HP iPAQ 6315 Case Review Roundup: Sena,
Piel Frama and PDair Posted Jan. 2005 by Tong Zhang, Senior Editor
Cases for the HP iPAQ 6315
I rarely use a PDA without a case. So I always look for cases that
allow easy access to the buttons and screen when I use my PDA, yet
provide good protection for the screen and prevent scratches when
I’m not using it. Of course, finding the right balance between
functionality and style; between protection and bulkiness is always
a tricky thing. Good cases find a way to achieve that. We will look
at the cases for the iPAQ 6315 from Sena Cases, Piel Frama and PDair.
Sena Leather Case
Sena Cases has been known for their attractive non-bulky designs,
smooth fine leather, and full access to all ports and buttons.
We reviewed their Tungsten
T3 case which allows you to HotSync your PDA without taking
it out of the case.
Sena cases usually have a tight fit with thinner leather covering
the bottom and sides of the PDA. Their case for the iPAQ 6315
is no exception. Even though you cannot sync the PDA in the
cradle in this case, the serial port and keyboard connectors
on the bottom of the PDA are exposed. So you can use a sync
cable or keyboard with the 6315 inside the case. The thin leather
also wraps around both sides of the PDA with all buttons and
ports exposed by cutouts including the small reset hole on
the left side. The thin leather surrounds the PDA screen leaving
the 4 function buttons, D-pad as well as the Power button,
LEDs and headset jack uncovered.
Both the flip cover and the back piece
have thin but very rigid reinforcement inserts to give the
PDA better protection. The flip cover has two snaps that
attach to the back of the case. You can snap on or off the
flip cover as you see fit. There’s also the usual set
of pockets found on most Sena Cases: a business card slot,
two SD card slots and a multi-purpose pocket in which you
can store cards or a small mirror. The flip cover has two
magnetic round inserts to shut the cover tight. The back
of the case has cutouts for the camera lens and stylus, as
well as a meshed hole for the speaker grill. You can also
attach the keyboard pouch to the back of the case using the
two snaps. The keyboard case however is sold separately.
The Sena case uses smooth and soft leather that feels great
in the hand and the stitching is fine. Many users are attracted
to their two-tone cases and the iPAQ 6315 cases offer both
Black and Blue and Black and Red collection. For the solid
color fans, you can get Black or Red. And you choose your case
with or without a belt clip. The keyboard case comes in Black
and Red colors.
Pro: The Sena case is a good choice for those who look for
quality, style and very little bulk. The case is made of good
quality and fine grain leather. Four colors to choose from.
The design gives the case a sleek look and adds very little
bulk to your PDA while leaving all ports and buttons exposed
for easy access. Magnetic closure and belt clip option are
plus points in my book. The case comes in a nice gift box.
Con: You have to buy the keyboard case
not the most protective case in this roundup.
Piel Frama, a Spanish company, is also a known
name in PDA case industry. We have reviewed many of their excellent
offerings such as cases for the XDA
Axim X30 and iPAQ
Their iPAQ 6315 cases continue their tradition in making high
quality cases that provide very good protection. Piel Frama
is one of the very few vendors that offer not only cow skin
leather but also crocodile and ostrich skin finishes.
The cow skin leather case we tested is a bit bulkier than
the Sena case (Sena makes the least bulky PDA cases). While
it also has a thin bottom cover that leaves the sync port and
keyboard connections uncovered, the side covers are thicker
than the Sena cases. The cutouts on the sides expose all the
ports and buttons for easy access and the cutout holes are
actually a bit bigger compared to the Sena case. The bigger
holes make it even easier to push the buttons or access the
SD slot. The Piel Frama case has two thin strips above and
below the PDA screen, which leaves most of the real estate
on the front of your PDA uncovered for quick access.
Both the flip cover and the back of the
case have strong inserts underneath the well padded leather.
The flip cover protects the top of the PDA when it’s closed and there is a closure
tongue that wraps around the bottom of the PDA to close the
case in the back with a hidden magnet. When the flip cover
is closed, the sync port is well protected. The back of the
case has two cutouts; one for the camera lens and the other
is a meshed hole for the speaker grill. The Piel Frama case
comes with a keyboard pouch that’s made with the same
material as your PDA case and provides very good protection.
There to two male snaps on the back of the keyboard pouch and
two female snaps on the flip cover of the PDA case. You can
snap the keyboard pouch onto the case when carrying the duo.
The Piel Frama cases are all hand made
by their craftsmen and they show a long lasting quality.
As mentioned, there are three types of material for the iPAQ
6315 cases including cow skin, crocodile and ostrich. The
cow skin collection offers four color schemes include Black,
Tan, Black/Tan two-tone and Red. The crocodile and ostrich
collection each offers two colors: Black and Tan. The cow
skin leather is smooth and fine grained. The stitching and
treatment look very solid and fine and the magnet closure
snaps tight. The belt clip system on Piel Frama’s
cases is unique. You can install the belt clip knob with included
small tool and accessories. The keyboard case made with the
same high quality leather and workmanship is included in the
Pro: a classy case that look great and provides great protection.
The cutouts leave all ports, buttons and SD slot open for quick
access. Three types of high quality leather combined with very
nice craftsmanship. Strong magnet closure and flexible belt
clip system are big plus. The same high quality keyboard case
is included and the case comes in a very nice gift box.
