Tungstenô T Scuba Sleeve Case

Reviewed by James Kimble a.k.a. Techisattva The texture of the Palm Tungsten T Scuba Case is smooth and consists of a metal substrate coated with a rubber on the exterior and a felt-like material on the interior. The case is sturdy, with the hinge relying on the interior and exterior materials for its range of motion. I very much like the texture of the case, it grips well without being something that would bring the pocket lining out with it when you pull it out of your jeans or coat. I'm not sure how well it will hold up to daily use, but it looks as though it will last. Time and exposure to a little of the elements will tell, of course. The case opens like a paperback with the PDA being held onto the right/bottom and the cover swinging on a hinge located along the left-front edge of the case: * The case in 'paperback' mode - notice how it covers the graffiti area Personally, I would have preferred the PDA to be mounted on the left hand side of case and hinged on the right. The combination of the lip of the case being on the right hand side and being able to securely hold the device while holding open the cover with my stylus hand just seems more comfortable. I've experimented with turning the Tungsten upside down in the case and prefer it: * The case upside down Only the case badge, overall profile of the case, and voice-memo button cut-out prevent me from doing so for regular use. This is one case where the Lefties may have the advantage. Otherwise, for the right-handed among us, holding the case by the cover supports the Tungsten well, but letting it hang out there is definitely something I am going to have to get used to. The mount for the Tungsten is essentially the same mechanism that holds on the clear plastic cover that comes with the device. It is made of slightly sturdier and thicker black plastic, and maintains a VERY good grip on the sides of the device. Access to the buttons, stylus well, IR and SD card are completely unhindered. The placement of the voice memo button cut out could be better, but it functions without significantly exposing the device or wrecking the case itself. With the Tungsten closed, the case prevents the device from Hotsyncing without first removing it, or extending the base beyond the edge of the case. Now, it would be silly to have to mount and unmount the device from the case, given that the cradle itself is quite a standard bit of hardware. But extending the base is a problem for two reasons. The first, I will admit, is sheer habit. I have grown accustomed to being able to drop my Tungsten effortlessly on the cradle with the clear cover on the face and not think twice about it. The second, however, is related to an overall problem I have with the case. My major problem and concern with the case is the lack of an easy way to reveal the graffiti pad: * The graffiti area uncovered * there is nowhere to grip the sliding mechanism There is no way, short of sliding the bottom open with both thumbs from the front or using a fingernail to pull the top edge of the base downward, to open the Tungsten while it is in the case. Given the way the open case must be held for a right-handed person to use the stylus, the thumbs option seems an exercise in asking the whole thing to be dropped on the floor. Likewise, I am quite sure using a finger nail to slide open the base isn't what the device designers had in mind. A more considerate case designer would have made the addition of a scallop on both sides of the case along the bottom edge, allowing the use of a thumb and forefinger to slide the base. Unfortunately, this seems to have been neglected. The most annoying part of the case, however, is the fact that there has been no accommodation made for the buttons / Navigator. I constantly find myself shutting off my Tungsten, because pressure on the front has pushed one (or more) of the buttons. Finally, I really wish Palm would have embossed the palm logo onto the rubber surface, rather than the current case badge / logo that they have stuck on the front. It sits up from the surface of the case far too high. It looks poorly cast, and rather plain with no blackwash / enamelling to set off the logo. and it is square, making an excellent hook for pocket string and lint. So, all and all, this case is a love-hate prospect. It seems a bit on the prototype side rather than a finished and well thought through product - and so it's up to you to decide if it is worth ticket price. Frankly, the only reason I haven't returned the case is the paucity of anything else with a similar form factor and protection for the device. The clear plastic cover protected the screen, but not the device, and I have little options until other manufacturers gear up to make something a bit more well thought out. $29.95 at the Palm Store (c) Jim Kimble and FoxPop

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