STM Harbour 2 Case Hardware Review

STM Harbour 2 Case Hardware Review

Jul 17, 2014

STM, as a company, is probably best known for its laptop bags; we had the privilege of reviewing its Trust Messenger Bag quite recently. In fact, STM has quite a few smart device case and covering offerings in its arsenal, and we got a formal look at the STM Harbour 2 Case for the current HTC One (M8). Like it or not, STM has a reputation to uphold, so I was more than a bit curious about this accessory.

The review unit provided highlights the red piece we received (it also comes in black and charcoal); the red finishing pops through the clear product packaging. Removing the box reveals more: the reddish hue and grey accents and linings and the seemingly precise cutouts. The otherwise solid piece does have an interesting bit of flexibility built alongside a grey band; along this strip, the unit could be lightly bended and manipulated; this allows for docking and can even serve as a pseudo-stand. It feels solid, but not overly rigid, and the hard plastic (polycarbonate and TPU) comes across as well-formed. On paper, the case is 5.7 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches. It is barely bigger than the M8 when standing beside it, and that is somewhat reassuring for folks who are reasonably concerned with added girth.

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The unit snaps into place with a reassuring, subdued snap, and the first thing that really stands out is the fit. It does merge with the phone and feels with seamless; I didn’t get any creaking or unnatural gaps. The bottom ports have an open space in lieu of separate holes, and the power button, volume rocker are catered to. At the back, the dual cameras each have cutouts (which means the flashlight is also unencumbered), and there is also spacing for audio. The edges are mostly well covered, but there isn’t much of a lip for when the cased M8 is face down.

There isn’t too much added bulk, and the stand functionality does come in handy in portrait, even though it is isn’t as smooth of a solution as an incorporated kickstand. It does provide a degree of protection in pocket too, and the case still allows for wireless charging via add-ons. The SD card on the M8 is covered, but the IR blaster works flawlessly.

The case is a good option in a relatively crowded sub-section, and it more or less holds its own.

The STM Harbour 2 Case is available for $27.12 via Amazon.

STM Truth Gadget Messenger Bag Hardware Review

STM Truth Gadget Messenger Bag Hardware Review

Jun 17, 2014

Life is good.

You have the tablet, portable keyboard, backup drive, stylus, power bank and even a jump drive or two. Maybe you’re going big and even pack a mobile scanner, over-the-ear headphones and an emergency phablet. You, sir/ma’am, are the picture of mobile productivity, and are ready to go.

All one needs now is more hands and baggy dungarees with dozens of pockets. And, hopefully, understanding TSA agents and fellow travelers who won’t jump one for creating the airport metal detector bottleneck.

Seriously, just about as important as the tech gear we obtain is the gear we use to protect and transport them. A proper go-bag is a must have, and it goes without saying that the same things we look for in mobile gear — affordability, style and portability, amongst others — are the things we would probably wanna see in a functional bag.

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Enter STM Trust, a messenger bag that looks to strike a delicate balance between looks and functionality.

We received the small red version to try out (it also comes in olive and graphite, with differing sizes); the material is made of water-resistant poly. Officially, the exterior covers 1.22 x 14.96 x 4.72 inches for a capacity of 915+ cubic inches, and it weighs a bit over 2 lbs in weight empty. It looks quite unpretentious, with the red only broken by grey and silver snaps and zipper, black accents on the shoulder strap, and the grey bottom panel.

The bag compartmentalization is very well done, and will be perfect for folks high on organization and quick access. The front flap starts the party with a padded, zippered pocket, great for smartphones and other smaller delicates. Lifting that up reveals another zippered compartment, and another, more centralized pocket which is broken into smaller layers; this is suitable for all sorts of gadgets and devices. The main compartment is accessed from the top towards the back, and is lined as well. At the very back is a loose, easy-to-reach compartment without a a zipper, and there are pouches on the side.

The attention to detail is gratifying. The strap is easy to overlook, but on this bag, this key component is adjustable, optional and padded at the apex. The stitching is subtle and color-appropriate.

If I had to nitpick, I’d gripe about the placement of the hand handle, which is singular and offset towards the rear. I’d also prefer something other than hard plastic for the strap joints.

All in all, the STM Truth is easy to appreciate for its overall functionality and affordable style. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, and in the end, that might be its biggest draw.

The Small STM Truth Bag is available STM partner sites for $129.95.