I have always been a proponent of cases for PDA’s. I figure that if I spend a lot of money on the PDA, I might as well invest in a case protect it. I stumbled upon Palm’s Air Case, and though I don’t think it’s as robust as Proporta’s Crystal Cases (my cases of choice), it does the job, and the price can’t be beat. Read on for a quick review of Palm’s Air Case for the Z22….
Out of the box, the Z22 comes with no case or screen cover, so for me, finding a decent case was essential. I have been partial to the Flip Case with Clip from Bellagio Designs, and lately, I highly recommended the Crystal Case for the T3 from Proporta. I find the Crystal case to be solid, and very protective. Unfortunatly, Proporta doesn’t make a Crystal Case for the Z22, so I had to look elsewhere. I purchased Palm’s Air Case from Office Depot, and I was quite surprised by its design and function.
The Air Case is a clear plastic case that completely covers the Z22, and has a "flip" cover on the front. Conceptually, it reminds me of an old style Start Trek communicator, but clear. It has holes for the USB HotSync connector, the Stylus silo, and the Reset button on the back. Otherwise, it is a complete protective cover. The Air Case is claimed to be made of the same material from which they make safety glasses, so it should offer great protection.
|Palm’s Air Case||The Z22 in the Air Case|
The Air Case only adds a couple mm to the Z22’s overall dimensions, and adds negligible weight. It is very lightweight, yet seems to be pretty solid. I fits fairly snugly on the Z22. I say fairly snugly, because it doean’t fit quite as tightly as the Proporta Crystal case did onto my Tungstern T3. And flexing the Air Case does reveal that it is a bit flimsier than the Crystal cases, too. But it stays in place, feels good in the hand, and I am confident that the screen and body will be protected when I slip it into my front pants pocket. (I personally will never put any electronic device in my back pocket, because I feel it’s just too risky.)
Some other reviews of the Air Case have complained about its difficult-to-open flip cover. After snapping in my Z22 and closing the cover, opening it really wasn’t really that tough. It reminds my opening a CD case–it is slightly tricky at first, but once you open it once or twice, it’s simple. Same goes for the Air Case.
Another complaint in some other reviews was that the Air Case scratches easily making it harder to see the screen. Well, because none of the Z22’s buttons are accessible while the flip cover is closed, it’s highly unlikely that you will be actually using the Z22 with the flip cover closed. I find this concern to be a bit too picky. Further, I’d much rather have the Air Case scratch up than my Z22, that’s for sure! But people do have different priorities.
I did accidentally drop my Palm from about 2 feet onto a brick floor, and aside from the Air Case’s flip cover coming off, there was no scratching or damage to either the Z22 or the Air Case. (And the flip cover snapped right back on without issue.)
Overall, I think the Air Case is a great choice to provide inexpensive, solid protection for the Z22. It’s definitely not a Proporta-quality case, but then again, it’s available for under $15.00.