Review of Executive case for Victor Reader Trek.
I took delivery of the Executive case for my victor Reader trek yesterday.
For those not familiar with the Trek, this is a combined personal GPS and Book Reading solution designed to assist blind and visually Impaired Users. It effectively upgrades, combines and replaces two previous Humanware products, The Trekker Breeze, a standalone personal GPS solution, and the Victor Reader Stream, a portable media device providing convenient playing of Talking Books, Music, eBooks, and a range of online services including; Internet Radio and Podcasts alongside other services. The products are popular, especially for those people who are not comfortable with touch screen devices. All Humanware Products are driven by use of highly tactile buttons.
Owners of the Executive case for the old victor Reader Stream will be instantly familiar with the look, feel and functionality of this new case.
It feels very similar to the Stream version.
The case is leather and a definite upgrade on the silicon case provided by Humanware.
As with the Stream version your Trek is inserted into the case by unclipping the catch button at the base of the case and sliding the unit in, and then refastening the button.
It is a very snug fit and may require some pressing to make everything fit properly, finally allowing the case to be re-secured.
You will want to power your unit down before commencing this process to prevent accidental activation of buttons on your Trek.
As with the stream version there is a zip pocket for carrying spare SD cards in the keyboard cover flap. Also, as with the old Stream Version, this flap is secured to the main case by a strong magnetic catch.
The case is provided with a wrist strap attached and a neck lanyard strap. I immediately removed the wrist strap and attached the lanyard. This is attached with easy to attach clips to ringlets on the case.
In use I found there are some immediate functional benefits to using this case over the originally supplied case. Personally I found the keyboard cover provided on the original case very flimsy. The flap, although similarly magnetically attached also tended to detach. The Executive version feels more secure although I have yet to use it outside. It feels like it will protect the unit more reliably from adverse weather.
More immediately using this keyboard flap has instantly improved my Trek experience. A personal experience with the trek is that the buttons seem much more sensitive than the Stream and consequentially prone to accidental activation by it simply bumping against me and other objects. Even if you put the Trek into key lock mode you would get the lock message which can be annoying.
I am pleased to report that the more robust flap of the replacement Executive Case version has, so far, removed this problem. The Trek is far more resilient to accidental keyboard activation. However it is still possible to activate the buttons through the keyboard flap, although a very slightly firmer press is required.
So pressing the keyboard flap at the top in the middle will cycle the Trek through GPS orientation, Online and offline Book Reading Modes. Pressing the keyboard flap at the bottom in the middle will play / pause as normal. For other functions I personally normally open the flap to access the keyboard directly, especially if I am storing SD cards in the zip pocket.
The other immediate upgrade I personally found was the lanyard. The strap originally provided by Humanware is over the top for the size of the unit. It is far too wide and unnecessarily bulky, more suitable for carrying a large bag or even suitcase rather than a small electronic device. The replacement lanyard is only about a tenth of the width of the original strap but easily strong enough. The lanyard has enough flexibility in length that it could feasibly be use either as a neck lanyard or an over the shoulder strap.
The downside with this case is price. I think most sighted people would be amazed that you have to pay over £50 for a case of this type. It certainly feels overpriced for what you get. However it is a specialist case for a small specialist market which explains part of the price hike. Yet, as I personally use my Trek for several hours a day, every single day, and this improvement in functionality and ease of use provided by this case is worth the money, and does not feel an unwarranted luxury. If you were only to be an occasional user of the Trek this calculation may differ.
The Executive Case is available from the Accessories section of the Humanware website.