Sony CLIE TH-55
Even though Sony is bowing out of the PDA arena, that doesn’t mean accessory manufactures have to follow suit and abandon the CLIE line of PDAs. In fact, my favorite PDA case manufacturer Vaja has just released a new leather case for the newest and unfortunately last
Vaja’s SO81 custom leather case is available in a nice selection of colors depending on the option of embossing or non-embossing. For those wishing to have their case embossed with a name or company logo, there are 11 colors to choose from. There are 15 colors available in the Tan Analine / Floater non-embossing leather versions.
Since this is a custom case, Vaja will not have them in stock when you place your order. Each case is made to the buyer’s specifications. Besides embossing, color and type of leather, you can also choose if you want card slots in the flip cover, and if you want the cover to be padded. You also have the choice of the interior material. This can be either a soft leather, or the same type/color leather as the exterior.
I was sent the Vitelino Chocolate with padded cover and card slots. As always, the first time you open a box containing a Vaja leather case, you’re almost assaulted by the smell of quality leather. This time was no different.
After inspecting the case for blemishes or manufacturing defects and finding none, I popped off the built-in plastic screen cover and slipped my TH-55 into the leather holster. This case is a little different than most; the TH-55 slides into the holster horizontally instead of vertically. The holster fully encloses the PDA except for the cutouts for various buttons and connection points. A snap holds the PDA very securely in place. There’s no way your CLIE will fall out of this case…
One large cutout exposes the display and status LEDs. This cutout lines up perfectly and does not inhibit use.
There is one small half circle cutout on the right side of the holster that I guess is just there as convenient push point to facilitate extracting the PDA from the case.
The left side of the holster has access for the Voice recorder switch, Power/Hold slider, shutter and capture switches, and earphone jack. The snap that holds the PDA in the case can be unsnapped to expose the Memory Stick slot cover. It’s pretty difficult to insert and remove Memory Sticks while they are in the case though. The little cover can barely flip open far enough to allow you to get access to the media.
The bottom of the case has a large cutout that exposes both the application buttons and sync port. The reset switch can be accessed by slightly shifting the bottom of the case to the right. Instead of a simply punching a hole in the leather, Vaja placed a small circular mesh grill cover over the microphone.
The screen cover portion of the case is sewn into the middle of the case back, so that it can flip down to allow access to the built-in camera and jog dial. A larger circular mesh grill covers the speaker.
Although taking pictures with the CLIE is not difficult while in this case, using the jog dial. does feel a bit awkward. E-book readers may find this less than pleasant.
The cover itself has quite a bit of built-in storage with 2 regular business card slots, 1 large slot behind them, and 2 Memory Stick slots. I wish Vaja would include a thin leather protector between the cards and screen like Extreme Limit does with their cases. If you don’t use a screen protector on your PDA screen, I would fear that the plastic credit cards and media cards might press against the PDA screen and cause scratches.
Everyday use with this case has been great. It looks gorgeous and doesn’t add much to the overall size and weight of the CLIE. It’s always hard to find a fault when it comes to Vaja’s products. As always, there is the price issue… This isn’t a $25-30 case. And while the Vaja case probably doesn’t offer much more protection than a cheaper case, it is a case that will protect your PDA and offer a measure of luxury and class that many other cases just can’t reach.
Price: Starting $82.90 – $136.90 ($106.90 as reviewed)
Hard to use jog dial
Memory Stick slot cover can’t quite open fully