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Logitech PlayGear Pocket
Overall Rating: 8.5

Anyone who plunked down the cash for a PSP no doubt wants to make that investment last, so protecting the gorgeous screen from little brothers, pets, and accidents is a priority. One of the products out there that promises to keep your PSP safe is the PlayGear Pocket from Logitech. For $19.99, it promises to protect your system, and it does just that Ė unfortunately thatís all it does, which means it wonít suit the needs of everyone.

The PlayGear Pocket is a clear case made from thick, polycarbonate plastic. There are openings on the sides that allow you access to nearly all of the PSPís features. With the case closed you can plug in the power adapter as well as headphones. You can also turn the unit on, activate the WiFi switch and use both shoulder buttons. Itís nice to be able to listen to music while the case is closed, but since you have to open the case to adjust the volume and navigate menus, having access to some buttons doesnít do you much good.

To open the case, you push a latch on the front and lift the lid just like you would with a glasses case. Inside, youíll find rigid black foam that is molded to fit the PSP snugly. I noticed that after a while, the inside of the top lid began to accumulate dust, which was transferred to the PSP every time I closed the case. It wasn't tons of dust, but it was enough that I had to wipe down the system fairly often. The case is designed to let you play the PSP without having to remove it, but the added weight of the case makes it somewhat uncomfortable to play for long periods of time. Logitech claims that the lid will help reduce glare from lights and the sun, but it didn't seem to have a noticeable effect in or outdoors. The case can be opened a full 270 degrees, which allows you to use it as a stand while watching video, which is a nice feature.

The PlayGear Pocket has a simple, yet stylish look, complemented by the cut-out foam in the rear that allows the PSP logo to show. Some creative folks have actually customized their case by cutting out pictures and putting them between the foam and the case. This isnít something that is officially supported by Logitech, and itís probably not a great idea to pull the foam out regularly, but it does look pretty darn cool.

The PlayGear Pocket from Logitech is a simple, effective way to protect your $250 investment. It doesnít do anything other than protect your system, which some people may find limiting, since theyíll have to carry another case for their games and memory cards, but it does its job of protecting the PSP quite well.

4/28/2005   Aaron Thomas