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  1. Hicks's Avatar
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    Iíve recently had the opportunity to review two of the leather cases that Fortte manufacture for the Treo 650.

    First up is the Open face PDA Case without Belt Clip (Treo 650)

    My first impressions were favourable. Even though the case is open faced there is a sense of sturdiness to it. This is mainly due to two factors. The first being the thick leather back of the case and the second being the hidden ĎUí shaped piece of metal that surrounds and protects the screen (to some extent; a screen protector is still a must). These factors come at a price, as the overall thickness is increased and the Treo does feel noticeably bigger in your pocket.

    The Italian leather is of a good quality and the stitching is neat. Cut outs for charging, the camera, the LED, the ringer switch, synchronising, the back speaker and microphone are well placed, and all can be used without removing the Treo from the case. Itís worth noting that the cut outs are more accurately positioned than the Krussel form fit case which I own.

    The volume buttons along the side of the Treo are covered in clear plastic. These are a little difficult to depress in practice. The Treo screen is wholly accessible, as is the QWERTY keyboard. The only complaint being that the Ďoptioní button is slightly harder to depress as the leather is in close proximity to it. If you need to use the IR port or swap SD cards then this is easily achieved by quickly unclipping the fastener.

    The leather fastener is secured magnetically, and is secure in use. I personally prefer the magnetic fasteners to other methods and it helps give a feeling of quality.

    The inside of the case is lined in a felt- like material that no doubt helps prevent scratches to our beloved Treo when removing or inserting it.

    This open faced case is also available with different clip options.

    This Fortte case is a good choice for the user who wants full access to the screen and keyboard; but it is considerably bulkier than a form fit case. Users who are concerned about this should also consider a silicone case. The price of this case starts from $29.99 which I think is real value for money.

    Second up is the Vertical Pouch PDA Case with removable 360 degree swivel clip (Treo 650 and Treo 700W)

    Iíll start this review by stating that Iím not a big fan of belt clips, but in the spirit of impartiality Iíll begin!

    The leather and workmanship of this case is again of a good standard, and the case features the Fortte insignia in a chrome-like finish. The inside of the case is lined in a thick felt- like material that no doubt helps prevent scratches to our beloved Treo when removing or inserting it.

    The Treo slides very snugly into the pouch, and after a few days the pouch does give a little and it becomes easier to remove the Treo. This is mainly achieved by pulling the Treo by itsí aerial, or by pushing up from the holes in the bottom two corners. This case is also designed to fit the Treo 700W.

    The Treo is secured by a wrap over leather fastener, which fixes via a press stud. I do prefer the magnetic clasp mentioned earlier. When you remove the Treo, the flapping press stud fastener slides across the Treo screen. This isnít too much of a problem IF you have a screen protector. As the fastener crosses directly over the SD card slot, in use this sometimes causes the SD card to eject.

    In complete contrast to the first case, the only accessible function is the ringer switch. The Italian leather has a neat square cut from it for the Treo back speaker (the Treo screen faces towards the body).

    Iíve been wearing the case on my belt for a few days now and I must admit, Iím not impressed with the 360 degree belt clip system. It really does stick out and as such, the Treo bangs into things. Itís a shame that the removable clip pouch didnít have a female connector and then the case could conceivably be used without the clip. The male connection just projects too much when compared to the Krusell Multidapt system. As a plus point, the Fortte clip can be removed by pressing in a sliding mechanism. The Krusell Multidapt system requires the use of a pen or other such implement. Fortte do offer several other clip options so I would recommend trying one of the others.

    The vertical pouch case does not add much bulk to the Treo, and protects the device well. Bear in mind that this case can't be used during synchronising or charging. Think carefully about which clip option you believe would suit your needs best. The case starts at $32.99 and again is good value for money.

    It is worth mentioning that Fortte offer a range of customisation options for their cases, be it clip choice, leather colour or personalisation options.
    It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer- Albert Einstein.

    Palm M505> Palm Tungsten E> Treo 600> Treo 650> Treo 680> Sony Ericsson P1i (running Styletap BETA)> iPhone 3G 16GB

    Macbook Pro 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  2. #2  
    I've ordered the largely-ignored Fortte ruggedized leather case. It has protection for all sides of the Treo when closed. I don't know if those side pieces will get in the way, but I like the concept. Haven't seen a review anywhere.
  3. #3  
    Like Hicks Iíve had the opportunity to review Fortte leather cases

    In my case I was send 3 cases:

    PalmOne Treo 650 Glove Fit Leather PDA Case
    Compared to the other cases the quality of the leather didn't seem to be as good, but maybe that is due to the fact it is a glove fit and needs to be thinner so the leather can stretch a bit.
    The fit is OK, maybe a bit tight, but that could be because the case is still new and I have eGrips on my treo which make it slightly thicker.

    To be totally honest I wasnt very impressed by this case, mainly because it doesnt look a high quality as the other cases and because the plastic protection cover makes it hard(er) to use the touchscreen and keys.
    My version didn't have a clip so you'd have to put it in your pocket and with the added bulk that was even harder than normal. You can get this case with a fixed clip or a swivel clip without paying more so you can get the clip of your choice if you (like me) prefer one.
    Another mayor problem with this case is that the SD slot is covered by the case and you only eject your SD card when you take the treo out of the case. I found this to be a real show stopper since I tend to take the SD out regularely to copy files from my laptop on it.

    Personally I wouldnt buy this case but it could be of use if you live/work in a dusty environment and want to protect the screen and keyboard..

    The second case is a lot better:
    PalmOne Treo 650 Flip Style Leather PDA Case
    The general quality of this case is a lot better than the glove case.
    Also there is no clear plastic sheet that covers the screen so you can use your treo as normal.

    it comes with 2 handy slots for SD cards. The first one is in the front flap and the second is in the flap at the back. This second flap had me puzzled a bit till I looked at the fortte website and saw the picture of it in the docking cradle. This is a very clever design that alows you to sync/charge in a cradle without having to take it out of the case.
    The downside of it is that because of this design it adds some bulk. If you dont use a cradle and care about style this may not be the case for you (mrsT said it looked too geeky with this bulk).
    But if you are looking for a case you only have to pop your treo in once and use it in the case all the time (including when using the cradle this is the ideal case for you.

    And finally:
    PalmOne Treo 650 Lateral Pouch Leather PDA Case
    First of all I have to say I love this style! As a matter of fact I've been using a case of this style for the last year and find it is a nice way to carry your treo without looking like you wear a bat-belt
    The case I had was a cheap Ä3 case I got on a market in Portugal and was a generic case that just happened to fit the treo.
    Compared to this case the fortte one looked like a jaguar while my old case looked like a banged up lada
    In other words the quality of this case is great, and that is even with the standard leather. So I can only imagine that with the premium leather it would look like a Rolls Royce.
    The model they send me came with the fixed clip, which IMHO is the ideal kind of clip for this style of case. Since you will take the treo out of the case to use it, it makes little sense to go for the swifel clip.
    Some people may not like this style of case though because when you use the treo there is no added protection, this case is merely a carry case not a use-in-the-case style case (if you still follow me).
    Also this case has no slots for SD cards. That would be a nice addition for a future model.
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