Sony CLIÉ PEG-NZ90/U
Back in the 80’s when I had a black bob, thought that Robert Smith (of the Cure)
was the "end-all/be-all", and when I would wear just about any piece of clothing as long as it
was black, I was toting around a Filofax paper based organizer. Granted, this
was a black Celtic design embossed beauty of a binder, complete with silver
accents. It fit right in with my whole "scary-girl" image, yet allowed me to
still be the organized person that I had to be.
In 2003, my image has softened up a bit, but I still like things that
have a certain edgier style about them. That’s why when I saw the new Xigma NZ90 Jacket – Metallic
Model I was immediately intrigued. This case is arty, edgy and eye-catching,
but unlike some other products that try to accomplish all of these
characteristics at once, it still manages to be extremely well made and composed
of only the finest materials. This case is available in two styles, Bi-Fold
(book style) or Flip. I received the latter.
As with any case made for the CLIÉ NZ90, there are a couple of challenges
that must be met. As I mentioned in a different case review for this same PDA,
the following issues must be addressed: First you have to deal with the fact
that the sync/charge port is on the middle upper back of the PDA, instead of the
more traditional and convenient bottom. Next is the placement of the Memory
Stick slot, which is on the right side – perfect for being accidentally ejected.
Then there is the hunchback caused by the 2 mega-pixel camera which needs to be
camouflaged. Last is the Compact Flash slot on the bottom which must remain open
because it is intended for a protruding WiFi card.
The Flip’s exterior is fashioned from black cowhide that has been embossed
with a hodge-podge of silver letters, similar to newsprint. Almost everything
appears to be written backwards, and on my case the only print that actually
made sense was the "Art Stone Dancewear" blurb on the front, and the phrase "A
Bad Day at the Office" on the back. HA! There are a variety of fonts
used, and the whole effect is simply fun, yet tasteful. The edges
of the case are stitched in a contrasting white thread which just adds to the
overall couture-graffiti vibe.
The interior of the case is slightly more sedate, featuring black Napa
leather trimmed with matching suede lambskin. A Napa holster cradles the
bottom half of the NZ90, allowing the PDA to be used in either keyboard or
The padded and ABS plastic reinforced flip-lid is held in place with a
magnetic snap, so with that in mind it would probably be better to not store a
credit card in the interior pocket. Two Memory Sticks can be stored in the
provided slots, but if you tend to keep your PDA in tablet mode as I do, you
might not want to put anything there.
A slot is present at the bottom of the CLIÉ for the Compact Flash WiFi card,
but when the flip-lid is down it will not fasten if the card is still inserted.
The left side of the case has a hole punched so that the reset button is
accessible, and the leather continues up this side to the bottom of the voice
The right side of the Flip is a bit more open, allowing access to not only
the Power and Hold buttons, but also to the Memory Stick slot. Personally, I
think this is a mistake as the memory card has a tendency to be accidentally
ejected in this location. I prefer a case that will keep it covered. Before you
ask, let me say that I don’t find it inconvenient to extract the NZ90 from the
case to remove or insert the memory card, because I seldom need to; I have a 1GB
Memory Stick Pro. ☺
The camera is easily accessible by flipping back
the case. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the sync/charge port. It
is impossible to use the cradle or a cable when the CLIÉ is in the Flip, so it
is necessary to remove it.
Based on the special needs that are presented
due to the form factor of the NZ90, there are a couple places that this case
falls slightly short as well as a couple places that it excels. You can’t sync
or charge while the PDA is in this case and the Memory Stick slot is left
exposed, meaning that it can pop out accidentally. On the other hand, the
leather wraps beautifully around the NZ90s hunchback, and the camera is exposed
perfectly when needed. The Compact Flash WiFi card can be used with this case,
but it can’t be left in when the case is snapped shut.
Over all, I think this is a gorgeous case
that has more personality than any I have seen to date. If you are a rebel at
heart but you have to look somewhat respectable, then I think this case will be
just the ticket.
Beautiful, arty case that offers an individual and creative flair
Extremely well made with excellent materials and craftsmanship
Can not sync or charge while PDA is in case
Open access to Memory Stick allows it to be accidentally popped out
Padded flip-lid adds a bit of bulk to the already pudgy NZ90