Con: It’s a bit bulkier than the Sena case, but it does
provide more padding. The snaps for the keyboard pouch attachment
look less attractive on the front. It’d prefer them on
PDair is a relative newcomer in this space,
but they are catching up quickly with rapid case development
for new mobile devices. We’ve reviewed their cases
for the Zaurus
Cxxx series, the
Clie UX series and more.
PDair offers leather cases for the iPAQ 6315 in both flip cover
and book styles. These cases are the bulkiest cases in this
round up, but they are solidly built with very stiff inserts
to protect the PDA. With the PDair case on, you feel that your
iPAQ can withstand some bumps and bangs.
PDair cases are made of soft and smooth leather on the outside
and soft suede on the inside where it touches the PDA. Both
the flip cover and book style case have more leather covering
the front face of the PDA than other cases and they have stiff
inserts for side impact protection. The earpiece grill, LEDs
and power button are exposed via cutouts above the screen.
The mic hole, four application buttons and the d-pad are exposed
via cutouts as well. The right side of the PDA is covered by
strips that connect the front cover and the back together,
leaving the buttons and SD slot wide open. The left side is
covered half way up and the cover stops right below the Record
button with a cutout for the reset hole near the bottom.
Both the flip cover and the book style
cases have a thick cover that has double layered leather.
The front cover on both style cases has a large pocket that’s
as long as the cover length, two business card/credit card
slots, two SD card slots. There is an extra photo ID insert
included with both cases. Both style leather cases user magnetic
snap closures. The flip case cover closes on the bottom and
the book style case closes on the right side since the case
opens from the right to the left. They both use a closure
tongue strip extended from the back piece of the case. The
back piece on these cases looks the same except that the
book style case has a camera cutout while the flip cover
case does not. You will need to flip open the cover and pull
it down fully to expose the camera lens on the flip cover
case. The leather is soft making it easy to pull the cover
down to expose the lens. They both have a belt clip holder
which allows you to install the included belt clip attachment
and a dotted cutout for the speaker grill.
PDair leather cases might not have the
classy look and feel of the Piel Frama cases or the sleek
design of the Sena cases, but they are certainly affordable,
solidly built and have a professional presence. The stitching
on these cases is white in contrast to the black leather.
As mentioned the book style case opens from the right to
the left, and you can’t
change the direction. These two style cases don’t come
with any pouch or case for the keyboard.
Pro: If you are looking for a no frills case to protect your
PDA, then check these cases out. They have strong inserts and
good padding for protection. There are plenty of pockets for
storing cards and an extra photo ID insert with clear plastic
cover. The magnetic snap closure and flexible belt clip system
are big plus for these cases. The most affordable cases in
this round up!
Con: No keyboard pouch. Only comes in Black
color. Their e-commerce site often leaves buyers scrambling
for sales links. If you can’t find the link easily,
just contact them directly via email.
Price: $32-$35 (Depends on where you buy it from. No list
In addition to the two leather cases, PDair
also makes a hard case that’s made of aluminum for the iPAQ 6315. While
there’s a good selection of soft leather cases, hard
cases are not as easy to find. This aluminum case provides
the maximum amount of protection for your PDA, yet has enough
features in the design to ensure that it’s easy to use.
Like most aluminum cases, the PDair case
is silver colored and it opens from right to left. There
is neoprene lining on the inside so that you don’t
scratch your PDA when sliding it in and out of the case and
to absorb shock. Unlike the leather cases, you cannot use
the keyboard while the iPAQ 3615 is in the case since the
keyboard connectors are covered by the aluminum on the bottom
of the PDA (PDair has a new case that allows you to use the
keyboard). The case does however leave the serial port uncovered.
The right side of the PDA is pretty much uncovered when you
open the case and partially covered when you close it. The
left side of the case covers all but the two buttons and
the reset hole.
The front cover has several cutouts to
expose the d-pad and 4 application buttons, the mic hole,
the Power button, 3 LEDs and the earpiece. There is also
a 2” x 0.75” cutout
over the screen for you to see incoming caller ID. Some users
don’t like to have cutouts on the front cover because
their environment calls for absolute protection for the screen.
Others enjoy being able to see who the incoming caller is.
So it’s a personal preference. The inside of the front
cover is also lined with neoprene to protect your screen when
the case is closed. There is an SD card slot inside of the
front cover as well.
The bottom cover has a hole cut out for
the camera lens, a lined cutout area for the speaker grill
and a small bump where the belt clip mounts. The screw on
belt clip comes with the case and you can choose whether
you wish to install it. There are four tiny aluminum feet
on the back of the case for additional shock absorption.
The top of the PDA is largely uncovered. Since the iPAQ 6315’s
antenna sticks out and not covered by aluminum, we did not
experience any RF interference as we had with the XDA
II metal case.
The PDair hard case has a sleek look thanks
to its aluminum material and nice curves around all edges.
The aircraft grade aluminum feels smooth in the hand and
is very lightweight. The closure letch feels very tight and
secure yet isn’t
hard to open or close. There is no protection option offered
for the keyboard.
Pro: If you want the maximum amount of protection, this is
the case for you. The case is very solidly built with aircraft
grade aluminum. Very nice design and feels good in the hand.
You can see caller ID when the cover is closed.
Con: You can’t use the keyboard while
the PDA is in the case, but PDair offers another case which
allows you to use the keyboard while the PDA is in the hard
case. No protection option for the keyboard.