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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.

Conclusion

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 separately. It’s not the most protective case in this roundup.

Price: $43.99; Keyboard Case: $14.99

Website: www.senacases.com

 

 

 

 

Sena case open
back

Piel Frama Cow Skin Leather Case

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 II, Dell Axim X30 and iPAQ 2215. 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 package.

Conclusion

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 the back.

Price: 65 Euros

Website: www.pielframa.com

 

 

 

 

Piel Frama HP iPAQ 6315 case

 

case open
back

 

PDair Leather Flip and Book Style Cases

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.

Conclusion

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 price available.)

Website: www.pdair.com

 

 

PDair Book Style Case

book case open

PDair Flip

flip
flip case

 

PDair Aluminum Case

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.

Conclusion

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.

Price: approximately $30

Website: www.pdair.com

 

 

aluminum case

 

front
back

 

 

 

 

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