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Review: PDair aluminum case for HTC EVO 4G

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PDair's leather cases for the HTC EVO may have failed to impress (see vertical pouch and flip case reviews), but let's give the company another shot and take a look at its new Aluminum Metal Case ($28). The hinged case is available in black or silver, comes with a removable swiveling belt clip, and is said to be made of anodized aircraft-grade aluminum. Sounds pretty good, but is it worthy of the EVO? Read on to find out.


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Design & Quality

The back shell and front edge of this aluminum case are held together by a hinge, which separates this case from other two-piece cases that snap together.

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The case is said to be lined with neoprene for extra protection and shock absorption, but it just looks like foam to me. I can actually peel it off from the aluminum and even rip it with little effort. Likewise, although the aluminum is advertised to have a "high tensile strength," I can bend it very easily. Aluminum isn't steel, of course, but when something is said to be "aircraft-grade," I don't expect to be able to bend it.

The latch that is supposed to keep the case closed isn't very strong either, though this may be partly due to how bendable the aluminum is. It's easy to warp the case to the point where the edges don't line up anymore and the latch just barely sits on the tab.

Build quality, then, leaves much to be desired.

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The design, on the other hand, is a matter of taste. The bulge from the hinge and latch gives the whole thing an industrial look that may not appeal to everyone. I don't like the extra bumps and cutouts on the back either.

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On a positive note, the case doesn't add much bulk to the EVO. When you think of a metal case, you kind of automatically think of something rather big and heavy (I do, anyway), but this one is quite thin.

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It looks like you could just set the EVO into the case, but it actually needs to be gently pressed down in the corners to get into it.

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The earpiece and front camera share a cutout, so the opening is too big and therefore off-centered. Separate cutouts would have been better here.

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Other than that, the rest of the case fits the EVO fairly well. There's quite a bit of space between the device and case around all the edges/cutouts, though, so I don't think dust or lint would have a hard time getting in there. The "neoprene" lining doesn't create a seal around any of the openings.


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The PDair Aluminum Metal Case gets points for bringing something different to a table already piled high with leather cases, plastic back shields, and silicone/TPU skins, but I think that's its only redeeming quality. If you really like the way it looks, you can get it in black or silver from PDair for $28. Otherwise, I'd recommend that you keep moving. Nothing worthy of your EVO here, folks.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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