As many people know, a Pocket PC needs to be protected in two ways. The contents need to be secured (backups of your data, as well as password/PIN security), but the hardware of your device is just as important. That’s why I always apply a screen protector as soon as possible, and also want to make sure that I have a nice case that fits to my needs. I used to have a pretty nice case for my HTC TyTn II, but as it got damaged, I started to look for a replacement. When I came across the Leather case for HTC TyTn II – Book Type (Black) version.2 by PDair, I was very pleasantly surprised by it’s design.
There’s a lot to say about this case, so I will keep the introduction short and start immediately with the ordering and shipment process, after the break.
Ordering and shipping
When I asked PDair would be willing to send me a review copy, they responded very quickly. They were nice enough to send me a case for reviewing purposes, but regular customers can pay using credit cards, as well as PayPal. For me, being a European customer without a credit card, the ability to pay with Paypal it very important, so I’m glad that PDair offers this. They ship from Hong Kong and while their website states that the package should arrive to Europe in 7-12 days, it took a lot less time. I got a message on April 10th that they sent out the case, along with a tracking number. Only 5 days later, on April 15th (that’s only 3 days if you don’t count the weekend), the package arrived. Quick shipping and a trace number are not the only things that make your purchase handling nice though: shipping is free, worldwide! And if your order exceeds $28, you get a free keyholder as well.
The package arrrived in a brown envelope. It had a transparent plastic bag inside, which contained a grey box with the PDair logo. In the box was the case, wrapped in PDair paper. There was a piece of foam in the case to make sure that the case would keep it’s original shape during the shipping. Also inside was a plastic piece of bubble plastic, with a sealed small plastic bag in it, containing the belt clip pieces. So that’s a fair bit of packaging material, but of course it’s meant to make the case cross the ocean in good shape. Below is an image of it all, as well as an image of the case and belt clip from a bit closer.
The grey box is very solid so you might not want to throw it away. It can be used very well to store some PPC asseccoires in it, like a charger, USB cable, stylus, storage card, and the belt clip that comes with the device, if you don’t use it normally.
The case is made from really nice leather. Both the front flap that covers the screen, and the back of the case, feel soft and smooth. The front flap that keeps the device in place and is attached to the back through the click button, as well as the sides of the case, it from thinner and harder material. This is good, because the case is supposed to contain the device securely and in a solid manner; so it should be thin and hard where possible, but nice to the fingers where necessary.
It has white stiches which, according to PDair, make the case more beautiful. Personally I don´t know if I like this better than I would like black stiches, but this is of course a matter of personal preference.
Next, we will take a look at all the sides of the case, starting with the inside.
As you can see, the inside also has the white stitching that decorates the outside. The image also shows that the case has pretty thin sides, but they are solid enough to provide decent protection. Especially the top corners look this way, because they are closed. When the device is not in the case you can clearly see that the bottom right corner has a lot of holes in it, but when the device is put into the case it looks more solid. It gives plenty of room to easily press the camera button or take out the stylus.
On the back, you can see that there are several holes in the case. They make sure that as much of the device as possible is protected, while giving enough free space for the GPS antenna. Also, the camera hole is large enough to make sure that it doesn’t reduce or limit the image. When I was young, my photographs were often ruined because I had a finger in front of the lens. Something similar could happen if the hole in the case would be too small, but that is not the case here. Next to the camera hole are smaller holes for the speaker of the device. PDair could have easily made this one big hole, combining the camera and speaker area, but instead they chose to have similar smaller holes. This has my preference, because it leaves less space open. I can imagine, though, that it might reduce the sound quality a bit. (I never listen to audio on my device so I don’t feel that I’m in the position to give a well-balanced opinion on this)
And finally you can see the patch where you can attach the belt clip. I personally think that this patch is rather large – if you don’t use the belt clip it’s very visible and unnecessary. However I do know that this design choice makes the case more solid, because if you screw the belt clip piece onto the case it now has the patch to rest against. If it weren’t for the patch, (un)screwing the belt clip piece a few times might leave marks on the case, so in the end I do think that the patch is good to have.
The left side
There’s not a whole lot to say about the left side of the case. As you can see it has a lot of room for the hardware buttons and the scrollwheel. While the OK button is just above the sideflap, it’s still easy to press. Of course, because the HTC TyTn II has a slide-out keyboard, te side of the case can’t be too high. If the front flap is open, you need to be able to slide the screen of the device so that the keyboard is revealed, and to do this the screen needs to slide over the side of the case.
The right side
Here you can also see what I meant with my previous line. Because you need to place your thumbs behind this side of the device to slide out the keyboard, the case can’t be any higher than it is in the screenshot. This means that the bottom and top of the right side of your device won’t be protected, but there’s not really a good way around this, if you don’t want to limit the device in it’s movement.
