Sony CLIÉ NZ90
A question that presents itself when one owns a metal clamshell PDA, such as
the Sony CLIÉ NZ90, is whether an aftermarket case is even necessary. Part
of the beauty in the clamshell design is that the PDA provides its own screen
protection when the screen is rotated to face the keyboard.
Since I mainly use my NZ90 in tablet mode, or with the screen rotated to the
outside, I like to keep it in a case – if for no other reason than for screen
protection. Evidently I am not the only person that likes to keep my Sony this
way, because Vaja has actually created a
case that caters to people like me: the
Custom Flip Top Case for
Sony CLIÉ PEG-NZ90. There are ten choices of color combinations available; I
was sent the Vitelino Azebache and Vitelino Passion (black with red accent).
The only branding on the case is the familiar metal Vaja tag at the bottom of
the flip-lid. Note the silver mesh over the rear speaker cutout. This is one of
the touches that I have come to expect from Vaja. It is also something that I
consider somewhat necessary, as the NZ’s speaker is not always as loud as I
The #739 almost defies description, as it is unlike any case I have ever
seen. It is a combination of the classic snapping flip-lid style, with the twist
of an added window flap. This flap is useful at times when you need easy access
to the screen while in tablet mode. Here you can see the two ways for accessing
the PDA when it is in this case, either with the snapping flip-lid (which
exposes the entire PDA and keyboard), or with the magnetized flap (which exposes
just the NZ’s screen.
The flap portion of the flip-lid is reinforced with ABS plastic, and it has
one slot for an ID or business card, as well as two memory card pockets. There
is no fear of anything touching the CLIÉ’s screen because of the way the flap
rests on the borders of the flip-lid.
The left side of the case allows easy access to the jog-dial, Back and Voice
Recorder buttons, as well as a perfectly centered cutout for the reset button.
The right side of the case allows access for the sliding power and Hold
buttons, as well as the headphone jack and camera capture button. The memory
stick access is blocked, which is how I like it, as the retraceable design can
make it easy to accidentally pop them out.
A unique feature of this case is the snapping flap on the rear that when
opened exposes the camera lens. Unlike other NZ cases I have reviewed which
require the entire flip-lid to be kept pressed against the back of the CLIÉ,
this method presents a much more elegant and easier to hold solution. The small
flap is held against the body of the NZ by use of a cleverly placed magnet.
As it is, the camera flap exposes the entire hump on the back of the CLIÉ,
including the flexible door that hides the sync/charge port. Even though there
was no mention of it at the Vaja site, I couldn’t help but wonder if the flap
folded down enough to allow a sync/charge cable to be inserted. I gave it a try
with an Instant Power 3in1 charger,
and sure enough – it worked!
For times when you need access to the entire CLIÉ, the flip-lid can be
unsnapped revealing the leather holster that holds the bottom level of the NZ90.
This configuration is good for times when you need access to the keyboard.
A perfectly placed slot is cut in the bottom of the case, allowing access to
the CF clot. When the flip-lid is snapped shut, this slot is still accessible,
in fact, you can leave the WiFi card in place when opening or closing the
flip-lid due to the over sized cut-out in the snap tab.
The front flap comes into play when you have the NZ in tablet mode, and you
need easy access to the screen. Two magnets hold the flap securely closed, but
with a pull the flap swings freely downward.
I wish the flap could flip up instead of down, but it can’t
because then it would block the camera when its flap is opened. In this
configuration, when the camera and front flaps are both open, it is obvious that
Vaja considered easy picture taking and viewing when they created this design.
.Using the CLIÉ in portrait mode, with just the front flap open, is
convenient,. However, you do have to open the snapping flip-lid to access the
four hard buttons on the screens edge. If you don’t mind accessing these four
applications via the screen, then you might never need to bother with the
The #739 is a unique case featuring an innovative design and unparalleled
quality in both materials and construction. It is a little bit bulkier than the
Vaja case I
use everyday, but the convenience of the flaps may make up for that in some
user’s eyes. Make no mistake about it, this case is a luxury item. It is up to
you as to whether it is a justifiable one or not.
Innovative design and unparalleled quality in both materials and construction
Easy & fast access to the camera
Camera flap allows access for some sync/charge cables
Unique use of magnets keeps flaps closed or out of the way
You can’t access the four buttons on the bottom of the case when only the flap