When the first Pocket PCs and Smartphones hit the market, it was obvious that they were targeted at managers and other professionals that needed to have access to a mobile computing platform that was not as cumbersome to carry around as a notebook. It was obvious because of the price that was attached to the devices and because of the type of cases that were available…
Cowhides versus cosmetic surgery left-overs
Managers and the likes often have leather briefcases, leather wallets and would, obviously, also be looking for leather cases for their mobile devices. And since most markets are willing to adopt the demand and supply basics, you will be able to find a great amount of eTailers and retailers with the best in leather cases.
Me, personally, I am not much of a leather guy and as such, I would rather see my device covered in some high tech material as opposed to a piece of dead animal. While searching for an adequate case for my XDA Flame, I came across Proporta’s Silicone Case.
The first thing you notice when you open the package from Proporta, is the complimentary English Breakfast Tea. A small but nonetheless kind gesture if you ask me and also one of the reason I keep ordering stuff at Proporta.
Installing the case is very easy. In fact, Proporta considers the installation so easy, that they did not even include a manual. While making a remark about that, I was told that “even a baby could install it without a manual” and I guess that that is true, but still, a short leaflet with some basic information on how to install and care for an installed case would have been great.
From left to right, the case has the exact same visual layout as the device itself. The case itself comes in a black that matches the device very well, but also has a slight downside: other than the D-pad, you will not be able to see the back light of the buttons, so operating your device during low light conditions might be harder, especially if you have trouble remembering the button layout. Other silicone cases from Proporta come in a white-to-transparent color and with those cases, the back lit keys make more sense.
XDA Flame, meet James Bond
On a brighter point (no pun intended), the case features all the cut outs you will need to keep using your device. As you can see here and here, Proporta did a great job on re-creating the whole layout, both with the buttons, as well as with the cut outs.
However, the cut outs do not stop at the various ports or camera openings, but also include the two locks to the left and right (mostly used for car holders, I believe), the stylus as well as the front-side camera and status LEDs. You can sync and charge your device and even use the IR port while it is in the case with no problem at all.
See me, feel me
The silicone case feels good and I am sure that this is not related to the fact that I am male, but rather to the texture of the whole product. The case sits in your palm nicely and will not slide out unless you loosen your grip on it.
The Pocket PC inside the case is protected from all sides, except for the screen. While this is not really a downside of the case itself, I would still recommend getting a screen protector for your device, to make the protection complete.
Proporta calls that case “a way to protect your device from dust and scratches” and after a week of putting my device in some dusty, though not dirty, places, I can vouch for this claim.
Hot or not?
Considering all, the Proporta XDA Flame Silicone case is a great product. For $20, this product will protect your device from (soft) impacts and scratches. You will end up with a Pocket PC that, in essence, still looks the same and has the same usability as before, only that now it is protected in a stylish silicone case.
In today’s (commercial) world, everyone seems to be focused on one thing and one thing only: money. Many companies forget that without customers, they would not be where they are right now and yet, some companies still believe they can treat their customers the way they want.
Normally, this kind of post would turn into a rant, but I think it is important to point out those companies that actually care about their customers and will do (just about) everything to keep you coming back:
First up is QH Networks. I came across them while looking for some professional help on getting a new Operating System installed on my server. Since I value my data and like to be kept in the loop, I bombarded one of their employees with a myriad of questions during the whole project. I had special requirements and special circumstances, yet they did not give up on me and move on to the next, probably more profitable client. By doing so, they earned my respect and I will most certainly come back when I am in need of their services again.
Next stop is Proporta.com. I initially came across them in 2003, while looking for some accessories for my Pocket PC and while I am not ordering from them every other week, they are always the first site that I check. The reason for that is simple: their employees are very responsive and in the rare case that your order cannot be shipped out the same day, they will try to, and actually do, their level best to keep you happy as a customer. It is not so much the reparations they are willing to make but their concern for you as a customer. Granted, said concern is probably based on the fact that they want to keep you as a customer, but still, they care, while others do not. And besides that, Proporta.com includes a selection of English Breakfast Tea with every order, a small gesture, yes, but one I like a lot.
Both of these companies work harder to keep you as a customer than most other companies you will ever come across. It may be related to their respective area of operations, which are more niche than your ordinary brick and mortar store or it may be related to the fact that their employees actually give a damn. Either way, it works out very nicely for the consumer.
When you’re a technological nomad, there’s one thing you can’t live without: power. Your Pocket PC isn’t worth anything if you can’t power it up, an iPod without juice is like those old LP albums your dad has in the basement: useless.
Thanks to Proporta, you can now charge your devices while you’re in a car. All you need is an USB cable that connects to your device and a cigarette lighter outlet. Pretty ingenious design if you ask me, because the USB port enables you to use any device you own with the plug.
This accessory sets you back a mere $8.95 and you’ll be thankful that you got it when you still had a chance. Right now, Proporta is even running a promotion where you can get one for free as long as you order something else from them. Get yours while they still have stock!