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Old 10-18-2008, 02:09 PM   #11
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Location: Saint Louis, Missouri USA
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Originally Posted by carandol View Post
There doesn't seem to be much info about covers for the iLiad out there, so I thought I'd write this review...

I've been wondering about getting a cover for my iLiad for a while. The shoulder bag that comes with it protects it pretty well, but it's actually pretty useless as a bag, since it doesn't have any pockets or compartments other than the one the iLiad is in, and there's never a time when I want to go somewhere carrying only my iLiad and nothing else. So, one of the leather covers – but which one?

The Deluxe Cover was definitely out – no way I was going to pay 40! So it was a choice between the M-Edge Executive covers, and the standard iRex leather cover. I read (somewhere on this forum, I think) that the M-Edge covers make it hard to get to the stylus and get in the way of the flip bar, and since I use both a lot, this seemed like a bad idea. So the standard iRex cover it was. I was slightly dubious about the velcro thing, but I used to have a Psion Revo with a cover held on with velcro, and that worked...

So I paid my money, and waited for it to arrive. And arrive it did – rattling about in the same size box as my iLiad came in! They obviously have a one-size-fits-all policy at iRex, and the size of the box could have something to do with the hefty shipping fees. (I suspect that iRex thinks everyone who buys an iLiad is some sort of high-flying executive type to whom the odd 10 here and there is trivial. They could have popped it in a jiffy-bag and it would probably have cost half the price to post).

But there it was, a brown leather cover, with a sturdy plate in the front to protect the screen, a loop on the right to put the stylus in (why?) a flap with a press-stud on to hold it closed, and two pairs of pieces of velcro with peel-off backing, ready to stick wherever I wanted on the device and the cover.

The description of this case gives it a “rugged look”. It's not what I'd call rugged, the leather's too fine-grained for that, not thick enough. It looks more like a case for a gentleman's writing set than a field medic's surgical instruments. I dare say once I've been carrying it about for a while it will get all scuffed up and more rugged looking, which would be nice; I'm more of a Firefly traveller than an Enterprize traveller if you know what I mean.

But now, the velcro. Where to put it? Two strips, each about 3.5cm long, no instruction leaflet. The case doesn't enclose the iLiad in any way, so if these pieces of velcro didn't hold it in the case, nothing would. In the end, I decided to put one piece horizontally across the top, about 1cm below the card slot, and the other vertically in the indentation at the bottom (being careful, of course, not to cover the reset button!) I put the fluffy strips on the device, and the hooky strips on the case, so that if I decided to use it out of its case, I wouldn't keep catching it on my clothes.

And, surprise surprise, it works fine! The iLiad is held firmly to the case, the case closes snugly around it, and it feels very sturdy and well-protected. And much to my surprise, I found its actually easier to hold when reading with the cover on, than it was with it off! You can hold it in one hand, exactly as you would a book, and there's more to get hold of somehow, or it feels more natural or something. The cover is flexible enough to bend back on itself if you want to (though I don't), and the press-stud flap is not in the way as I thought it might be. The stylus is easy to get to, there's nothing getting in the way of the buttons, flip bar and various connectors, and the only time I'd need to remove it from its cover would be to press the reset button.

All in all, I'm really pleased with it. I can't do a comparison review with the other covers, but I'd certainly recommend this one to anyone who's not satisfied with the shoulder bag.
Which iLiad do you have? Also, do you have the item number for this cover? It sounds exactly like the one I would like to get for my husbands iLiad (gift for the holidays).
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