Review: Hardware - Palm Centro Cases

Once you've got a hit gadget on your hands, the next step is to build up the accessory market. The Centro has given Palm a much needed boost, and is available from Sprint and AT&T in five color combinations. With the Treo looking a little large nowadays, the nicely compact Centro has been a hit with buyers.

Palm sent over two Centro cases, both of which are available on store.palm.com. Here's our hands-on take:

Air Case
If you like your Centro's good looks and don't want to cover them up, then the Air Case ($19.99) is for you. It comes in two hard plastic pieces which snap together, protecting your Centro front and back. We tried the case on a white Centro and could barely tell that it was on. While the Air Case is made of smooth plastic, it didn't make the Centro any harder to hold.

The Air Case has cut-away spots, allowing access to the Centro's touch screen and keypad, as well as the buttons and ports located on the top, left, and bottom of the smartphone. Turn the case over and you'll see that there are also cut-away spots for the stylus, speaker, and camera lens, so you don't need to take pictures through the plastic shell.

The downsides to the Air Case are that it leaves the screen exposed-and that's really the most vulnerable part of the phone-and that it doesn't come with a wrist strap. You'll need to take care that you don't put your Centro into the same pocket as your keys, because the screen could still be scratched.

The Air Case will protect the rest of your phone from scratches, though, and it's a more masculine option than the next case. If you want your Centro's appearance to shine through, this is the case for you.

Slip Pouch with Lanyard
If you want to really outfit your Centro, though, and something chic and high-fashion is more to your liking, be sure to look at the Slip Pouch ($29.99). This leather case comes in a blue and brown combination and looks very Fifth Avenue.

The Slip Pouch comes with a long lanyard which attaches to a D-ring on the back. Use it to secure the case to your wrist, or use the D-ring to clip the case inside a larger shoulder bag. The Slip Case also comes with a handy screen wipe, a chunky dongle hanging from one side. You'll be glad you have it when your touch screen gets streaky.

Users will need to be careful with the Slip Case, because they'll need to remove their phone from it whenever they need to make or answer a call, and that could increase their chances of dropping the phone.

Other Centro cases from the Palm Store:

  • Body Glove Rhythm ($24.99)
    This case is made of wetsuit material and holds your Centro Sideways. It uses a magnetic clasp.

  • Vaja i-Volution Leather Grip ($64.99)
    This leather case comes in 14 colors, some of which are especially vibrant. Customize your case by having your name embossed on the back.

  • Leather Lanyard ($9.99)
    If you don't need a full case but still want a stylish way to hold your Centro, this red-and-black lanyard is for you.

  • Dooney & Bourke Wristlet ($49.99)
    This case turns your Centro into a mini-wallet, letting you carry a few cards or some cash in its pockets. Includes a wrist strap and a magnetic closure.

  • Sena MagnetFlipper
    The front of this case flips down, giving you screen protection when your phone isn't in use and easy access when it is. It comes in five colors.
  • TAGS:

    Palm, peripherals, Centro