Extreme Limit Sony CLIE NR Series Case Review


Product Requirements:
Sony CLIÉ NR Series

Anyone out there actually jumped out of a
helicopter with nothing but a snowboard???

Okay, neither have I, a fact that makes me question
whether or not I have the right to use an
Extreme Limit case on my PDA. 
Can’t say that I am anywhere near extreme and I don’t think I’ve even seen the
limit since the first Bush administration…

So, how can I use this case in good conscience, am
I some kind of a wannabe that lives vicariously through a handheld computer

In a word…no.  I may not bungee off the space
shuttle nor half pipe on top of a skyscraper, but I am a demon when it comes to
my PDA.  Even after the short time I’ve owned my NR, the thing looks like it has
been though a semi-serious police action, if not the entire war.

Therefore, I need a case that that can handle my
extreme handling of my PDA…all the way to the limit.

Nope, no poseurs here…

Okay, back to business – I recently had that
company’s offering for the CLIÉ NR come across my desk.  Could this case stand
up to the durability test that is Life With Mikey?  Let’s see…

The exterior of the case is what one would expect
from Extreme Limits; ballistic nylon panels surrounded by a black leather
border, stitched with white thread.  The nylon inserts are available in black,
red, and blue for your coordinating preference.

The case is held closed by a leather tab that
inserts below and behind the unit.  This closure method works well and allows
for a precise fit despite the amount of items that are placed within the case.

The case offers some protection on all sides.  The
side sporting the exposed jog/back/hold/headphone hardware is protected from a
flat drop by the mounting hardware (more on that later).  The only area on the
PDA that is exposed to direct damage from a fall onto a flat surface is the
lower corner where the stylus silo resides.

A cutout is provided so that the camera (on the “V”
models) can be used unencumbered and holes are also provided for the reset pin
and speaker.  The camera cutout is a little off center (but is not in the way in
the least) and the holes in the back seem to be perfectly placed.

Pop the tab and flip up the lid, and you are
greeted by your CLIÉ (closed, or in tablet mode – but more on that later), space
for 2 Memory Sticks and 2 business cards.  While the pictures may look as though
there is a third card slot behind the others, let me assure you that there is

Use as a wallet?  Going to have to say “no” to that
one.  The two slots just don’t give enough room to store enough items to make it
worth while.  Personally, I never carried any cards while testing this case,
they were just too near to the lid (when I carried the unit closed) or the
screen (if I forgot and carried it open).

Note; after receiving the case from Extreme Limits,
they informed that a new version of the case would feature a leather flap that
covered both the MS and card slots to prevent damage to the unit.

Dedicated case mounting systems for the NR series
CLIÉ have classically been one of two methods: (1. the clip-foot method (that
uses the holes in the back of the unit to insert prongs and secure the unit at
the sync port for stability) and (2. the sleeve method (inserting the lower
portion of the “bottom” of the unit securely into case.

This case has a new method: The Clamp.  Yes, the
whole lower portion of the case is essentially a large metal-reinforced clamp
that grabs the bottom of your PDA very securely.  Just insert the left side of
the CLIÉ into the unit, then snap the right side on.  This method is both secure
and easy to operate (I had very little annoyance due to removal/insertion for
“cradle-time” while I slept.  Removal is simple a matter of popping off the left
side clamp.

The case comes complete with a nylon Velcro strap
to secure your PDA, but I never actually used it, the clamp method was so
secure, I never felt it was necessary.

This mounting method does have a drawback for those
of us who listen to mp3s on our NRs…the headphone remote will not fit when the
unit in this case.  It will have to be removed from the case (but why get a case
you can’t use), or the remote bypassed and the headphone used directly (but who
wants to open the whole thing up just to pause, right?) or you can use an Xacto
knife and a little patience like I did:

Disclaimer:  This little mod worked just fine when
I did it, but if you try it and disaster strikes, it’s your own dang fault, got

That little mounting point by the headphone jack is
a necessity of the case, but most of it is just padding with a leather cover
that has been glued down.  Peel the leather back and, using the remote jack as a
template, cut a little trench in the padding, just enough so that the jack will
fully plug in.  Be careful not to cut through the metal backing, of course.

The beauty of this PDA surgery is that the leather
flap will still lie perfectly flat, providing protection and not divulging the
fact that your case has been “modded.”

