This week we’re looking at rugged PDA cases.  As you know we’re all about the “rugged” here and one thing we actually do quite a lot of here is consult on the correct Rugged PDA cases for rugged PDA’s.  Not only does a good case help protect your investment by reducing scratches, chips and bangs, making your mobile estate worth just that little bit more to the refurb outlet after 3 years, but it can be much more too.

You can use the case as a marketing tool adding logo’s and features unique to your brand.  It can help usability with straps hooked to a plethora of different positioned hooks and loops but above all it will give your rugged PDA that extra bit of protection.  It becomes more essential in my view when using a semi rugged or more lightweight Rugged PDA.  These are ironically more prone to being dropped due to their size and the fact they are able to slip out of pockets etc so we’re starting right here at the semi-rugged end of the case market.

What I wanted to do was kick off the series with a look at some of the key areas you should be looking for in a case design and then we’ll take some topics further in the series.

Case style

In order of popularity I think the most common styles of case are:

The Flip

Designed to be used in case, the flip has a top or bottom “flip” cover that you fold down when using the device.

The Holster

Designed to be worn and the device is taken in and out of the case when used.

Hard functional case

Cases that are designed to be a second skin/case to the PDA.  Otterboxes, silicon cases etc fall under this category.

The Slim Case

Like the holster but very slim and presents a cheaper option for smaller Rugged PDA’s

The Belt Holster

similar top the holster but often to just house smaller PDA’s when not in use.  Fast access to the PDA is not required.

The Snap in

A snap in style holster designed to give your Rugged PDA a hard plastic, almost futuristic/minimalist holster.

Case Material

Leather used to be the most popular, its hard-wearing, easy to work with and the material makes a nice slim fitted case.  It’s cons are that they’re heavy and not particularly great with any kind of water exposure.

These days the Synthetic nylon style case is becoming the standard, as this material makes for lighter and more protecting cases.  They do make for a slightly fatter design due to the material but they are better at resisting the odd bit of water, they dry quickly and do not mishap if they do get wet and the materials used now are arguably as hard-wearing, if not harder wearing than leather.

Silicon cases are still prevalent and in fact give some mobile printers we sell an IP54 rating.  Easy to fit, thin and giving a degree of protection due to the impact qualities of silicon, they can often be a good choice.  The downside is that they do not last and are very susceptible to cuts and scrapes.  They’re not really up to the same standard as the proper flip cases.

Hard Plastic cases make up the rest.  Otterboxes tend to use a hard case with silicon style cover and we’ll come to these in a later post, Motorola still offer a rigid snap-in style plastic belt holder for their MC65 range and these offer convenience for using the Rugged PDA but don’t really offer any protection when using the PDA.

We’ll take a look at these different styles more closely as we progress through the series of articles this week.

If you’re looking for a rugged PDA case or holster then be sure to come talk to us here.  We can often create a completely bespoke design for you and our prices are exceptionally reasonable.

The Rugged and Mobile blog.

About The Author

Dave's one of the founders of Raptor, his rants are memorable, his thoughts are stimulating and his heart is set on helping, entertaining and making things like mobile, Android, ruggedness, 3D printing and IOT simple.

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