Every new Palm needs a new glove.

Well, in this case it’s actually a case, but the title was too good to pass up.

So, there I was with my new Palm TX — not really enjoying the fact that it has a floppy screen cover rather than a case. Sure, it worked, but somehow it just wasn’t satisfying.

Luckily the solution wasn’t too far away. Since I live my work and homelife mostly online, it was simple to go shopping for something that would make my new TX happy.

The Proporta Aluminium-Lined Leather Case was the solution I selected. Judging by the photos on the website (newly revamped, I might add), and the other online reviews, it seemed to fit the bill.

After carefully browsing through the large Proporta catalogue site, I chose the book-style case, as my previous Palm Zire 31 had a similar zippered vinyl case..though it was a bit bigger and bulkier. An online order was placed and after a brief wait (I’m in Canada, they’re in the UK), it arrived in the mail.

Now, allow me to take a bit of a side-journey here. My wife knew I was waiting for this case. She’s quite happy with the Palm-provided flip/cover, but was curious about what I’d ordered. So when the fateful day arrived, she arrived home from work first, opened the package and promptly installed the Proporta Alu-Leather case on her Palm TX (yes, we’re a two Palm family).

After working with the case for a bit, admiring the clasp, the leather..etc, she decided that the book style case wasn’t right for her. With the case cover open and folded back behind the TX, she felt the case was a bit bulky. The clasp/tab had to be held back with the same hand that was already holding back the case front…for someone with small hands, it could be quite a handful. She also found the TX moved around more than she liked when the case was open due to the leather-strip mounting system.

Ah, that leather-strip mounting system. Hold that thought for a moment.

Now, she’s decided that this case isn’t for her and begins removing it from her Palm. The case is attached to the Palm by sliding a T-shaped rail up the left-side case slot, similar to the way the Palm cover is attached.

Only in this case, the TX wouldn’t release the Proporta case mounting rail. There was a catch on the inside of the rail-receiver that the Proporta rail wouldn’t get past.

So, when I did finally make it home, it was to find my loving wife, sitting at the back door with her Palm TX nestled happily inside a new leather case. She was not happy.

To make the story shorter, and to get back to the case itself, we basically switched Palm TX units. One backup each, a hard reset, swap, a fresh hotsync with our ‘new’ Palms, and we were back in business.

Now, what do I think of the case? I like it a lot!

First off, it’s a nice soft leather case. My previous one had been vinyl, so I really noticed the difference and appreciate the feel. Of course, being a soft, creamy feeling leather, it’s a bit more susceptible to scratches…you can’t just toss it into your backpack on top of your pointy camera tripod or bad things could happen.

One of the more interesting features of the Alu-Leather case is the ‘Alu’ part. Proporta has mounted an aluminium plate on the inside front cover. This plate protects one of the most vulnerable parts of your Palm, the screen, from sharp object impacts (remember the pointy tripod?). And being aluminium, it doesn’t add noticeably to the overall weight. Two other features of this case are the included belt clip (I never use one so I can’t really speak to it), and the ability to integrate with Proporta’s Magnetic Car mounting system — sounds interesting but not something I have, or have a need for.
The case has two pockets on the inside front cover for cards, etc, though I don’t think you’d want to put too much into them as it would distend the shape of the case a bit. One or two credit cards is fine for me.

Around the back of the unit you’ll find two SD card slots. I’m using the slots to carry my personal cards (see my Moo card post) they fit perfectly.

On the inside spine of the case you’ll find an additional stylus pocket. It and one of the front panel pockets are both fabric lined.

Add that to the clean white detail stitching, and you have a case where the attention to the details is apparent.

To close off this review (and the case itself) lets take a look at the magnetic case clasp. A simple closure, yet being magnetic, opens quickly when needed, and stays closed otherwise.

Ok, so you probably get the impression that I’m somewhat impressed by this case. Yes, I am. I’ve seen a few of the standard ones on the rack at the local Palm dealerships, but have not invested in them because I was looking for something that reflected my investment in my TX. The others just didn’t make the grade. Aside from the fact that this is a leather product and the case will show wear more than vinyl (duh!), The Proporta Alu-Leather case satisfies, and made the grade.

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