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