As many of you may know, I have upgraded my Tungsten E to a Tungsten T5. Of course, with that upgrade have come some additions to my accessories cove. One of the new articles that have made it to my treasure trove is the Piel Frama Black cowskin crocodile leather case.
My first impression of the case was simply, “wow!” I was taken back not only by the fit and finish, but the manner by which the Piel Frama case was sent. It came in a very high quality box that made me feel quite posh and privileged at the same time. When I opened the case, there was a sent of fresh leather. From my trips to Lancaster County, PA when I was a kid, I knew that if you could smell it across the room, then it was some good leather. The outside looked the part of crocodile skin. I am still not sure as to whether it is really crocodile skin or not as I never touched a crocodile’s skin. But it does have a very nice sheen from the coating that is on it and felt very sturdy.
Upon opening the Piel Frama case, I was greeted to a completely leather interior. There are three slots for business card-sized items and two more slots that are the perfect size for two SD cards. The two slots for the SD cards was certainly welcome for me as I had been carrying my Madden 2005 and Sega Classics cards in my wallet, where they meet a lot of heat and pressure. This was a much safer option. One of the fears that I had though was that when I would close the case and if the cards would touch the screen. Much to my liking, the case closes with a slight bend keeping SD and business cards from scratching the screen. There seems to be a piece of stiff card board in there so I don’t think that it will flatten out for a good while.
It took me about 5 minutes to put the T5 in the case. Why so long, you ask? Well, the Piel Frama case is handmade for each device, so the fit tends to be quite exact, if not a touch small. When I managed to get the T5 into the case, I was greeted by some excellent ergonomics. The screen is exposed and the sides of the case that hold the T5 mold almost perfectly around the PDA creating a tight and comfortable feel. All of the buttons stayed easily in reach. Though with the layout of the T5’s 5-way button, the down is very close to the edge of the Piel Frama case and can sometimes make for a bit of finger gymnastics in pressing the down button. There is a very open cut out in the bottom so that you can sync and charge your T5 while the case is on. However, if you want to remove your stylus, you will have to open the case as when it is closed, the fold over top covers the stylus slot. There is a very large hold for your headphones, but none for the SD card. So in that case too, one will have to open the case to change SD cards.
In terms of day to day use, the Piel Frama case performs quite well. It is sleek enough that I can keep the T5 in my pocket and forget that there is a case around it. It also comes with a belt clip that allows you to attach the T5 to your waist, or anything else that can take a belt clip, for easier access. Because the profile of the T5 case is quite thin, I actually found it better to carry it outside of my pocket (unless it is in my hand and I leave the clip on my belt and hold the T5).
The one thing that I will say about this case is that more than the T5’s screen, this case has gotten my T5 more looks. It is not overly gaudy in appearance, but it does add a touch of “ooohs” and “aaahs” to your T5 that would allow it to step a bit further away from the near twin Tungsten E.
Overall, I am very pleased with the Piel Frama Black Cowskin Crocodile Leather case. I was expecting something a bit less polished and less formal and was most definitely taken back. Granted, these good looks don’t come cheap. Piel Frama’s website has this case going for 90 Euros (about $120 US), but that includes shipping. It is expensive, but if you are looking for a top quality case with a handmade touch, you cannot go wrong with the Piel Frama.