Anyway, what you can also see in this image is that again the holes for the hardware buttons leave enough room to press them. Also there is enough space to slide out the stylus with your finger. For me, the space here could have been a bit smaller, because I always use my fingernail to slide out the stylus. This could give the side of the case 1 or 2 mm extra here, which would increase the solidness of the case. On the other hand, people with larger fingers might need this space to be able to get out the stylus. So just as with the belt clip patch on the back, this might have been a choice based on the needs of most users.
The right side is where you can make the case close, holding the device securly. This is done by a click-button, which is certainly far from loose. Perhaps this will change a bit over time but for now the button appears to be very secury and certainly won’t open easily accidentaly. On the total top of the image above, you can see the front flap which sole purpose is to cover the screen of the device. This is something I haven’t seen before, and – in my experience – is a unique selling point for this case. Yes, it does add to the dimensions of the case. However, it also gives extra protection not only to the screen, but also to the front flap that is below it. I will discuss this a bit more down, when showing you the front of the cover. This front flap has a little magnet in it, so that it easily sticks to the case without adding any extra buttons or velcro.
The top side
No need to use a lot of words here. No holes, because there is no button. Just a bit of extra space to the side, where the keyboard comes up. Moving on to the bottom side.
The bottom side
On the image, I had the belt clip below the bottom part of the device to lift up the case a bit, so the belt clip is not attached to the device here. As you can see the case leaves the top part completely open. This is where you can enter the Micro SD card, and also where the screen slides to the left in order to reveal the keyboard. The back of the device is protected better, because it only has a hole where you can attach a keycord, and where the mini USB cable can be attached. The reset hole is still covered though, so if you don’t have software that allows you to perform a soft reset, you will need to take your device out of the case in order to insert your stylus into the reset hole. While the white stitching is almost everywhere on the case, this is a place where I miss it. I think it would have made the case more solid around the holes, because at some places the case is only a few milimeters wide here.
The front of the case completely leaves the keys at the bottom of the device uncovered. This is OK though, because there simply is no place to cover the device here decently (meaning that the cover is at least 5 mm) without covering the buttons on the device. On the rest of the front, the protection is good though. As you can already see below the front camera, leds, and the ear speaker have a hole, but the rest is well covered. The screen is also covered, by the extra flap on the front that stays in place because of a small magnet on the right side.
When opening the front flap, the screen is still protected with the second front flap. The first front flap does a great job protecting the vulnerable left and right side of the second front flap, which are just a little under 1 cm wide on some places close to the top. You can see this on the screenshot below. It also shows that the first front flap has the PDair logo on the inside, and that all flaps have the white stitching.
And finally, you can also take away the second front flap with by detaching the click button, and you can now take your device out of he case.
The belt clip
Again, let’s start with a blurry image. I’m pushing the sides of the clip here, and I need to put in quite a lot effort to get the other side opened a few milimeters. I’m pretty sure that this belt clip will do a very good job and give you a secure feeling when attaching it to your belt.
The belt clip is detachable, and in order to be able to use it, you need to screw a small piece onto the case. You can then click the belt clip into it. As you can see below, this adds considerable size to what you have to carry. So it’s good to know that you can take away half of this by detaching the belt clip if you’re not using it. But if you DO plan on using the belt clip, it’s good to know that it feels very secure when attached to your belt, and that it can rotate freely. So when sitting down, you can just rotate the case a bit and it will be a lot more comfortable. To use the device, just press the button on top of the belt clip and you can take the device out of it.
Verdict and product details
Of course there are some things that are subject to personal preference. I might have preferred black stitching over white. Also, I can imagine that some people feel that the extra front flap adds size to the case, but for me it does do a great job protecting the screen and the sides of the front flap below it.
Overall I’m very pleased by this case though. Two main reasons why it’s better than the case I used to have, are that it has an extra front flap that protects the screen. My previous case got damaged when the front flap accidentaly folded while putting my device in my pocket, and the extra front flap will also be perfect protection for those kind of situations. As I’ve said before, this extra flap has been the exact reason for me to become interested in this case. And now that I have it, I’m also pleased by the nice feel it has on the front and back. Speaking of the back, it has as few holes as possible, but still leaves enough space for the GPS antenna, the camera, and the speaker. The holes on the bottom are a bit less perfect, because in my opinion, they are a bit large, and even then they don´t align perfectly with the keycord holes. The consequence of this is that there is only little space between the holes, which makes the case feel a bit more vulnerable here. However, the entire case is made of material that gives me a confident feeling when carrying my device in it, so this is not a major problem.
For people who use the belt clip, this is also a strong point of the case’s design. It is detachable, and can freely rotate. The back of the case has an extra patch so that you can safely (un)screw the belt clip piece onto the case without damaging it.
The case is sold by PDair, and costs $32.
It’s official full name is cLeather case for HTC TyTn II – Book Type (Black) Version.2.
You can pay with PayPal or a credit card, and for this price you get free worldwide shipping. Also, the order qualifies for a free keyholder. The case ships from Hong Kong and the shipment can be traced (depending on the destination, I could only track it until the point that it left Hong Kong).