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Palm Form Fit Case

Mon Jul 10, 2006 - 4:56 PM EDT - By Jay Gross


Take this one with you to work so your coworkers can admire your taste in Treos. It's functional, protective, and cute, and it comes at a considerate price. The best part is the case's huge plastic (vinyl, whatever) window that occupies almost all of its front side. Clipped to your belt, waistband, or pocket, it leaves little doubt out there in the world as to your preference in Treos. Now that's brassy.

Palm's Form Fit Case snugly fits the form of your Treo 700 (P or W), or Treo 650. I clip it to my suspenders and wear it like Grandma wore her cameo, near the shoulder, right next to the chin, so people can admire it. That's right, suspenders. My figure isn't built for belts. With my other Treo in my shirt pocket, I'm ready for the ultimate in conference calling. Don't laugh – it's happened. While talking on one Treo, the other one rang.

The Treo slides into the case easily. The fit is snug, but not what I'd call "tight.” A stitched leather snap flaps across the top, leaving the ring/vibrate switch accessible, as well as part of the IR window, and securely holds the phone. The belt clip is a two-parter. The case has a plastic button integrated into its back. We're talking non-removable here, except perhaps by jackhammer. Or dynamite. A movable snap catch comes in the package. Together, they secure your Treo to the waistband of your favorite kilt.

The cleverly designed catch will thread onto a belt (not a very thick one, however), or snap over one (thick, no problem), or a belt loop, occupied or not, or grip onto a horizontal, vertical, or angled cloth or leather surface. A catch holds the Treo in the slide so it can't fall out. Rotate the catch 360 degrees to orient the Treo to your liking, even upside down. Detents keep it from spinning freely. Nice.


On the outside, the case's stitched leather construction puts up a sturdy barrier to the knocks, nicks, and whacks that Treos are likely to take while on the go. With its non-removable clip, the case expects to ride on your belt or tuck over your Speed-O. The button means it's not particularly comfortable in a shirt pocket, too bulky to stash anywhere else.

Inside, the Form Fit is fitted out with felt, so slipping the Treo's form into (and out of) the case won't cause abrasion. I could wish for softer felt, but it's probably fine. If the case had to come off frequently to charge or dock the Treo, I'd pronounce the felt definitely too firm. However, stripping isn't necessary.

While wearing the Form Fit case, my Treo 650 snaps smartly onto my Seidio InnoDock [ Review | Buy ]. Not surprising. The INNODock's ingenious design makes it work with most any "low profile" case that has cutouts for the Treos' bottom ports.

Moreover, fitted out with the Form Fit case, my Treo 700P cradles painlessly in my Altec Lansing inMotion iMT1 Speaker System [ Review | Buy ]. That's where it lives, charging away, when it's not gallivanting around town with me.

The iMT1 provides HotSync capability, in addition to music and recharge. Although it works flawlessly with CDMA versions of the Treo 650, it doesn't quite agree with the 700P as a speaker phone, on account of a feedback problem – an apparent battle as to which device gets to handle mic functions.

With the Form Fit Case in place, the standard cables -- charge and USB HotSync – work fine, in addition to the Treo's 2.5mm earphone jack. The Form Fit is, in short, a functioning case. That means you can use the Treo without removing it from the case. This includes making and taking phone calls, consulting the Smartphones' databases (Contacts, for example), and even entering new data from the keyboard. In fact, the keyboard is surprisingly easy to use through the window.

For picture taking, the case provides a fold-down flap so the camera can "see” past the case's back panel. The SD Card slot , IR port, and SIM slot (if your Treo 650 has one) are only a quick unsnap from accessibility. To get to those, you only need to unsnap the strap, not remove the case.


Normally I evaluate, but don't actually test the dropability of cases. Alas, with this one the Gremlins in Charge of Gravity took it upon themselves to conduct further inquiry, and yanked my Treo 650, cozy in the Form Fit Case, out of my hand and onto a ceramic tile floor from about a foot and a half up. I'm happy to report no damage, no scratches, and no problem. Whew!

But really, I was just lucky, this time. The Form Fit Case leaves the top corners of the Treo fully exposed. One side is the antenna, and the other is (gasp!) a naked corner, glaring out from around the leather covering, veritably daring the Gremlins to take better aim. Indeed, my dropability report would have been way unhappy if the Treo had landed on its exposed corner, or on its antenna.

As for water, well, the case's materials could withstand precipitation aplenty, but the top SD slot (and SIM slot if your 650 has one) would not welcome even a single raindrop. Inverting the Treo won't help, as the bottom ports glare out through cutouts in the leather, and water is definitely forbidden. I therefore pronounce this case: not rain friendly. Use an umbrella, or tuck the Treo in your pocket till the rain goes away.

The case is neatly stitched and well made. I can find nothing to whine about in the quality of the materials or assembly.


Nice as the giant window is to display the Treo for all to admire, and use the keyboard without removing the case, it probably won't stay clear if you use the stylus much to tap icons and drag those little Bejeweled rhinestones around. It does work – tapping icons – but the tap requires considerably more pressure than the screen by itself. You end up scarily distending the plastic to make the connection, and it feels like it's going to scratch the plastic. It doesn't, but feels that way.

To test, I did , well, not a whole Sudoku puzzle, but a bunch of tapping around to retrieve a contact number and answer some SMS messages. I waited till after I finished the product pictures, expecting the plastic to deform or scratch. It didn't! Even so, I'd recommend (and I practice) conservative through-the-window use of the screen. Just for good measure.

My other quibble is the stitching. It looks great, white against the black leather, but it'll get dirty and won't be white forever. Okay, nothing in my grasp lasts forever, so far, but might as well mention it. This case is very inexpensive, so if it does get unpresentable, you can just give it to your terrier to play with and buy another one.

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Product Info
> Name Palm Form Fit Case
> Company Palm, Inc
> Weight 1.1 oz. / 31 g. (including clip)
> Test Unit Treo 700p and Treo 650
> Fact Sheet & User Opinions
> Available
> $14.95

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