iPaq 2210 / 2215 Active Armor Case Review

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Just when you thought you’d seen it all in terms of selection of cases for your HP iPaq 2210, from leather to metal to vinyl cases, Active Armor brings you a truly unique and useful rugged, rubberized case to protect your iPaq 2210 from — well anything!

The Active Armor case as it appears in its packaging

Active Armor cases are known for their pure ability to protect PDAs from, as they say, “The Real World.”  My real world doesn’t involve construction sites or war zones, but I’d be willing to bet this case would hold up well and fit in look-wise in both of these places.  Once you slip this case onto your iPaq 2210 it looks like a virtual war machine with the black rubberized look and rugged looking screen protector.  But here’s the kicker, the case only ways 1.2oz and fits onto the iPaq 2210 so snuggly that it hardly adds any extra size or weight whatsoever.  So although the case provides rugged look and protection, it doesn’t turn your iPaq into a brick.

The iPaq 2210 all dressed up in its Active Armor case, the visor is down in this photo

The case is actually made of santoprene rubber that is only 2mm thick in most locations.  The rubber case provides two big advantages in protection.

  1. If the case is entirely rubber the grip is incredible, you really have to work hard to drop an object that’s one big grip unto itself!
  2. If you do happen to drop, kick or throw your iPaq when it’s in an Active Armor case the rubber acts as a shock absorber and the ribbed nature of the case on the sides and back will work to absorb a lot of the shock as well.

The iPaq 2210 of course comes with rubber side grips, so one of my concerns was that pulling this case on and off would cause the iPaqs rubber grips to come off as we know that there have been quality problems with the iPaq 2210 and grips just falling off after much wear and tear.  The idea of the Active Armor case is not to keep taking it on and off though.  The case is truly designed to be, as the namesake says, an active case that you keep your PDA in even while using it.  So, if you’re buying this case you’ll buy it to keep the iPaq 2210 constantly protected, it’s not like some leather cases that are purely for show and makes it necessary to take the iPaq out of the case to use.

Notice that all output mechanisms and input mechanisms on the device are exposed or accessible in some way with this case, even the soft reset button.

Active Armor made it easy to use the iPaq 2210 while in the case by providing cut outs for all major ports and outputs such as the speaker, stylus, serial port, IR port and even the soft reset button — no kidding, they exactly matched up a tiny hole in the back of the case that makes it possible to soft reset the iPaq without stripping the case off to get to the hole.  But what about the shortcut buttons, power button and D-pad you ask?  They’re all completely accessible too.  Upon first look I thought pushing the short cut buttons via the, for lack of better term, “rubber nipples” provided on the case would be a chore.  Not so, all buttons are easy to press in still and the D-pad is fully exposed and completely accessible.

The visor rotates up to 180 degrees for occasions when you want to use the screen, the visor can also be removed if you wish

The screen visor is of course the other major component of this case.  With the visor down your screen is completely protected by the polycarbonate constructed screen.  This visor provides a rugged protection for what can be a fragile screen on the iPaq 2210.  The only drawback is of course you can’t use your stylus when the visor is down, but complete view of the iPaq screen is still available.  To use your stylus, you simply have to flip up the visor to a 180 degree position.  If you find this annoying, it’s simple just to pop out the visor from the case completely.  It’s actually very easy to pop the visor in and out of the case, it uses a plastic hinge that slots into the rubber.  Although it’s easy enough to pull out when needed, I never had a problem with it falling out when I didn’t want it to and the visor snaps into a closed position very snugly so it doesn’t flap around when you want it closed.  One note I’ll make is that I found that taking the visor off when putting the iPaq into the case or taking it out is a good move as it allows you to flex the rubber and fit the iPaq in more easily.

Conclusion

This case is a winner, for $29.95 you have a very functional and unique case.  It’s not beautiful like leather by any means, but Active Armor isn’t making that claim.  All they claim is that your PDA will be much better protected and still highly usable and of the same form factor to the naked iPaq 2210.  I recommend this case to anyone that has to go a lot of places with their PDA and especially anyone that has to go out in the field.  This case is also good if you want to keep your iPaq in tip-top condition so that when you go to sell it on eBay you can honestly say there’s no scratches on the body or the screen because it has been encased in a rubber suit it’s entire life!

Pros

  • Excellent protection of your iPaq 2210, for both its screen and body, without adding a ton of weight or size.
  • Well designed to allow for easy use of the iPaq 2210 even when in the case, metal cases are great for protection but you can’t easily or fully use your iPaq when it’s in a metal case.
  • Very reasonable price at $29.95

Cons

  • Not a beautiful case, it might not be well suited for an executive or CEO type but more for those out and about.
  • Can’t use your stylus on the screen when the visor is down, you’ll have to flip it up or take it off.

Where to Buy:

This case can be purchased online from ActiveArmor.com for $29.95, there is a selection of colors available.


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