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REVIEW: Covertec Leather Case for HP iPAQ H2210/2215
Posted by David Hughes - on Thursday, 11.09.03 - 21:48:21 CET under 08 - Reviews - Viewed 15425x
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When Covertec sent Arne a case for his i-Mate they also sent me a case for my HP H210. I've been very keen to see the new Covertec case having had their excellent case for my Palm Tungsten T which I liked very much.

The Packaging
Opening a case from Covertec is always pleasant as their attention to detail extends to the packaging; with the case arriving in a very nice presentation box - great if you are giving it as a present.

Inside the case itself was a small bag containing the belt clip and related fittings; but more of that later.

The Case: Outside
My case was supplied in black with a brown leather interior. The leather on the outside of the case is soft to the touch and of very high quality. The outside of the case is lifted by the use of contrasting cream stitching giving the case a stylish and professional appearance.

The case fits the 2210 perfectly adding very little to the overall size dimensions of the iPAQ; this is very important for such a compact PDA as the 2210. The case is actually slightly smaller than the really terrible slip case that HP supplies with the 2210.

The front of the case is plain except for the Covertec "swoosh" which is embossed in lower right corner. Behind the leather is a rigid plastic insert to protect the screen. Extending down from front of the case is a short strap with a magnetic clasp that wraps around the bottom of the case to fasten on the back. I like this solution to fastening a flip case as it is very secure yet quick and easy to use and the leather strap provides protection for the sync port on the base of iPAQ.

The back of the case has the attachment for belt clip, a set of holes over the speaker to allow you to hear alarms and the other half of the magnetic clasp.

The holes for the speaker are very effective but perhaps not as elegant as they could be; maybe 4 rather than 9 holes would be better.

One item missing from the rear is a hole to allow access to reset button; I can only assume this is because it would need to be very close to the edge of the case.

When the case is closed there is a good sized cutout for easy access to the headphone socket and microphone.

The back of the case itself is strengthened with stiff plastic which provides good protection for your 2210 and a strong base for the belt clip attachment but can make getting to the stylus on the back of the iPAQ a little tricky. With the location of the stylus bay there is little Covertec could have done without compromising the overall case design; and you soon learn the best way to remove it.

The Case: Inside
The iPAQ is held very securely in place by leather that covers just the lower portion of the 2210. The design allows easy access to all the buttons and the d-pad and to the sync port on the base of the iPAQ.

Due to the design of the 2210's cradle it is not possible to sync the iPAQ with it still in the case; however it is very easy to remove the 2210 to use the cradle or you can use a sync-charge cable of course.

With just the lower portion of the 2210 being covered by the case the rubber grips on the side are left exposed which means you still get the security and comfort of the grips and holding the iPAQ itself makes you less aware that it is in a case at all.

The inside of the top or lid of the case is smooth brown leather with the same contrasting cream stitching as the outside. Inside the lid are two pockets for credit cards or business cards and two holders for SD Cards. The credit card slots are lined with a silk like material and cut with enough room that inserting and removing cards is easy.

The SD card holders are stiff enough to hold your SD Cards but not too stiff to make removal difficult. The only concern I have with the SD slots is that there seems to be enough flex in the front of the case that the SD card holders could maybe rub against the screen of the 2210.

The Belt Clip
Now I would never personally carry a PDA on my belt but I know many people do and this presents case manufacturers with a problem - they either produce two variants of a case; with and without belt clips or produce just one and risk losing business. Covertec have come up with such an ingenious solution that it deserves its own section in this review.

Covertec produce only one design, but one that can have a belt clip easily attached or not depending upon the user's preference. The main benefit of Covertec's approach is that if you don't want a belt clip you don't have a big plastic stub sticking out of the back of the case; the attachment point is less noticeable than the magnetic clasp on the back of the case.

Should you wish to use a belt clip you attach the plastic stub to the back of the case with a screw and then that clips into the belt clip itself.

Covertec's fantastic attention to detail extends beyond the great design to supplying not only a spare screw but even the screwdriver you need to attach it – excellent!

Once the stub is attached it acts like many other belt clips where the belt clip remains on your belt and the stub on the case clicks into it. To release the case from the belt clip you push two clips in on the side of the belt clip to unlock it. The belt clip itself is very robust looking indeed; in fact it's probably stronger than your belt!

Covertec call their very clever belt clip the "Wips System" and have a page on their website which describes it in detail.

Final Conclusion

The Covertec 2210 case is a very well designed and beautifully made case that will protect your 2210 in day to day use. It looks great and adds little to the overall size of the 2210.

The best recommendation I can give this case is that it is now my main case for my 2210 and I am VERY fussy about cases.

Covertec produce the case in three colours; black, red and tan. I really hope they add the black and orange combination they produce some of their other cases. Covertec produce a fantastic range of cases for PDAs, Smartphones and even the iPod; even if you don't have an HP 2210 have a look at their website as they may well have a great case for your PDA.

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