REVIEW: Covertec Dell Axim X5 Leather Case

by Reads (9,680)

For high-class style, it’s hard to beat a leather case. Covertec has been makingcases since before the birth of the original Palm Pilot, and given their quality it’s not surprising that they’re still around.

 

The Covertec Axim case, like their other leather cases, comes in your choice ofblack, red or brown leather, each with light brown stiching along the edges. I recieved the black version. Don’t be fooled by it’s looks in the photos–it really is black, although it can take on a slight bluish cast in the right light. The front of the case is mostly plain, other than the discreet Covertec logo embossed in the bottom right-hand corner. The overall feel of the leather is quite soft and supple,with a layer of padding between the leather surface and what feels like a cardboard stiffener. The inside of the case is lined by what feels like a thin vinyl, unpadded and textured to resemble leather, and stamped at the top with the name ‘Covertec’.

 

 

front view of Covertec case

 

Inside the flip-top lid are five pockets, three of them credit-card size, and two smaller ones. Unfortunately, the pockets are a bit too deep to hold memory cards unless you are willing to use tweezers to get your card back.Alternatively, however, the large upper pockets are perfect for a credit-card sized SD holder, or a PC Card to CompactFlash adapter, so if you wish you can carry your memory cards inside one of these enclosures with little to no trouble. I put a normal size PC Card in one pocket to simulate the use of a PC-to-CFadapter, and I quite comfortably carried around my Axim in the case with no crowding. CF pheripherals, on the other hand, would not fit either in the large pockets unless they have a straight-out profile, with no widening or thickening.  Similarly, the case design doesn’t permit keeping anything but memory cards in the Axim itself.

 

above open view of covertec case

 

At first glance, the fastener on the back of the case looks like a standard snap closure of the kind usually found on leather products, the ones that usually require quite a bit of force to get closed. On closer inspection though, it’s not.What is it then? It’s actually a magnetic closure with a very nifty auto-snap.When you let the tab flip down, it automatically grabs on to the base. Move the tab around a little bit, and it’s knob will settle into the socket with a very satisfying ‘click’, holding the cover tightly closed. When you go to open the case, the closure provides just the right amount of resistance–not so much that it’s hard to open, but enough that the latch doesn’t feel weak. A real five-star closure design.

 

back view of Dell Axim covertec case

 

The left side is a simple band of leather attaching the back of the case to the rigid frame portion which holds in the Axim. Nothing particularly remarkableabout it save that it rides a little high, and obstructs some of the lower buttons.The reset button is totally covered, and the record button is partially covered,the extent depending on how tightly you seat the Axim into the bottom of thecase. It varies from about 1/5th to 2/3rds covered. It’s not impossible to trigger it while in the case, but it is made more difficult. The right side is identical to theleft, except for the lack of buttons on the Axim.

 

 

left side view of Dell Axim Covertec case

 

The bottom of the case has cut outs for the sync connector and DC port. While it’s possible to charge with the AC adapter while in the case, if you don’t havethe Axim perfectly aligned the adapter can catch on the leather surrounding the cutout, preventing the plug from inserting correctly. If you want to charge whilein the case, a USB sync/charge cable would be much less troublesome,though you would have to open the snap to use it. Obviously, with the Axim in the case you will not be able to sync via the cradle.

 

bottom view of Dell Axim Covertec

 

top view of Dell Axim Covertec case

 

For $40, the Covertec leather case isn’t a typical end-user accessory, nor is it something that would likely be used by the average gear-bagger carrying theircables, spare batteries, and WiFi cards. But if you want a stylish case, and don’t need to carry lots of accessories, it’s a very attractive option for simpleprotection and good looks.

 

Pros:

High quality

Snazzy magnetic auto-snap

 

Cons:

Obstructs record and reset buttons

Difficult to use AC adapter while in case

 

Bottom line:

 

The Covertec leather case for the Axim is a very slick and well built case forbasic users who only need to carry around the Axim and a couple of memorycards, or who can put their accessories elsewhere.

 

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