So, with all of that out of the way – how has my
PDA suffered after weeks in this case?  The answer, not much.  The only
additional scarring has been on the upper screen surround where the plastic
“feet” have worn through the magnesium of that piece, but I really can’t blame
that damage on the case.

About the only other drawback for this case is the
price, which breaks into basic Vaja territory.

If you want a case that really lives up to its
name, check this one out…


Price: 6,600.00 JPY  ($53.38 USD)

Excellent Protection
Easy in/out of PDA

Unable to use remote while PDA is in case (without a little help, that is…)


Product Information

Manufacturer:Extreme Limit
{ 17 comments… add one }
  • Judie November 6, 2003, 9:52 pm

    Post your comments here on the Intelligent Stick USB Drive.


    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • carphead November 6, 2003, 11:49 pm

    If this thing was bootable I’d buy it in a shot. But the website doesn’t say anything about being bootable.:(

  • Julie November 7, 2003, 2:19 am

    Hmmmmmm, are there any USB drives on the market that actually are bootable?

  • One of One November 7, 2003, 7:06 am

    Now this is a slick little USB drive. Very nice. I have every intention of buying the 512MB version.

    But how do we purchase these? By emailing someone? They have no way to purchase online.

  • Mark X November 7, 2003, 9:40 am

    Thanks Judie, good review, just what I was looking for, bought a 256Mb for 80Euros 2 minutes ago @ Zebra Media


  • AlanW November 7, 2003, 12:05 pm

    Cons: none???

    How about security? (No password, encryption, etc.)

    Is it USB 2 compatible? Would that matter?

  • forrman November 7, 2003, 2:22 pm

    If your bios has a USB device as an option then you couldn’t you boot off it.
    You’d need to copy system files to the device, but then it should work. No?

  • Judie November 7, 2003, 3:17 pm

    http://www.supermediastore.com/pqi-pendrive.html – this place has lower than MSR prices.

    How much protection do you get from a floppy disk? From a CDR? From a PCMCIA card, from a CF card, from a SD card? No, I do not consider it a con that it doesn’t have protection.

    Judie :0)

  • carphead November 7, 2003, 5:25 pm

    The flash drive memory controller needs to support booting. Most USB Flash drives do not.

    Normally its one of the first features on the list.

  • mattparker November 7, 2003, 6:33 pm

    There is a USB 2.0 version available. It looks a little different. J and R has the 256mb for $70


  • One of One November 12, 2003, 1:41 am

    Good news guys!

    The USB 2.0 version is available… we all know that.

    The 512MB version will be available soon.

    I emailed PQI twice with some questions, and the guy that got back to me both times said that it supports passwords (security). He said you could lock your computer with it and password protect your files on the Stick itself as well. You just have to download the security software for the Stick off of their site to enable this.

    He also said that this software will enable it to become a bootable device.

    Too cool. 😎 You couldn’t ask for more with a thumb drive like this.

    When the 512MB version is out, I’m buyin it fo sho! And the best thing is that based on how much these things cost, the price is very reasonable.

  • patrice November 19, 2003, 4:59 pm

    Do you have some details about the application which locks the computer?

  • cdj360 November 21, 2003, 9:41 am

    Hi Judie
    Can you tell me what this is for, as i havent seen it mentioned anywhere in your review:


  • Judie November 21, 2003, 2:41 pm

    Evidently it is a USB adapter that you can plug the Intelligent Stick into. I am not sure why you would need it, as the IS itself works fine directly in the USB port.

    Perhaps one of our readers could enlighten us?

    Judie :0)

  • JSBrake December 5, 2003, 5:16 pm

    The adapter is merely a casing to hold the device; it provides a (potentially) longer usable life.

    Consider: the ISe plugs directly into the USB port… what if you accidently hit it? The adapter is bigger and stronger; it provides a nice grip for my big fingers and a housing for inserting into the port.

    I have one with my IS — bulkier but the package is still pretty tiny.

  • KRamsauer May 20, 2004, 3:32 pm

    This thing is so great. I leave mine in my wallet.

  • jdeskelley June 11, 2004, 10:52 pm

    The link to get drivers for windows 98 came up as “cannot be displayed” can I get it somewhere else?

Leave a Comment