times, and it also provides amazing protection for most of your Treo, giving a fair amount of shock cushioning and scratch deflection. You can grab at a fair portion of your Treo, so drawing it out isn't going to be a hassle, pardner.

Right in line with the Nutshell is the Smartphone Experts P6. Its clip is so strong and sturdy it is actually a bit of a struggle to remove it from your belt at the end of the day. While it may not be made of cured leather, the soft padded vinyl will give enough shock absorption to protect from most accidents, and as long as it's clipped on your hip, it's not going to matter.

Sena's offering loses points only because the fixed clip is too short. It doesn't latch fully around a belt, and will only half cover wider belts. Otherwise, it is pretty tough, opens well and closes Fort Knox tight.

Last in line for functionality is the Covertec. It doesn't offer as much coverage for your Treo, so it's less protective than the other cases. Its clip is in the same boat as the Sena: too small. The closure is fairly secure, but pretty is as pretty does, and unfortunately Covertec doesn't match the cut for usability.

The Shoot-out

In our cross analysis grid below we pit the five cases against each other for the final battle, which I hope will guide you in the right direction if a pouch style case is what you want.. Rated 1-5 with 5 being highest, they stack up like this:





Protection 4 3 5 4 5
Eye-appeal 5 5 4 3 3
Closure 4 5 4 5 N/A
Ease to Wear 3 3 5 4 4
Speed of Draw 4 4 5 5 5
Use Treo in Case? No No No No No
Ports Accessibility? No No Yes* Yes** Maybe***
Multiple color choices? Yes Yes No No No
Construction Quality 5 5 5 4 5
Has Compartments? No No No No No
Multiple ways to Mount? No No Yes No Yes
Cost $39.95 $34.95 $49.95 $19.95 $54.95
*Ports do not line up perfectly with cut outs.
**Only the headset port.

In closing, my personal recommendation for the highest quality, most flexible and easiest to manage case in this quintet is the Krusell It may lack the style and flair of its competition, but boy does it do its job.

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