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Proporta Alu-Leather Case for the HTC Shift
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Reviewed June 20, 2008 by Tong Zhang
The HTC Shift UMPC has a very interesting design: when the screen is sitting on top of the keyboard, the UMPC looks like a slate tablet; and when the screen slides out and up, it unveils the full (albeit small) keyboard. The sliding movement and the large screen make it an interesting proposition for a case maker to make a perfect-fit case. The HTC Shift comes with a nice leather slipcase in the package. This OEM case is great for storing the UMPC while it’s in your suitcase or backpack. But just like a winter coat that you take off when you get in the door, you will need to take the HTC Shift out of the case when you use it. This style case works well for those who come to work in the morning and sit at their desk to use the device until they go home at night. But most UMPC users carry their machine while traveling or walking around on job sites, hospitals and campuses. So frequent de-casing becomes cumbersome. The solution? Proporta Alu-Leather case. It provides enough protection and stays out of your way when you use the Shift in the case. With the $34.95 price tag, this case is also surprisingly affordable.
Fits Like a Tailored Suit
Thanks to an intelligent design, the Alu-Leather case by Proporta secures the UMPC with four 1-inch wide plastic holders, one on each side of the Shift. The holders don’t pinch hard on the Shift; rather they provide security with a snug but not too tight fit. These don’t block any ports, buttons or the sliding screen—great design. As soon as you’ve secured the Shift in the case, the question becomes “how do you protect the screen”. The Proporta Alu-Leather case uses leather-covered aluminum material to protect Shift’s large display. The metal is very sturdy as it’s aircraft grade yet quite light. The top cover connects the bottom cover by a wide leather flap on the back, and closes in the front by a modest-strength magnet that won’t attack your credit cards. Though not flashy, the Alu-Leather case adds very little bulk to the HTC Shift, and thanks to the aluminum cover insert and the hard plastic bottom insert, it gives great protection to the machine.
Other than the plastic holders, the Proporta case doesn’t have any cover on the sides of the Shift. So when you open the case and pop up the Shift’s screen, the case pretty much disappears. This is great for two reasons: first you don’t want anything to get in your way when you are using the notebook; and second nothing is blocking the Shift’s cellular radio that’s located on the device’s back edge. For those who are ultra cautious with their gadgets, the naked sides might cause a bit of worry, though the strong inserts will absorb most the impact should you drop the Shift on its side. But they don’t protect the sides from scratches and dings.
The HTC Shift also has three heat vents on the bottom and this case has openings for each – once again, good going Proporta.
Black and Thin
The Proporta Alu-Leather flip case comes in black. Even though it has inserts and good leather padding the case doesn’t look or feel bulky. It has attractive white stitching and looks very professional. For your convenience, the top cover has two SD-card pockets and a business card pocket on the inside. These pockets aren’t very deep, and you can fit an SD card in each pocket and about 10 business cards in the larger pocket.
The aluminum inside shows through here, bearing the Proporta logo.
The Proporta Alu-Leather case is one of the best slim cases we’ve seen designed for the HTC Shift. The perfect size, open access to all essential ports and connectors and strong protection for the screen make this case a winner. Microsoft Exchange users who are getting their email pushed to their Shift will really appreciate the Proporta case design since it doesn’t block cellular reception or make it a chore to quickly view new emails. The price is right.
Pro: Intelligent design that keeps the case out of your way when you are working with the machine. Has cutouts for everything including the heat vents. Good protection for the screen. Easy to put on and easy to use. Can use the Shift in all possible screen positions. The leather feels top grade and the nothing blocks the RF.
Con: Lacks side protection.
Price: $34.95 with Lifetime Warranty
Web site: www.proporta.com