Reikel, July 2007
Treo 600, 650, 680, 700 or 750 PDA phone
(depending on model)
Prima Open Face & Lateral Holster Leather
Cases are meant for everyday use in a variety of
situations—casual, dress, business, travel.
The all-leather cases are model-specific and designed
to accommodate all of the external screens, buttons,
switches, ports, speakers, cameras and slots found
on most smartphone, PDA and PDA/phones available
today. Most Prima Case models are available with
either fixed or detachable belt clips for use with
belts, purses and shoulder straps.
good chef's knives? Browse the German cutlery sites.
Want good leather cases? Browse the Italian sites.
At least, that's what common wisdom says. The problems
these days is that there's a ton of good stuff
happening elsewhere too. Of course there are other
makers, many of whom are brilliant, superior and
creative (although you rarely go wrong by looking
to the Italians first for leather products). On the
other hand, makers such a Vaja and Prima, both based
in the U.S., continue to prove that finding good
products which are designed domestically is just
as easy as it used to be. As part of The Colemax
Group, Prima Cases (started by the founders of Bellagio
Cases—all in New Jersey) has the advantage
of being able to draw on several decades of design
and manufacturing experience in this product category.
The original Palm III, IV and VII cases were all
Colemax creations. CBS Sports field teams and execs
also carry Colemax cases. Various Colemax divisions
also produce laptop cases for HP and Dell Programs.
With all this touted cred, I was certainly prepared
to be very tough on both of the Prima models sent
to us for review.
|So how do you test a PDA, PDA/phone or smartphone case?
The best way is by using it, telling people you work and
meet with that you're testing and reviewing it (thereby generating
demands to see, handle and comment on it), letting other
people play with it and use it, and gathering consensus about
the case's strengths and weaknesses. Most important of all,
you have to be selfish about your needs and the ways in which
you've become accustomed to using your handheld device, because
a case is useless if its design forces you to access and
use your handheld device in unfamiliar ways. Last, a case
must stand up to the rigors of inevitable abuse including
bumps, bangs, drops, soaking, pulling, tearing and abrasion.
At the end of each day of use, an assessment also has to
be done to determine how well the case has shielded the device
it's being used to protect.
Both cases did well throughout daily usage over a period of two months.
The cases are well made and should hold up for a lot longer than most
people actually keep their devices. Basically, after two months both
cases still looked relatively fresh, without any visible wear or weaknesses
in any seams or in the belt clip and its assembly, and without any unsightly
abrasions or marks. We used the cases with three different Treo models:
650, 700p and 700wx. The cases fit all three devices quite well, provided
adequate protection, and permitted access to all the exterior control
Knowing yourself and your physical habits helps determine which sort
of case to purchase. Open face cases are my favorite, but there are
plenty of klutzes out there who regularly bump and bang into things.
An open face case leaves the device screen vulnerable to damaging impacts.
If you're one of those klutzy types, choose a holster case instead.
Cons: Stay away from the Prima cases finished in chocolate brown.
In my opinion it's not a pleasant color and (like the
review unit) may draw some unfavorable comments. Despite
a smooth and finish-friendly fibre lining throughout both
cases, the interior of the lower retaining wrap on the open
face model has a coarse, exposed edge and stitch which,
over time, may mar the rear surface of a device. Holster
cases have an opening in the bottom so that you can use
a finger to push up on the handheld after opening the top
flap with your thumb. But if you're sloppy with the holster
case you can end up accidentally pressing buttons—a
knock against holster cases in general though, not the Prima
case in particular. Inserting a Treo into any holster case
requires some care and a specific technique so that a bump
against the head of the case doesn't accidentally release
the SD storage card in the top slot of the device.
Pros: Excellent quality for the money. The belt clips are
solid, usefully sized and easy to orient and use by touch
alone. The open face case latches and releases effortlessly,
and remains secure even while hanging from your belt during
motorcycle riding and other activities (the holster case
is just as secure, although a strong gust of wind during
a motorcycle ride can momentarily lift the magnetic flap
closure). My personal preference runs toward open face cases.
Plenty of friends and associates prefer holster cases. To
each his/her own obviously, but either of these Prima Case
models should suit you well. Lots of color choices, especially
when ordering online. Tastefully designed cases with color-matched
stitching. Cleanly finished corners and seams. Designed without
excessive bulk. Lightweight. Recommended.