Short Take: Rhinoskin’s Case for Treo 700w/p

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  • Integrated durable shield for added front protection

  • Premium "sheepskin" leather

  • RhinoClip removable post and belt clip system

  • StuffBak loss protection ID label included

(

all images link to higher resolution

)




Figure
1:


Included in the package (clockwise) is a catalog, a
mounting post and belt clip, a StuffBak ID label and finally the case itself.



Figure
2: Rhinoskin does not seal their packages which is a
great thing for consumers… you can open the package in
the store and try it on your device.



ANATOMY OF A SPECIES


Let’s take a look at the case itself.



Figure
3: Here is the Treo inside the case.


The front cover is secured by a magnetic snap attached
to the flap you see at the top. The magnetic snap is
secure, although the flap is a bit tight. I think this will
loosen over time (in a good way) as the leather
stretches. The case does not impede the use of the
keyboard or buttons, which is great. There are cutouts
for the earpiece and the LED on the front of the device.


The picture above also represents the position of the
case when you are talking on the phone. Basically, you
will have the front cover dangling down and will have to
move the magnetic flap from blocking the earpiece.
Needless to say, you will look pretty silly. If you are
going to get this case, using a Bluetooth headset is
mandatory… unless you want your appearance to scream,
"Geek!" Also, since you cannot see the screen without
opening the front cover, you may want to think about a
Bluetooth Headset with an LCD screen that shows
CallerID.



Figure 4: Here is the inside cover in detail.


The inside cover contains 3 credit card-sized pockets
and 2 pockets for Secure Digital cards. The cover is
very sturdy and does not bend easily. I have no doubt
the cover will protect the face of the device.
Unfortunately, the cover is also very thick and if you
placed credit cards or Secure Digital cards inside, it
would only get thicker.



Figure 5: This is the back of the case without the
belt clip installed.


The back of the case has the mounting hole for the belt
clip post. There is also a nice cut out for the speaker,
camera lens and stylus.



Figure 6: The view from the bottom of the case.


As you can see in the picture above, the case just does
not fit the contours of the device very well. Notice how
the leather does not match the shape of the device. All the connectors are accessible, but I would
have preferred a better fit. The bottom corners of the
device are exposed, which is not a good thing as the
corners tend to be the point of impact when you drop a
device.



Figure 7: Here is the top of the case.


The same problem is evident from the top. Notice
the large gap between the Treo and the
case around the earpiece and also the bulges on the
sides. On the plus side, the controls and ports on the
top are easily accessible.



Figure 8: Side view.


The case does not fit well around the side buttons,
although the buttons are accessible. You can also see
how thick the front cover is in this picture.



Figure 9: Here is the case closed.


Notice how much bulk the case adds to the device… and
this is without any credit cards or Secure Digital cards
inside. I estimate that the case adds between 25-30%
more bulk to the device. The magnetic flap does not sit
flush with the case which makes it seem to stick out
even more. You will also notice that the side of the
case does not fit the device very well and that the
bottom corner is exposed.



CLIP IT… CLIP IT GOOD


One of the cases most unique features is the removable
belt clip. The belt clip is comprised of 2 parts: the
post and the clip itself.



Figure 10: This is the hole you screw the mounting
post into.


The mounting post is simply a screw with a flathead
slot. To attach the post, you just screw it into the
hole on the back of the case. This was made a little
more difficult because the hole is not centered in the
leather cut-out. This caused a little difficulty when
installing the post. Nothing a good screwdriver won’t
overcome.


On a different note, the case blocks the self-portrait
mirror on the back of the Treo. The self-portrait
mirrors has always been of dubious value, but it still
should not be blocked.



Figure 11: This is what the case looks like attached
to your belt.


As you can see, the case does not hang off the belt very
straight. In fact, it hangs at a significant angle.
While using this case, I found that I kept hitting
things or knocking the magnetic flap loose, which caused
the front cover to fall open. The belt clip is VERY
secure however, and at no time did I feel like it was going to
break or fall off. I also like how you can remove the belt
clip and mounting post. I wish more cases had this
option so you would only need to buy one case instead of
two.



I DON’T CARE HOW YOU GET TO ME, JUST GET TO ME


This case also ships with a StuffBak sticker which is
supposed to help get the device returned to you if
someone finds it.



Figure 12: The StuffBak sticker.


To activate StuffBak, simply visit their website. If
someone finds your device and returns it, they get a $20
reward. Fortunately, the sticker only says, "Reward For
Return" and does not mention the reward is only $20.
Considering how much these devices cost, a $20 reward is
probably not going to motivate anyone to return it. You
also pay $14.95 in shipping and handling to
get the device returned to you. I was going to attach
the sticker to my device, but when I peeled it off the
card, the sticky backing did not detach and stayed on
the card instead of on the sticker. The sticker is a
nice metallic one and should be pretty durable assuming
the sticky backing stays on.

PURCHASING



You can purchase this case directly from the
manufacturer’s

website
for $34.95. The case also comes in 5 colors:
black, red, pink, buff and tan.

PROS



  • Good quality leather


  • Important ports and controls are accessible


  • Very strong removable belt clip


  • Free StuffBak sticker


CONS



  • The case does not conform to the device very well


  • Very bulky


  • The case does not hang off the belt in a straight
    manner


  • When talking on the phone, the cover hangs down and
    the magnetic flap must be moved


  • Self-portrait lens is blocked


  • Bottom corners are exposed

OVERALL
IMPRESSION



I can’t say I am crazy about this case. In fact, I
really did not enjoy using it at all. I took it on 2
business trips with me and ended up removing the
Treo from the case and just placing it in my pocket
"naked." This case is just too bulky and talking on the phone
with the cover hanging down made me look silly. I
also kept hitting things and making the magnetic
cover un-snap which in turn made the front cover
fall down which in turn made me look even more
silly. Several people who looked at the case commented that
they thought it looked cheap because it did not
conform to the contours of the device very well.
This is a shame because the leather is of good
quality and the removable belt clip is a great
feature. Unfortunately, the cons definitely outweigh
the pros in this "case" and therefore I give it the
following score:

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