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Clearly a Very Good Clear Treo Case

There’s a new type of Treo cases in our Treo Accessory Shop.  It’s called a Crystal or ClearCase and as its label denotes is made entirely of either acrylic or plastic to deliver robust yet completely translucent protection for your Treo.

The ClearCase pictured here is made of acrylic and fits all Treo models from the 600 to the 700w.  The case works by ‘sandwiching’ your Treo in between two layers (below) about 2mm thick of acrylic across the entire body except the keyboard and the necessary openings for the speakers, camera and HotSync slot.  While in this case the Treo will not fit the standard Palm Cradle Kit but it works perfectly well with Seidio’s INNODock cradle.

At the front it has a slim flip screen cover which locks into place (can also be removed) while at the back it has an easily removable belt clip which is firmly secured with a steel ring and screw (also removable).  Finally, there is a slot for a spare SD card but for some reason none of mine would fit in…

Above left, wearing the ClearCase on my waist (it almost looks as if my Treo were floating) and in my hand on the right with the screen protector open.

I really liked this type of case from the moment I laid my hands on one because it provides protection for my Treo while retaining the ‘naked’ look which I prefer – it’s the best of both worlds and in my opinion 1) considerably more practical to use daily than a skin case and 2) significantly more appealing and less bulky than an aluminium case.

Aside from the SD card slot at the back which doesn’t seem to be the right size this particular model has only one other flaw.  Namely, the profile of the case is raised by about 2mm around the keyboard which makes it more difficult to access the border keys (a similar issue which the Vaja case for the Treo 650 has).  I hope that a revised model may shortly address this and lower the profile to be flush with the base of the keys.

Overall I feel that the ClearCase is one of the most innovative new type of cases to have been released for the Treo in some time and if like me you typically prefer your Treo naked you should definitely consider it for added protection.

Treonauts never rest their case


Posted by Andrew on April 24, 2006 at 01:08 PM

Treo Accessories , Treo Case

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Comments

1
by Ben | Apr 24, 2006 1:31:11 PM

Hey there, I purchased this too. Let me tell you how the SD slot works, or not...

It will not work on the slim SD cards that are made of hard plastic. If you try to jam it in there, you will scratch your case and possibly break your SD card.

If you have an SD card with thinner grooves on both sides (the long side) of the SD, you are in luck. First of all, when you are inserting the SD card, the contacts have to face you, This also means the small notch will be on the bottom right of the SD card. Using the grooves on the side, carefully slide it into the groves on the case.

The first few tries will be tough but as you use it more, that slot will become smoother and your SD card will slide in quite nicely.

If you view this image:

http://shop.treonauts.com/images/product_images/accessories/additional_images/641/large/2.jpg [Edited link]

you will see how it's supposed to go in.

My biggest URGH! about this case is the belt clip itself. It's cheap plastic and I am worried one day it will just disintegrate. Luckily Boxwave has a replacement belt clip for it.

If you want to completely modify the belt clip part, you can try this:

http://www.gpscity.ca/item-gps-city-belt-clip-kit/beltkit.htm

I ordered this today, I am hoping the screw on the Garmin is the same size as the screw hole on the case. I'll report on this later.

If you want to mount this on your winshield with out having to remove the case:

I purchased this:

Mount that will work with the above belt clip:

http://www.gpscity.ca/item-ram-mount-standard-belt-clip-with-diamond-plate/rap304.htm

Window suction mount w/ 6'gooseneck

http://www.gpscity.ca/item-npi-diamond-plate-6''-flex-arm-with-3.25''-locking-suc/rap105-6d224.htm

All 3 works together AND! You don't have to take the crystal case off AND, it's CHEAP!

I'll report later when I get all 3 items + I'll tell you if the Garmin screw fits the thread on the crystal case. If it does, I'll be so happy. If not, well, I can always remove the screw on the Crystal case and attach the universal adhesive pad w/button.

2
by Ben | Apr 24, 2006 1:34:16 PM

Sorry that last link is this

http://www.gpscity.ca/item-npi-diamond-plate-6''-flex-arm-with-3.25''-locking-suc/rap105-6d224.htm

The period on the URL after "HTM" messed up the link.

3
by Antoine | Apr 24, 2006 1:44:40 PM

I am borderline ready to order this case, but have only one really poinent question: how does it fare on a drop. My ToughSkin case has saved me quite a number of times and that kinda protection has paid for itself for quite a few drops. Let me know that, and you might see another with this case.

4
by Ben | Apr 24, 2006 1:58:47 PM

It depends on how your treo lands. If it lands flat on it's back, your probably safe. If it lands on any of the corners, the case will most likely break, It may save your Treo from scratches as it does this but You will probably have to buy a new case.

Either way,I'm not willing to drop my Treo w/case to test, sorry. The shock absorption on hard plastic will probably next to nil compared to the toughcase. If it had some neoprene lining, it would probably do a better job So far it has been on my belt quite securely so no accidents yet. I just worry about the belt clip part.

One thing I really like about this case is how easily it comes off when you want it to and you know how. It's perfect for syncing w/a cradle. You can pry as hard as you can with a screw driver, and you will not take this thing apart. But if you use your thumb on the big latch on the left to pry it appart, it will come off quite easily. Otherwise, it's pretty secure. I can't see this case falling apart

5
by Dr. Mark Lipschitz | Apr 24, 2006 2:03:36 PM

Garbage! I am supposed to trust the cheap hinged sideclasp from coming apart while I wear this on my belt??? I can pull the case apart with my hands!!! The SD slot is useless!!! I replaced by broken Piel Frama's belt clip with the one that came from this case and threw the rest out! Dont waist your money!

