Saturday, November 12, 2005

Proporta’s Alu-Leather Flip Case

First Impressions
True to their word, this great little package arrived from Europe to the western shores of California in 5-7 days. The Alu-Leather Flip Case comes tightly packaged in a clear, plastic encasing with the product settled in a black, open box for greater security while giving the consumer a clear view of the case for the opportunity to ogle prior to opening its contents. I must say that I was impressed with the extra measures taken to making me feel special by including a couple of packets of Taylors of Harrogate English Breakfast Tea. Classy touch, indeed! Kudos to Lisa Fletcher for being both considerate and creative in devising ways to satisfy Proporta’s growing customer base. Whenever I purchase a case for my Palms, I want maximum protection along with a unique, accented style. Proporta has done both in spades!

Overall Look

You can’t help but notice the exemplarily professional look of the leather black case with white-threaded overstitching on the sides. There was a lot of thought, creativity and hard work put into this product. The front flap sports the cool, Proporta logo on the lower right hand side. When you flip open the case, there are two slim, slots to place extra external cards in.

Underneath the slots, there are imbedded slots that are placed there for additional snugness of your cards. This is just a great example of Proporta’s attitude to “go the extra mile” for their customers. I’ve seen other non-Proporta cases with slots for external cards but, they didn’t have the imbedded slots for extra security. Believe me; it makes a difference in terms of making sure your cards don’t jostle around while you’re in transit.

I was expecting to see a suction cup in the middle of the back-inner flap to hold the Zire 72s in place as I’ve seen from other brands. However, Proporta has come up with a much better way of keeping your unit steadfastly secured. They have placed thick, clear plastic, clasps which hold the Palm on both sides and at the bottom of the inner flap. The thick, plastic clasps are ingenious because they not only keep the Palm securely immobile but if you need to remove the unit, it can easily slide right off and back on again. If these clasps were made of some metal construct then there would be the risk of scratching both the Palm and/or the clasps themselves. Great idea!

There is another feature that I’ve not seen in other cases, an aluminum-lined inner flip cover. This adds yet another layer of protection not just for the face of the Palm, but for the screen itself. The rigid quality of the inner lining along with the leather, and foam serves to make doubly sure that not only will the beautifully-constructed, well-padded soft leather be used as a first line of defense but the metallic lining reinforces it as well.

It’s the Little Things That Say A Lot: Form and Function

I’m a firm believer in form and function. A lot of thought and creativity was devoted to this aspect in Proporta’s construction of their case. Here are some of the things that I noticed:

1. The cut-away on the upper right hand side of the front flap. This allows the user to have access to the stylus and the outlet for your ear buds/phones. I’m glad they chose the cut-away instead of a hole to plug in your ear buds. This allots for more room and is easier to manage than using a simple hole.

2. Users can hotsync their Palms without having to remove it from its casing due to the unique form of the case.

3. Three little holes in the upper left hand corner to allow for better sound reception. I had a chance to test the sound of a recording of my voice. I bought the Zire 72s primarily for the ability to record voice memos en route to work. The open sides allow easy access to enabling the voice memo application and the additional holes in the back provide sufficient spacing for me to clearly play back and listen to my audio memo. While this option is far better than not having any holes for audio at all, I do hope that Proporta will consider making a dozen more holes in the back for an even better listening experience. Still, three holes are better than none and kudos to the designers for thinking this one out.

4. For picture taking on my Zire 72s, I just simply have to push my unit up a bit for the lens to clear the leather casing for a good shot. I’m glad Proporta didn’t opt for creating a hole for the lens in the back of the case, but instead opted for the ability to slide the Palm up or down without compromising the secure fit. A hole in the back may work for their metallic cousins but not so well on the leather cases based on my experience from other companies from which I’ve purchased or perused. Proporta’s alternative is by far the best!

5. Removable credit card or picture module. Nice touch!

6. Removable belt clip. A cool alternative depending on your needs.

7. Secure self-homing magnetic closure system. Again, it’s a little thing, but its says volumes for Proporta’s attention to detail and customer satisfaction.

I’ve purchased several types of cases in the past, leather, clear and aluminum. However, Proprta’s Aluminum-lined leather case is the perfect combination of form and function complementing one another and creating a case that provides secure, maximum protection along with the clean, professional look that every Palm owner wants to convey.

Rating: 10 out of 10!

(Originally, published in PalmAddicts)

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