It s such a shame to spoil a sexy bit of kit like the TG50 by putting it in a case. It is a crime, however, to bounce a TG50 across a concrete pavement or drop it on a granite floor when you miss your pocket.
My search on the web for a case was initially frustrating. Offerings from Brando, Xigma and Bellagio (looks like the TG50 wearing kinky leather underpants) all failed to impress. When Krusell of Sweden offered a review sample I was eager to give it a try, despite the pic at their web site www.krusell.se being rather poor.
My first impression on opening the Jiffy bag was of disappointment. A plastic strap and cover for the keyboard? How could this crumpled bit of plastic bag stapled to a strip of leather compliment my super sleek TG50? Then as I wrestled to squeeze it through the strap and into the plastic keyboard cover an amazing transformation started. The cover took shape and the wrinkles disappeared (does this sound like a cosmetics ad?). Now my review could begin.
The good thing about the look of the Krusell case is it s slim, adding very little to the width of the Clie and not too much to the thickness. The flip cover is padded and nicely rounded at the extremities whilst the back is unpadded and rigid. Where the case wraps around the top of the TG50 the leather is flexible and has a hole for the headphone socket. The case is well branded with a Krusell logo on a metal badge on the front and a fabric tag inside. On the back are holes for the speaker, reset and a multidapt fixing (more on this later). There s a leather tongue that wraps round the bottom of the case and attaches by a popper in one of two positions, depending how many credit cards and memory sticks you ve crammed inside.
Front of the case
Back of the case. The Multidapt fixing at the top
Talking about Storage – the inside of the flip cover has a leather finish with two slots for credit/business cards, two more for Memory Stick and a pocket for anything larger. (TIP: I m buying a second spare Memory Stick because the cover does not sit perfectly straight with just one slot filled!). Around the flap and the inside back is finished with synthetic suede-like material.
Case open, flip closed
Now the weird bit. The TG50 is held into the case with clear plastic and it really works. After a few minutes gently sliding, pulling and persuading the Clie is firmly held by a clear strap above the screen and a thinner plastic covering over the whole keyboard and application buttons. This is bound to have an affect on typing but for me the payoff is worth it. It looks smart and makes that painful middle up/down key useable. I never managed to touch type on the keyboard without the case so I m used to typing by sight rather than feel; also my fingers no longer slip off the keys. If you re a thumbnail typist you ll love it.
Keyboard is totally covered
Around the Side
Along the edges of the case it s a mixed story. The top plastic band covers the record button but is flexible enough to use. The lanyard post is also covered and not useable but the multidapt fixing on the back has a loop where a lanyard could be fixed. Towards the bottom on each side are leather stips attached to the plastic keyboard cover that are neatly finished. On the bottom however, the finishing is poor and looks like blunt scalpel job.
Base with some dodgy finishing
Using the case
It s a snug fit and that makes it a good case. I ve used cases where the PDA moves around in the case: this make using side buttons difficult especially the jog dial but the Krusell is so tight the Clie can t go anywhere. The tight fit means you don t really want to take the TG50 out very often and you cannot use the sync cradle with the case on so you will end up using the travel dongle (you know the bit you put somewhere safe but can t remember where).
As promised, an explanation. The Multidapt fixing on the back of the case is a thin plastic port allowing various clips to be attached. I m using the swing clip with a quick release mechanism and I m the fastest on the draw in the office. The full range is shown on the Krusell web site. They all work well and however you like to dangle you Clie there s probably something for you.
Mostly well finished
Multidapt clip system
Cannot sync in cradle
Not easy to remove/replace
Poor finishing on the base
The Bottom Line
Good points outweigh the bad to give a good case with a tight fit and a unique fixing system. The nice quality leather that does not show the scratches still looks new after 2 weeks.
Pricing and availability
Manufacturer website: www.krusell.se
Not yet listed but should be 18.72 + VAT
– By Mark Stephenson