Tuesday, May 1, 2001

Get a grip on your Palm device with gripGear cases


By Claire Pieterek

How many times have you been told, "Get a grip!"? Well, now you can get a grip on your Palm device, up to and including a Palm VIIx, using gripGear cases at http://www.gripgear.net.

The gripGear cases come in three models and nine colors--possibly the most comprehensive lineup in the industry. Colors range from mild Black Out to wild Head Rush, which is a red, yellow, and black weave. The styles include the Boomerang, the Mogul, and the Wave, all of which feature a rubber motif that echoes the design's name.

The Boomerang design is pictured in Figure A.


The Boomerang design is pictured here in "solar yellow."

The Mogul design is pictured in Figure B.


The Mogul design is pictured here in lovely "head rush."

The Wave design is pictured in Figure C.


The Wave design is pictured here in "torch red."

The most compelling thing about gripGear cases is the heavy-duty protection they provide at a reasonable price. gripGear's cases are $39.95, which makes them less costly than many of the metal cases on the market. Metal cases like the InnoPocket Metal Deluxe Case Plus (at http://galenworldwide.tripod.com/products_innopocket.html), which I reviewed in the January 2001 issue of PalmPower (at http://www.palmpower.com/issues/issue200101/quickpower001.html), or plastic boxes like the Otter Box (found at http://www.otterbox.com and reviewed in the June 2000 issue of PalmPower at http://www.palmpower.com/issues/issue200006/ppotterbox001.html) were, until now, de rigueur for high protection. gripGear claims devices in their cases can survive a four-foot drop. I didn't independently verify this claim, mainly because I just don't have the heart to sacrifice a Palm device. Not even my trusty old Palm IIIx, which is the one I use every day.

Style-wise, gripGear cases are somewhat large, if you're accustomed to slimmer or more form-fitting cases. On the plus side, their size allows them to accommodate larger devices such as the Palm IIIc and Palm VIIx.

gripGear cases use Velcro to attach your Palm device to the case. I'm personally not a fan of putting Velcro on my Palm devices, but you can use the case without attaching the Velcro. Although both my Palm IIIx and Visor Deluxe rattled around a little without being Velcro-fastened, no harm was done. With the exception of when I'm using Parallel Designs' Personality Pack (at http://www.paralleldesign.com), I don't typically leave my Palm device in its case when I'm not carrying it in my purse.

gripGear cases also provide a number of card slots for those of you who would like to travel lighter. You can put quite a lot of additional stuff in the gripGear cases, including an extra stylus.