Vaja Sony CLIE NX70 Case Review

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Product Requirements:
Sony CLIÉ NX70 Series PDAs

My first impressions of the Vaja case
for the Sony Clié NX-series were quite favorable. The scent of high-quality
leather wafted out of the box as soon as I opened the package, and I was greeted
by the sight of smooth and well-crafted leather workmanship. These first
impressions helped me understand why Vaja cases can be a bit on the pricey side.
You do get what you pay for…

Case Basics
This is the flip-top case (model number 737) in the black aniline/red floater
color and leather combination. It secures the NX in a sleeve method where the
lower half slips into the case to secure it. There are cutouts in the back of
the case to allow access to the reset button, as well as for the speaker. The
speaker cutout is covered with mesh for protection. The design of the speaker
cut-out speaks to the quality of the case – the mesh is integrated into the case
itself, sewn in between the front and back leather pieces, not simply glued to
the inside of the case.

A few comments on the leather – it is of a very high quality, as has already
been noted in other reviews of Vaja cases in The Gadgeteer. The Vaja site
describes the aniline leather as a soft leather with a smooth finish, where the
floater leather is a grained leather that takes regular use well. These
descriptions are accurate, and result in a sophisticated combination. The
stitching is small and uniform throughout. The only issue I noted on my case was
a small section on the front of the case where the red leather is stitched to
the black leather – the stitching does not go all the way to the top and the red
leather “flakes” a little where it is not held to the case all the way to the
tip (the following picture is not entirely clear, but note the way the corner of
the red leather sticks up a little). A minor annoyance in an otherwise beautiful
case, but not a deal-breaker.

There is a cutout in the top of the case for the CF slot. However, there is no
access to the memory stick slot or IR port without opening the case. At the
moment, I do not own the Sony wireless LAN card (which is currently the only
type of CF card that will work in this slot since Sony did not build in drivers
to the OS to allow other cards to work) and only use Memory Sticks, so fully
opening the case is necessary for each removal and insertion. The IR port is
also covered when the case is closed. There is also no cutout for the camera
lens if you have the NX70V Clié model.

The sides of the case are open – there is access to the headphone jack, Jog
Dial, and Back and Hold buttons. It’s also possible to use the lanyard
attachment while the NX is in the case – this is an option I like since I can
wrap the lanyard around my wrist in case I’m bumped on the subway while reading
an e-book and I don’t have to worry about dropping it.

The bottom of the case allows access to the HotSync connector, but the case must
be removed to place the NX in the cradle. The stylus can be easily accessed at
any time – the sleeve portion is slightly shorter on the right side versus the
left to allow this. The closure is a snap that securely wraps around to close on
the back. There are no memory stick storage slots or credit card/money slots in
this case, but these can be added for additional cost, as well as logo
embossment, belt clip, and personalization through the Vaja website.

The Case in Action
Using the NX (in tablet mode or “regular” mode to use the keyboard) results in
the flip-lid of the case hanging down over your hand, unless you fold the case
back completely and hold it in your hand – not at all inconvenient and expected
for this style of case. As mentioned previously, accessing the stylus is easy,
as is opening and closing the case. The NX feels securely held at all times – I
never worry that it will somehow loosen and fall. Yet it is easy to remove the
NX from the case to place it in the cradle. Placing the NX back into the case
the first few times is a bit of a snug fit, but it loosens up nicely after a
short time.

The case does not add significant bulk to the NX. I would imagine that the
addition of the optional credit card/money and memory stick slots would change
this, but would not affect the functionality or beauty of the case at all. I
carry my NX in my backpack, and am not concerned about damage to it from my cell
phone or keys – the case protects most of the NX from such elements. The front
of the case is reinforced with ABS plastic within – though I don’t leave the NX
in tablet mode when I put it in my backpack, it appears that this reinforcement
would provide adequate protection to the screen when closed. But since the case
does not completely cover all sides, the case would not fully protect the NX if

The only weakness I see is the top fold of the case – after roughly 2 weeks
of use, there are noticeable creases at the fold. Obviously, this is expected,
but the fact that the CF slot cutout is here as well does not help, since there
is little leather to work with at this critical junction. If any breakdown of
the case is to occur after long-term use, I think it would be here.

I think this is an excellent case. If you want something that oozes quality and
is entirely functional to protect your NX, this is the case for you. I’ve gotten
as many oohs and ahhs over the Vaja case as over my NX! The leather choices and
personalization options are great to match this case to your tastes and needs.
The only downsides from my perspective are the cost and the potential for
breakdown at the fold over time.

Special thanks to Judie and Julie of The Gadgeteer for sending this case to me
to review! And thanks to my husband, Tim, for proofreading and adding his
comments (even though he thinks I’m a big geek for loving this sort of stuff).

Price: $74.90 & up, depending on options selected
Available in a wide variety of colors and cowhide textures

Quality and style
Ability to add options/personalization

Price ($74.90 , options/personalization extra)
Wear and tear at fold


Product Information

  • Quality and style
  • Ability to add options/personalization
  • Price ($74.90 , options/personalization extra)
  • Wear and tear at fold

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