Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: PS Vita Travel Pouch (and other accessories)

The problem with portable electronics is that you actually have to do something to protect them. The PS Vita is particularly problematic, because the twin joysticks stick out and can snag on other things in a backpack or pocket, and of course the beautiful OLED screen needs to be protected. (Note that the Amazon Walking Dead bundle I previously reviewed has gone up to $190 in price, making it no longer a screaming deal, but it's still cheaper than what you can find elsewhere)

The screen protection is easy. Amazon has the official screen protector available for $2 over the holidays (out of stock, but choose Amazon as the seller). The reason you want the official one is that it uses a very cool technique for lining up your screen protector: there's a template that goes over your joystick/button pad, and then when you peel off the official screen protector your screen is correctly covered. Well worth the $2.

The carrying case is problematic. My hope was that there'd be a good case that could carry the Vita, charger, headphones, and game cards, but it appears there's nothing that will carry all of them. The hard cases look intriguing, but none of them actually have the capacity that the soft cases have. I ended up with the official case. This case is designed to carry the Vita, 4 game cards, and pair of ear bud headphones, and the official extended battery, but won't carry the charger that comes with the Vita.

The section of the case that's meant for the Vita is well designed. The game card pouches work, but aren't suitable for extra memory cards, for instance. The memory cards are too small and there's a risk of losing them if you use the game card slots. I think the model that Sony went with is that you're likely to own only one memory card ever.

My favorite headphones to use with the Vita are the Knivio Bluetooth headset. I can pack both the headset the Vita into the carrying case and that's it. For most local use that'll be no problem. For an airplane, I'm guessing that I'll need some sort of extended battery (the Vita is particularly power hungry and will chew through a full charge in about 3 hours of play --- the machine actually gets warm, so you know that the CPU/GPU you paid for is actually working hard), and probably the etymotics instead. That'll probably fit in the case along with the USB cable.

I'm not sure I want to use the word recommended for the official case. It's workable, and fairly cheap for $10, which is as good as you can find.
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