Thursday, February 1, 2001

Personality Packs help your Palm V stand out from the crowd


By Claire Pieterek

Are you feeling funky today? Maybe a little somber? Perhaps you just want to break out of the mold and make your Palm V-series device stand out from the crowd. Well, you can add a little personality to your Palm V with a Personality Pack from Parallel Design at The various models are pictured in Figure A.


Here's the entire spectrum of Personality Packs. (click for larger image)

Personality Packs are to the Palm V what the flip lid is to the Palm III-series. However, Parallel Designs has made the Personality Pack much cooler than the Palm III flip lids and much more useful than the leather flaps Palm includes with the Palm V and Palm Vx. The Personality Pack is curvy and sleek, like the Palm V itself. It's made of durable polycarbonate plastic, similar to the kind of plastic a certain eyewear company used in its line of durable eyeglass lenses. Remember the commercial where they dropped ball bearings onto the lenses to demonstrate their strength?

You can also leave the Personality Pack attached and still fit your Palm V in many different cases, adding an extra layer of screen protection as you travel. The only case I have that required me to remove the Personality Pack is the Palm V Organizer from Coach at This case has a plastic clip that holds the Palm device in place against a curved frame at the bottom.

A color for any mood

The Personality Pack comes in seven varieties: Palm Blue, Blueberry, Lime, Grape, Tangerine, Strawberry, or Carbon. You can opt for a gel, which has a colored lid with a black accent and stylus holder, or you can go for the regular version, which has a black lid sparked with a colored accent and stylus holder, as shown in Figure B.


Be conservative and show just a flash of tangerine. (click for larger image)

If you're feeling really stealthy, opt for the carbon Personality Pack, which is completely black, as shown in Figure C.


Be mysterious and go for the carbon look. (click for larger image)

I prefer the gel lids, which are translucent, as you can see in Figure D.


Here's the attractive lime gel lid. (click for larger image)

I like the gel lids because they allow me to read alarm messages when they pop up. I didn't find it easy to read much else through these lids, though. I'd like to see a clear lid with a colored accent, or perhaps some kind of polarized lid that might make it easier to read the screen when you're using the backlight.


Installation is easy. Just snap the Personality Pack onto your Palm V, ensuring that the clip snaps into the slot on the back. The lids are friction-hinged, so access to your Palm device's screen is easy. These hinges also allow you to position the lid as you like it. You can beam. You can HotSync. You can do just about anything you would usually do with your Palm V while the Personality Pack is attached. One thing you can't do is use other accessories that require the utility slot, such as the Palm V Modem Accessory at or the OmniSky modem at