Review – HP iPAQ 19xx series Aluminum Hard Case by InnoPocket

by Reads (7,708)

If you have to wrap up your iPAQ here s another fine case from InnoPocket that s compatible with HP s h1910/h1930/h1935/h1915/h1940/h1945.  In matters of fashion and style less can often be more.  One curiously distinguishing feature of this case, compared to others you may consider, is its complete lack of adornment.  No logos, labels or appliqu s of any sort to identify its origins.  Instead an anonymous simplicity and elegance of design speak for themselves.


First impressions
The case is lightweight and well put together of 100% anodized aircraft grade aluminum.  There s no significant play in the hinge mechanism and it has a solid feel when closed.  There are cutouts for easy access to the synchronization connector and the IR port/Record button although the latter requires care to ensure a positive press and hold, as the opening, while nicely sized for appearance is, like in similar comparable cases somewhat small for easy access.  The top is open for access to the stylus, SD card/slot and the headphone jack.

The PDA is held tightly and secured in place by two spring mounted plastic buttons, which engage the case screw dimples on the top rear of the unit and by fold over edges on the front.  Alignment is precise and the snug fit afforded by the combination of the spring loaded buttons and the neoprene lining provides a secure hold on the iPAQ that would probably need an earthquake to shake loose.

Of course there s often a con for every pro and here it s that same secure fit that can be challenging when it s necessary to remove the PDA.  A solid push from the bottom through the sync slot works when you need to use the cradle or remove the PDA for other reasons.  Another common problem that surfaces, as with any case, is that when it s closed the iPAQ s indicator button is effectively obscured.  That flashing green event reminder light is invisible. 

As you can see in the picture there is Storage for an SD card, with a well engineered slot to hold it securely. It may look simple, but in use the cunning engineering lets the card slides in and out smoothly with ridges that interlock with the card edges providing a secure positive lock.

One of the attributes of the iPAQ 19xx series is the capability to swap batteries so you ll maybe need somewhere to keep that spare battery too and if you also consider your PDA case a replacement for your wallet, to hold credit cards or even cash, then you ll need to look elsewhere, as this case provides a solid and secure protection for your PDA and, as an added benefit, one SD card, but not the rest of your worldly possessions.

In Use
As always with any case and an iPAQ 19xx series PDA, the added weight and bulk, minimized though it is, puts a pull on your pocket that the iPAQ alone does not.  It will not make your tiny PDA intolerably heavy or bulky, weighing in at about 70g and being sized at a modest 116x80x21mm but if you ve been carrying your iPAQ without a case it will take a day or two to adjust.  Again, commonly with a side opening case, how to hold it when it s open.  If you have become used to holding your PDA on both sides to use it then it s time to learn a new technique and a little trial and error will find the grip that is most secure while remaining functional and avoiding pinched fingers.  When closed the case provides a comfortably sized, solid grip and you re unlikely to let it slip.

After some weeks of use the case still looks good.  The inside lining, as might be expected, is showing a little wear and tear but all in all it s still in excellent shape. The fit and closure remain solid, the alignment precise and it has done the job for which it was designed, protecting the iPAQ.

Pros
Excellent fit, fine finish and build quality
Lightweight, but robust
Clean sculpted lines

Cons
As lightweight as it gets, but add enough bulk to make the iPAQ feel heavy in your pocket
Tight fit if you use a cradle and need to remove the PDA often
Metallic industrial styling may not appeal to all

Features

 100% aircraft grade anodized aluminum
 Scratch-resistant finish
 Easy access to stylus, IR port and Record button, headphone socket and synchronization connector when closed
 Neoprene padded interior protects screen and function buttons
 Storage for one Secure Digital (SD) card


Price
Available for purchase online at http://www.innopocket.com/ for $32.90.

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