Review: Krusell Dynamic Leather Case for Palm Pre 20
Long regarded as one of the leading manufacturers of rugged and adaptable cases, Krusell’s Dynamic Leather Case for the Palm Pre sets forth to bring that reputation to Palm cases - but falls short. While the removable clip and touch-through cover are nice to have, the general fit of the Dynamic Leather Case falls far short of our expectations.
The Krusell Dynamic Leather Case for Palm Pre has a rather complicated design. On the back is a mount for the included slider belt clip. As you can imagine this mount does make it impossible to use the case with a Touchstone charger. Wrapping around the top are holes for the camera and flash, speaker, power button and ringer switch, headphone jack, and speaker. The flip cover is dominated by a large plastic sheet that allows you to easily work the Pre’s screen without opening the case. Below that is a hole for the center button, a smaller hole for the microphone, and then the snap to secure the top to the back. The bottom half of the case includes a plastic sheet that slips over the keyboard - this is how the case is attached to the phone.
Here’s the thing: this case was simply not well designed. Snapping the case closed requires that you stretch the tab around to the back. It’s a tight fit, but it works. The real problems come from trying to line everything up. If you center the screen under the plastic sheet then the holes for everything on the top half of the device are off-center and usually partially covered. You can tilt the Pre to the side to get everything line up, but then it’s off-center under the screen and will eventually work its way back over to center after some time. The camera flash, however, is always partially covered and will not illuminate the top quarter of your photos.
The biggest issue, however, is the screen cover. The designers at Krusell apparently did not apparently look at how the Pre actually works. The plastic sheet exposes the screen and the screen only. The gesture area is a big no-go. So you can do many things with the case closed, but once you hit the point where you want to go “back” and find that you can’t you’ll see the complete folly in the design. Pre Plus users will even find it difficult to trigger the center-tap for the gesture area.
The keyboard cover is another tremendous disappointment. A smooth plastic sheet covers the keyboard and slips under the top half of the Pre when you close it. Because there’s a rim around the Pre’s keyboard, the plastic cover sits up off the keys, making touch-typing near impossible - you have to push down through the plastic just to reach the keys, let alone press further to depress the keys. This isn’t so bad on the top row of keys, but at the bottom, keys like Space required a deliberate effort to depress. Speaking of the top keys, the plastic for whatever reason dips down under the middle of the top row of keys, partially exposing the keys and creating an awkward ridge across E R T Y and U.
I hate to keep bashing on this case, but there’s one more weak point for me, and that’s the belt clip. The attachment point on the case was fine, and the removal mechanism was reasonably solid and easy to actuate. What was depressingly weak, however, was the clip itself. With just minimal effort I could merely pull up on the case and instead of forcibly detaching the case from the clip, the clip slipped right off my belt (an admittedly beefy belt at the time) and stayed attached to the case.
Alright, enough bashing the flaws in Krusell Dynamic Leather Case for Palm Pre’s design. For all the disappointments, the case is at least attractively designed. The dark brown leather is a smooth finish and features contrasting gray stitching (yes, gray - a unique touch). The Multidapt clip itself is rather large and bulky, meaning that the phone will rest a good half and inch off your belt. This wouldn’t be a big deal if the open-sided soft case was better at protecting the case or the clip itself was strong enough to hold on, but that’s the way Krusell cases work. The mounting point is interchangeable with any number of other Krusell mounts (such as arm bands), so your options are plentiful in that regard.
While a promising design concept, the final execution of the Krusell Dynamic Leather Case for Palm Pre ends as a giant whiff. Despite its attractive design, the numerous flaws of the case horribly overpower the few redeeming qualities. The holes are off-center, it covers the gesture area, the plastic keyboard cover renders the keyboard an exercise in frustration, and so on. It could have been a great case, and hopefully subsequent versions will rectify the design flaws in this current iteration.