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JAVOEge Skin case review
Posted on 4-Jul-2004 16:43 by M Freitas | Tags Filed under: Reviews

JAVOEdge is a supplier of some well thought accessories for your handheld. The company lists accessories for Pocket PC, PalmOne devices and Apple iPOD. These accessories include chargers, sync/charger cables, screen protectors, leather cases, stylus and more (including a very cool Clear Case which is a transparent plastic case).

The company sent me a trial kit containing the JAVOSkin case and the JAVOeBbuds. The JAVOSKin is a new product in their line, initially available for palmOne Tungsten E, i-mate Pocket PC Phone Edition (also known as XDAII, MDAII and QTEK 2020) and HP iPAQ h4150.

The JAVOSkin is a rubber case that wraps around your device. The case is semi-transparent, and it fits tight providing not only protection for your Pocket PC or Palm device, but also a firm grip when handling it. The JAVOSkin does not protect the screen, because the idea is to make everything accessible, but it protects the body perfectly. The rubber is thick enought to prevent scratches on your handheld, and it could even be thick enough to absorb shock from a small drop or from bumping inside a backpack or laptop case. Of course there is no protection for a big drop over a concrete floor, even with leather or aluminium cases.

The product comes in a nice plastic package, quite attractive. There are no need for instructions: using it is as simple as sliding the Pocket PC inside the case. Cutouts in the body of this case provide easy access to buttons or other parts that need easy access. On the i-mate Pocket PC Phone Edition it means that you'll see cutouts for the volume slider on the left side, for the speaker on the top front, for the microphone on the bottom front. On the bottom of this case there are cutouts for the headphone connector, the ActiveSync/charger cable and for the soft reset button. And on the back there's a cutout for the digital camera and the tiny mirror present on these devices.

JAVOSkin package
Nice packaging

JAVOSkin i-mate Pocket PC Phone Edition/XDAII/MDAII/QTEK 2020  front
Front of case

JAVOSkin i-mate Pocket PC Phone Edition/XDAII/MDAII/QTEK 2020 back
Back of case

As you can see in the pictures, with the JAVOSkin comes a wrist strap, which in can be quite useful when using using your PDA.

The rubber case is flexible enough to allow pressing the front buttons (on the Pocket PC Phone Edition these are Call and Hung Up). The top of the case is open, and that's where you slide the handheld in and out. Also for the i-mate Pocket PC it's where the On/Off button, SD/MMC slot, infrared port and stylus are located, so it makes good sense to have it open here.

JAVO also lists some screen protectors, which I recomment as a must have complement for the JAVOSkin case. On my Pocket PC Phone Edition I was already using some other screen protectors even before the JAVOSkin arrived. I actually think everyone should use screen protectors - have a look in some of the close-up screen pictures on this article.

The JAVOSkin is washable. If it has collected dust or lint (which will happen over time), simply remove the handheld and wash the JAVOSkin under tap water. Make sure it's completely dry before inserting the PDA back. And make sure to remove the handheld before washing the case .

The only problem I found was access to the Activesync port. You'll have to either use a sync cable or remove the case. The PDA won't fit in the cradle with the case on, for a matter of a couple of millimeteres only. This might not be a big deal - in my case I already use an external sync/charger cable anyway, because it's more "transportable" than the cradle solution.

On this trial kit I also got a JAVOeBuds. These are retractable stereo headphones. JAVO provides these in two fittings (2.5mm and 3.5mm), and they're good replacements for some of the low quality headphones that come with some MP3 players, CD players and video games. I have used these on my iPAQ h4150 to listen to media and also when using Pocket Skype. You'll need headphones when using Pocket SKype, believe me. The tiny speakers already present in most Pocket PC will not give you a sound good enough to justify using a VoIP solution, but with headphones it all works well.

To extend the JAVOeBuds simply pull the two ends at the same time. It'll extend to 120cm (47 inches). To retract, simply extend the ends again and a spring mechanism will zip the cord inside the little case. Great to prevent tangled up cords!

JAVOeBuds package
Another nice packaging

JAVOeBuds retracted

JAVOeBuds and i-mate Pocket PC Phone Edition/XDAII/MDAII/QTEK 2020 back
Using with JAVOSkin through cutout for headphones

Overall these two products are of good quality, and deliver on their promisse. Unlike other cases, the JAVOSkin one will not add to the PDA. It's only 1.8mm thick and weighs only 35g. Can't be lighter than this! And the JAVOeBuds can be nicely tucked away on your backpack, MP3 player case or pocket without tangling cables.

As a final note, I actually received the JAVOSkin for my Phone Edition before the h4150 version was out. I'll probably buy one for my iPAQ, since this is the PDA that is always inside my pocket or backpack and I use it most. At the time I'm writing this, I also noticed that JAVO promisses a JAVOSkin for Treo 600 and Apple mini iPOD sometime soon. Lucky users!

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