Saturday, March 27, 2004

E&B Slipper Case for Tungsten E

This review was written by Nik Jones for Foxpop, but I messed up and it did not get into the last edition. So I am posting it here.

Review � E&B Slipper case for Palm Tungsten E

My current PDA is the Palm Tungsten E (T|E), which replaced my Jornada 568 PocketPC. I wanted a very light & slim PDA that would double as an MP3 player. Expansys was selling these for �135 inc VAT and delivery, and now that multiple addresses per contact are allowed (OS5.2), I decided to get one. Initially I used my T|E with the screen cover that came with it. This is of the �book� type with no way of fastening it shut. Although adding very little to the thickness of the device, it did mark the top of my unit. I also had to carry it in my briefcase inside an Otterbox, as simply throwing it in risked screen damage due to the inability to keep the screen cover closed. As is now common for PDA users, my second purchase would be a more useful case!� My needs were simple:
(1) leather, any colour except light tan
(2) as slim as possible to make carry in trouser pockets comfortable
(3) ability to hold business cards w/o having them tough the screen
(4) of the �slipper� design � book types seem inherently �fat� to me. I had a Krussel case of this type for my Jornada and liked it.
(5) low cost � subjective, but less than �40.
Looking on the web, I narrowed my option down to the E&B slipper case. I had had one of their cases for the Visor in the past and was generally happy with it, although was never able to synch my Visor in the cradle with the case (despite their help � I would rate E&B�s customer support highly). I was also not keen on the Velcro tabs that held the Visor model shut. I ordered my case early December and it arrived Christmas eve � ordering now should take less time as the case was on backorder at the time, and shipping fro the US to the UK at Christmas is probably not the best time!

E&B Slipper case

The case is in black leather and now had magnetic fasteners rather than Velcro. These magnets are in the front of the case, so a wrap-around loop is not needed. These are both HUGE advantages, as the case is easier to slip into a pocket. The magnets are strong enough that holding the case by the lid keeps the case shut (although shaking your hand will open it). The case is form fitting � I tried to shake the unit out for 30seconds and there was no sliding. Insertion/removal is quite easy, but reassuringly snug.
Cutouts are made for the reset hold, speaker and headphone jack. All the holes are slightly offset to the left � annoying aesthetically - but the functions are usable, so I won�t be sending the case back for a swap. There is a �cutaway� on each side of the unit, to allow the stylus to be accessed. I would�ve made there a few mm deeper as unless you have fingernails, removing the stylus is awkward but manageable. There is a leather strip separating the front buttons from the screen. This slightly interferes with the use of the �UP� button of the D-pad, but again, it is manageable. There is a cutout at the base for the power and USB leads � as the T|E doesn�t use a cradle, once you put the unit in the case, you may never need to remove it.
The flip cover has slots for 2 credit cards and 1 for money. Business cards put in the money slot are fully covered, so are crease free. I never use the credit card slots as they might touch the screen, and the magnetic closures may affect the cards, but they are there for those who use them.
In all, I am very happy with this case. It adds little weight and thickness to the unit, so I am happy to carry it all day (otherwise, why have a PDA?). Cost shipped to the UK was �27.71 � it may be less now due to the exchange rate. This compares well to cases sold in the UK.