PDAsia Sony CLIE NR Series Cases Review


Product Requirements:
Sony CLIÉ NR Series

So, with the CLIÉ NX series waiting in the wings to be released, I come to you
all with some cases for the younger (and hopefully not forgotten) sibling to the
new OS 5 unit, the NR (remember when they were the biggest buzz around – like
six months ago?).

But I digress, as usual.

Today, class, we are going to learn all about
PDAsia (yeah, is trips up my
tongue as well…) and their Hamilton line of NR cases.

Rest assured, PDAsia is already working on cases for the NX, so read on if
you’re already planning out your NX accessory bundle.


Hamilton Universal Pouch Style Leather Case

Our first offering is a generic belt pouch, but there are few items that I could
really see fitting in there other than the NR.

The case is made from a medium quality leather, is black on the outer surfaces
and a kind of burgundy inside of the case. Personally, that color combination
does not really work for me, but when the case is closed up, nothing but black
can be seen, so it wasn’t that big of a deal.

The case protects your CLIÉ on all sides, but there are some gaps about the
sides and top of the case. These areas are vulnerable only to something stabbing
at your PDA, in a drop situation; the padding extends to protect the entire
PDA…as long as it is in the case. If you tend to be something of a “dropper”
like me, this case might not be the best idea, as once your CLIÉ is removed, it
is naked.

The strap across the top of the case is held in place with a magnetic snap.
First off, I love this type of attachment method; it is easy to both open and
close and has an understated class. Second, the folks at PDAsia were smart
enough to know that different people use their cases in different ways, and two
“female” snaps have been provided, depending on the amount of stuff you jam into
the case.

Not only does the strap keep your PDA inside of the case, but it also secures a
foldout flap that contains some memory stick and card storage. There is
dedicated space for two memory sticks, a “middle” pocket, and a “behind” pocket
that I used for cash. However, when wearing the case and using the back pocket
for money, it is possible to view the money from certain angles…a definite
security issue.

Just unclasping the snap will not open this section, as there is also a strip of
Velcro holding it in place. The strip is quite robust, and it can take quite a
bit of effort to open it at times (especially when wearing the case, an awkward
position to get leverage), but I came up with my own alternative.

I found that using the slot behind the MS holders (the “middle” pocket) for
credit cards blocked about two-thirds of the “fuzzy’ side of the Velcro, making
the connection much easier to separate, but still holding fast when you wanted
it closed.

See the belt clip? This was not the PDAsia clip – that one lasted about four
hours until I was getting into my car and it split in two, sending little
springs and plastic items flying about the interior. True, I am pretty hard on
items (you can see the damage to my own NR a little further down) but I swapped
out the broken clip for on from EdJacobs case and it has been going strong for

The clip is not really a deal-breaker here, as they are quite common and easy to

In all a really nice belt case that could be used as a wallet – if one were so


Price: HK$ 128.00 (US$ 16.62)

Nice combination of protection and access
Good amount of storage

Belt clip damaged easily
Velcro closure too strong for its own good
No protection when PDA is in use (bad for droppers)

Hamilton Flip Top Leather Case for CLIÉ NR Series

Okay, onto the flip-style case. Upon first glance, this case really reminded me
of the Surplus PDA flip case that I took a look at a little while back. However,
closer inspection revealed that the PDAsia version has a few refinements that
really push it over the top.

The case it made from the same style leather as the pouch version, but this one
(thankfully, for me at least) was constructed completely from black leather.

As you can see, the bottom of the case is held in by some plastic “feet,” but
more on those a little later…

And we come to the first problem with the case – there is nothing at all
protecting the sides of your PDA. In the past, I’ve read similar problems with
other cases, and I thought that asking for protection on the sides was a little
much, but then this happened to me:

WHEN USING THE PDA NAKED – just for the record.

Doesn’t that just make you cringe? Told you, I’m hard on things…

The case is held shut by another of the magnetic button jobbers, but this time
there is but one attachment point.

As I mentioned before, this case uses attachment hardware that is all plastic.
It is the “typical” five-point (2 feet, 2 clips and a center peg) but the
plastic version was a great deal easier to insert/remove than the Surplus cases.

The plastic seems much more malleable than the metal, but I’ve never had a
problem of the PDA slipping out of the case, so I guess that the plastic wins.

Another nice item about this case is the fact that they have inserted a flap
between the card storage and the PDA, so that you really can carry your CLIÉ in
tablet mode without worries. There is space for the standard 2 memory sticks and
three credit card slots. When all slots are filled, the case will still close,
but there is really is no place to store currency, so I can’t recommend this as
a wallet-replacement.

In all a nice little flipper that does more than a few things right.


Price: HK$ 128.00 (US$ 16.62)

The Price (again)
Finally, a secure “clip” attachment method that doesn’t damage the PDA body.
Decent storage space

No protection on the sides


Hamilton Wallet Style Leather Case for CLIÉ NR Series

Now we have our last case, a book style with a camera cut-out. Many of the same
details are present in this case that were in its flip-sibling, so I’ll keep
this short.

Black on the outside…

The edges extend more than the flip version, giving more protection to the sides
and top, but they are still exposed.

Nice little cut-out for the camera, so I can use it unencumbered by the case –
does anyone actually use their camera on a regular basis???

Same magnetic snap hold it all closed, even when crammed full.

Oh no, red on the inside! PDAsia does have one with blue on the inside…

Two memory sticks, three credit cards, and a “behind” pocket for cash, this case
could go on the short list of wallet replacements if one wanted to cut down
their personal gear a bit.

A book style case has to have a stylus holder, right? Well this one really got
in the way of the case closing, so I left it empty and just used the standard
holder on the PDA.

Yes, I know that was quick, but you get the point, right? Another nice case that
is well worth the price tag. You could even get all three for the price of a lot
of other single cases!


Price: HK$ 128.00 (US$ 16.62)

Once-again, the price is right!
Unhindered camera usage while in case
Good amount of storage
Case actually closes when packed with items!

Limited top/bottom/side protection
Stylus holder interferes with closure


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