6
by Jason P | Apr 24, 2006 2:07:42 PM

This looks wonderful. My only hope would be a version without any features on the back at all. I want something as slim as possible for pocket-carrying.

7
by Andrew | Apr 24, 2006 2:12:10 PM

Ben - thank you very much for all your input and useful added information.

Antoine - I've already dropped my 'naked' Treo without any protection too many times... Nothing ever happened (thank God) but a little extra layer like the ClearCase provides would certainly give me some added peace of mind...

Mark - I believe that your fears may be somewhat exagerated. As Ben points out the ClearCase doesn't easily come apart and the two layers are firmly held in place.

Jason - there is another clear case coming into the store shortly which I believe will meet all of your requirements.

Cheers, A.

8
by Ben | Apr 24, 2006 2:47:27 PM

Mark,

Hmmm... I'm just wondering if you had the $ for a Piel, why buy a clear case that's 4x cheaper? In any case. When I bought this item, slapped it on my Treo, I swear I almost pulled a nail, ripped the skin on my thumb trying to pry this case apart with my hands. It was almost like slapping on a castity case on your Treo. When I finally figured out the trick, it was definitely easier. You must have some amazing belly flap or some strong belt or waist to pry this apart with out the use of your hands if you think this case will pry open while you wear it. I had this case on my side and have banged into walls/doors and even that couldn't jolt this thing open. Once locked in, it's pretty hard to open with out applying some force in the right area. It works like a Chinese finger trap. The more I pulled on it, the harder it was to pry appart.

I don't know if this message will be banned or not, but if you check a popular auction site, you can get this exact case for much cheaper. Boxwave also sells the same type of case w/their branding but you can get the OEM version on that "auction site", just look for "Treo 650 crystal case" that's where I got it from.

9
by skip tickle | Apr 25, 2006 5:36:15 AM

can you teach these guys that take pictures of future phone on how to take clear non-blurry pictures like these?

10
by Gnam | Apr 25, 2006 6:14:11 AM

I quote "this particular model has only one other flaw. Namely, the profile of the case is raised by about 2mm around the keyboard which makes it more difficult to access the border keys..."

Couldn't agree more with you. Which is why I decided to hack away at my case!

11
by Doug Boehme | Apr 25, 2006 9:10:05 AM

I was thinking about grinding down the case around the edges to lower it using a Dremel. How did you hack your case and how did it look in the end? (still clear?)

12
by Ben | Apr 25, 2006 10:18:03 AM

Won't that weaken the whole structure?

13
by Kari | Apr 25, 2006 4:46:38 PM

Treo T-Shirts!!
www.cafepress.com/karigorski

14
by Ugg | Apr 28, 2006 11:24:08 AM

DON'T TRUST THE CLEAR PLASTIC BELT CLIP!!!

I'm on my 2nd crystal case for my Axim X50v (first case broke a hinge). The belt clips from both cases broke in a VERY SHORT time. The clips are very brittle because of the clear plastic.

Boxwave has a replacement belt clip in black that may be more solid (I don't have one, so I cannot verify). IMO, Boxwave should give us all black clips for free as the clear ones are clearly junk.

http://www.boxwave.com/products/beltclip/index.htm

15
by Dr. Mark Lipschitz | Apr 28, 2006 3:41:47 PM

Andrew,
I had no problem pulling mine apart. Not to mention I cant even fit my skinny 1gb Kingston SD card in the slot let alone my 2gb A data card. In response to the Piel Frama case question, three things were wrong with the Piel Frama Case. The belt clip broke and I couldnt find another one and I wasnt thrilled with the case to begin with... I hate the piece of leather that is between the thumbpad and the screen. It gets in the way while playing games. I found myself taking my Treo out of the case frequently. The problem is that there is bare stitching on both sides of the screen that is quite abrasive. It was scratching the chrome right off the Treo. I cut a thin strip of duct tape and applied it over the stitching, no more scratching!!! Personally, I want the E&B Company eNOVO case but it keeps getting delayed.

16
by Ben | May 2, 2006 1:01:32 PM

"Not to mention I cant even fit my skinny 1gb Kingston SD card in the slot let alone my 2gb A data card"

I have the same card, this slot was not designed for this case. It does not have the grooves that the regular SD cards have. The kingston ones are also made of hard plastic so there's not give there. Do not use it on this case.

17
by Ben | May 5, 2006 9:27:58 AM

My treo fell today the screw loosened and it fell to the ground to my shock. The case came appart, but luckily one part stayed w/the case and protected it from scratches. THe case itself didn't get scratched up too badly, it didn't break. I hit hard concrete. I'm kinda dissapointed with the screw, I thought this would be a stronger alternative to the adhesive, but I'll be switching to that as I no longer trust the screw. If you like it, you'll have to tighten it and keep an eye out every day or so.

18
by Antoine | May 15, 2006 6:31:28 PM

Hola, was talking to a guy about cases at work and took a second look at this one. Decided that I would go ahead and make the purchase. The thought is that I have the ToughSkin, and while it is great for protecting, its huge and is starting to stretch in the nav buttons area. This case I think wil be a bit better in that respect, but I may lose some when it comes to protection. I do like the SD card slot, and will use that one for my backup card (now a reason to take it out of my wallet). Heere's hoping that this is a good purchase.

Oh yea, my friend is getting the other clear case you reviewed, the one without the SD slot, since he likes his protected, but still near without anything around it.

19
by Brandon Wintac | Jul 31, 2006 11:42:58 AM

I just bought this case at Thailand's Pantip Plaza. It's an OEM version with no branding, but costs only 10 dollars! I am not going to use the belt clip, but I still hope the case will not break apart and expose the Treo when there is an accident.

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