Product Type: Orb electronic gaming accessories
Newest Review: ... width (when folded over) and a depth of 3cm once the DS or DS Lite has been placed in. For a start the Orb leather look case has a perm... more
A DS Case of Warm Leatherette!
Orb DSi/DS Lite Play Case
Member Name: Nar2
Orb DSi/DS Lite Play Case
Advantages: Protects DS & DS Lite reasonably well, looks ok, 2 free built in stylus pens & 3 DS card slots.
Disadvantages: Not really leather (PVC), can become too hot with extended play, bit too stiff.
Briefly there are so many Orb type cases at Blockbusters from the downright tacky with light colours like pink, red and navy blue with fake stitching patches to simple "all clean" perimeter stitched leather look cases, the latter of which I was attracted to as it makes the Nintendo DS look rather like a small Filofax and at best, the least offensive compared to the plastic or chrome badged, zipped affairs on sale. The colours would have been tempting had they not been a dull coloured PVC and the best looking without needlessly being too shiny proved to be the black "leather look" edition. At a cost price of a reasonable £5-99, (£6-60 Amazon) I thought what I came away with was a reasonably good price, especially considering the money I had paid out previously online at double the charge plus an extra P&P fee.
Initially I was stuck between two particular designs where both Orb cases looked like mini Filofax folders and annoyingly both designs come in the same box so be warned about this, but whilst one had a swing out page where the DS could be placed whilst behind it lay little pockets for three gaming SD cards to be slid into. Luckily my friend behind the desk pointed out that the one with the swing out folder has been the unluckiest design so far, with many buyers returning to the shop to complain about the swing out partition coming away from the seams. This product in plain black leather with a single magnetic catch and single pull strap (rather like a hand bag) is far simpler to operate and lacks the swing out cradle page holding the DS. It measures approximately 13.5 cm length by 7cm width (when folded over) and a depth of 3cm once the DS or DS Lite has been placed in.
For a start the Orb leather look case has a permanently bonded bottom partition cradle in which the DS can lock into whilst spaces at the top of the bottom eaves of the case allow fingers to use the shoulder play buttons on the DS without any other plastic getting in the way. The difference with the Perspex holders is that there is nothing on the top when the bottom of the DS is locked into this kind of soft feel case. I also note that Orb have concentrated well in building in secondary locks within the plastic cradle that hook onto the two squares either side at the top of the DS to ensure that the console is completely locked in, whilst the top half of the case has the obligatory leather pockets for Nintendo DS game cards - but only three pockets - which minimises variety of game play if you have more than three of your favourite cards on board - or four cards if you put an extra one into the actual game console.
Included with the Orb case are two elasticated slits in the centre that carry one DS Lite stylus and one DS stylus, both of which come free with this product. This is where you'd find ring binders in a Filofax just to give you a clearer idea of what this product looks like. Both styli (?) are pretty similar to the one that is already standard kit with the DS game console and I've used both on my DS, which work extremely well, despite the differences of name per model. The only problem is that the case feels really too stiff to get at the built in stylus on the console as the back outer card is obviously built in, under the soft spongy leather coating but difficult all the same to exert flexibility, to remain strong and sturdy. I'm hoping that this will weaken in time - and even if it doesn't - at least there are two other stylus pens to fall back on that don't fall out due to the tight stitched rolls that keep them in place and both of them are either thinner (for DS Lite) or thicker (for DS) correspondingly with lock tops that would naturally be able to fit into the console themselves - a very good detail here as many replacement stylus pens don't have the flush fitting top. Those slightly cheaper looking-to-the eye pens are a bit easier to pull out in the case than trying to get at the one built into the DS itself.
The interior of the leather case is made up of black felt and leather inserts. Whilst the PVC leather feels like leather with a soft and rewarding touch, the black felt on the backing often catches my finger nails where my fingers would push out instinctively towards the shoulder buttons of the DS when in use. The felt is annoying to say the least and it's a pity here that Orb haven't substituted a kinder, more tactile fabric here, even if it adds a contrasting appeal to the masses of PVC leather on display. The leather pockets are similarly stitched very tightly against the back wall of the holder, which means it can be tricky to take out SD cards in a hurry, as well as pushing them back in without ruining the "finger pick" concave design fitted into each leather pocket slot.
When it comes to general use, without the use of a mains charger and depending on the time you spend with your DS, I find that my hands also get very sweaty very quickly because of the leather exterior, and then added to this the interior of black felt. Inadvertent finger slips are abundant after a couple of hours of game play for example, and it's a pity here that whilst the Orb case is easy to keep clean with just a damp cloth, the exterior is so slippery and heat inducing, it is impossible to continue long hours of gaming enjoyment without grabbing a tissue to let the heat subside into my hands. Whilst the Orb case has a good flip open design, the Orb case is also cumbersome to use once the mains charger is plugged into the back of the DS. The case can't be shut until the mains cord is taken out and it's a pity here that Orb didn't fit an open/shut flap so that the mains cord could be pushed in or taken out with the two eaves closed and locked up - that apart from the PVC leather is about the only downsides.
Over the more expensive Perspex holders my Nintendo DS has seen over the last three years, the Orb case is a much better idea, even though the DS itself isn't protected to the sides and from a distance looks like a leather bound hard back book with the white colour of my DS showing off in the middle and single thick width strap via a magnetic lock to fasten it together. For the fact that the outer eaves have strong card backing with a leatherette exterior, it's not a bad choice as a protective hard case and one I'd recommend with only a serious caution for long term play - otherwise it's a case of warm leatherette - not just a song made famous by Grace Jones! Thanks for reading. İNar2 2011
Summary: Overall, a good leather look case for DS & DS Lite consoles with a keen price.
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