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AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for 5-Inch Sat Navs Review
on 15 July 2016
For the money the case is very well made, there is one potential area that could be improved however, and it is no where near as suitable for the GO 5100 as some claim (the Sat Nav in my images) , at least not without some modification.
PACKAGING & CONTENTS.
Those that have previously ordered something from the AmazonBasics range will be all too familiar with the packaging provided for the AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for 5-Inch Sat Navs. Those that have not your product will be provided in a plain brown cardboard box with a large white label sealing it closed bearing Amazon branding and contents information in multiple languages.
Inside you will find the case wrapped in clear plastic and there are no other contents to be found within. The packaging is a bit excessive for what it contains and simply sending it within the clear plastic wrapper would suffice and fill your orange bin somewhat less (especially as it is shipped in a larger cardboard box to start with).
External measurements taken at the greatest points of the case are 17cm wide, 12.7cm long and 4.8cm high, this includes the zip but not the zip head and pull tab. The case empty weighs exactly 100g.
Internal measurements are a little tricky, but I have tried my best. The bottom section (which is designed to hold your Sat Nav) measures 15.5cm wide, 11.2cm long and 2.9cm deep. Sadly to an extent these measurements are of little use as they are taken at the greatest points.
The corners are rounded which affects the length and width available in the corners and the base is not flat as there is a raised section in the centre designed to protect the screen (I think you are supposed to put your GPS in face down).
While the base section is only 2.9cm deep it is possible to put thicker devices in as there is also some depth to the lid as well (about 1.5cm at its greatest point). Inside the lid there is a mesh open edge elastic pocket that measures 15cm wide and 7.2cm high. The depth of this pocket un-stretched is about 9mm it can however be stretched to comfortably hold a TomTom GO 5100 measuring 14.5cm wide, 9.1cm high and 2.2cm deep but only just.
The AmazonBasics Hard Black Carrying Case for 5-Inch Sat Navs is a clamshell style case made from EVA (Ethylene vinyl acetate) which is classed as a semi hard (not a hard shell as the listing claims). In the corners, it is entirely rigid however, at the top and bottom there is notable give when the case is pushed inwards.
The outside of the case is black and feels like canvas, access inside is provided via a zip that runs the full length of both sides (including the back corners) and all the way along the front. The zip is fitted with a single non magnetic black zip head a pull which flows freely even at speed. Along the back edge the zip is covered with an additional piece of material to provide strength and neatness to the hinge.
Inside the case is lined with what appears to be a stretched nylon that is bright orange in colour and is reasonably smooth, although not so much that I would be entirely happy to place a screen against it if the screen were not secured held in place. The final feature of the case is a black canvas bias tape that finishes off the internal edges again for neatness, but also to prevent the contents from coming into contact with the zip as well as adding a minor degree of water ingress protection.
(It should be noted that the case does have a reasonable level of weather proofing / water resistance. It however will not protect the contents from submersion or prolonged exposure to driving rain).
Now I bought this case due to reading a number of other reviews stating that the case is a perfect fit for the TomTom GO 5100 which is the Sat Nav I bought on Prime Day. Sadly the fact is that the case is not a "perfect fit" for the GO 5100.
As previously mentioned the GO 5100 does fit in the elasticated pocket that is intended for cables but only just. But if you insert the Sat Nav with the screen facing up you risk scratching the screen on the zip as you remove it and if you put it in screen down it is hardly offered any protection against the somewhat coarse mesh that forms the pocket (or any contents placed in the bottom section of the case).
With the GO 5100 installed in the base its simply rattles around far too much. Look at my pictures and you will see that there is nearly a 1cm gap on the sides and 2cm gap front to back. In truth, neither is an ideal solution.
If I had a screen protector on my GO 5100 (I can't install a film screen protectors for love nor money) I would be inclined to install it in the mesh pocket with the screen facing down (I only plan to use the case only with the Sat Nav itself and not any cables etc).
Instead, what I have done is cut up some cellular foam packaging that was supplied with some bone china bowls, I bought from Amazon that measures 8mm thick. In the base I have installed a sheet measuring 14.2cm x 10.5cm, on the back edge a piece measuring 14.2cm x 1.3cm and on the right a piece measuring 10.5cm x 1.3cm.
While not a perfect solution my GO 5100 is now more securely held in place and it does not move around within the case. All I need to find now is something to put over the screen to protect it from the mesh pocket in case it is rubbing against it, perhaps a small off cut of microfibre cloth?
It should be noted that the mesh pocket is suitable in size for retaining the GO 5100 cable and 12v charger while the Sat Nav is in the bottom of the case (although with my padding in place it will only hold the cable). If you do put the accessories in the mesh pocket make sure to install your sat nat screen down in the bottom section, do not put it screen up as you will risk scratching the screen on the metal cable connectors.
It's a bit of a shame that Amazon did not decide to put a flap between the mesh pocket and bottom section of the case to isolate the cables from the Sat Nav.
All in all, if I were looking for another case for my GO 5100 knowing what I know now I would not buy another of these to replace it. That said, it is a good quality case for the money, just not as well suited for the GO 5100 as some claim it to be.