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PDA Case Review Roundup: Cases for the Sony Clié NX73V and NX80V: Xigma and Brando

Xigma Deluxe Model

Xigma Style, a Japanese company, makes lovely leather cases for the Sony Clié line as well as other PDAs. Their NZ90 Metallic leather case, reviewed here, illustrates their creative approach to case design and fashion. Xigma was one of the first companies to releases cases for the NX73V and NX80V, which can't use cases for the older NX60 and NX70 because the location of various ports and the speaker have changed, and the CF slot deploys outward, requiring a wider or more flexible case.

We received the Deluxe Model for this review, which sells for $78 US and is available in several color combinations: (outside / inside) Black / Red, Black / Beige , Black / Black and Black / Blue. The Deluxe case is made of calf skin leather that's supple and finely grained. It definitely has a quality look. The inside is calf skin, and the areas that touch the NX (the darker black area in the photo) are very lamb soft suede. The spine area is soft enough that you can easily flip the cover under the NX so that it won't be in your way when using the PDA. The front and back covers are quite rigid to offer good protection. The Basic Model, which has a similar design is Napa cowhide instead of calf skin leather, costs $48 US.

The Xigma case has a front magnetic snap closure, and the case opens with the cover flap to the right. Inside the front cover are pockets for two memory sticks and a larger pocket that can accommodate credit cards, cash or a CF card. The NX slips into a snug leather pouch that covers the bottom area below the keyboard. This is the most common method of holding an NX in place inside a case. The pouch has a cut out for the sync/charge connector, and you can charge and sync the Clié using a cable but not the cradle while it's in the case. There are three small holes cut into the back of the case for the speaker.

You can store the NX in the case in either clamshell or tablet mode, and you can flip it from one mode to the other easily while it's in the case. Since the sides and top are exposed, you'll have easy access to all ports and controls. The camera is not obstructed by the case unless you swivel the lens to a 90 degree angle facing out the backside of the NX (all cases I've seen do obscure the lens in this position). Though the case fits snuggly when closed, there's enough give in the leather to accommodate a CF memory card or Sony's WiFi card in the slot.

The Xigma Deluxe Model is a quality case that will protect your NX in style without adding too much bulk. It's quite easy to use the PDA when in the case. Xigma makes several other models and styles of NX73V/NX80V cases, so be sure to check them out if you're interested in top flips, or more affordable nylon models.

http://xigma.jp/en/

 

Xigma NX80V case inside the Xigma NX80V case

Side view of Xigma case

Brando Workshop Clié NX73V/NX80V Case

Brando is a Hong Kong company that sells an extensive line of accessories for Sony Cliés (and other PDAs), including cases, cables, chargers, styli, Memory Sticks and more. Their cases are well made and reasonably priced at $32 US for the NX73 / NX80 top or side flip models.

We received the top flip case for review, and it's pictured on the right. The case is made of leather, and inner portion that touches the back of the NX is suede. The the suede is not as soft as the Xigma case, the Brando Workshop case is more affordable and its suede should be gentle enough for you Clié. The outside and inner flap are covered in medium grain cowhide that's contrast stitched in white.The back and front sections of the case are reasonably rigid, affording good protection for the NX. For the price, the case has a good quality look. The case closes via a tabbed closure: a strip of leather slides into a leather retaining band, similar to a belt closure. Inside the front cover, you'll find two Memory Stick slots that are recessed so they don't rub the NX, and a larger slot that can hold credit cards, money or a CF card.

While most flip cases flip open toward the top, the Brando case flips down (see picture on the far right). This can be awkward since top flip cases don't hang down in your lap and can be flipped over the top and back, letting gravity keep it out of the way. With the Brando case, you'll need to flip the cover up and back around the bottom, holding it there with your hand. You can also use the tabbed closure which works just as well in the open position as it does in the closed position.

The Brando case also uses a leather pouch that fits around the bottom area of the NX, encasing the area below the keyboard. It has a cut out for the sync connector and you can sync/charge the NX via cable but not cradle while it's in the case. The sides and top of the Clié are exposed, making it easy to access the various controls and headphone port. Since the top of the case is open, you won't have any problems carrying the NX with a CF card in the expansion slot. As with most other NX cases, the camera lens swivel is accessible, and you'll be able to take pictures, except with the lens facing at a 90 degree angle out the back of the NX (you can slide the PDA 1/2" out of the case to take pictures at this angle, however).

All is all, a very nice case at a reasonable price.

shop.brando.com.hk

 

 

Brando Workshop Sony Clie case

 

NX80V in Brando case

Brando NX73V case

 

 

 

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