The official leather case (VGP-CCUX1) for the Sony Vaio UX series made its debut here in October, and now it’s back for a full review.
Here’s what Sony says about it: "Designed specifically for the VAIO® UX Series Micro PC, the VGP-CCUX1 case securely holds your UX computer and battery in place while protecting it from scratches. Ideal for the commuter or constant traveler, this stylish case is available in black and constructed of genuine leather to provide extra protection."
And here’s my take.
Atypical of Sony, the VAIO Leather Protection Case (as it’s officially called) is packaged as though it’s destined for a bin at the flea market.
The clear plastic bag leaves little to the imagination, but I bet you didn’t expect all this.
In addition to the leather case, Sony includes a limited lifetime warranty through Targus, a personal contact information card (to give to a new friend?), and a packet of desiccate. Good thing I don’t award points in reviews because Sony would get a big zero here.
What the case lacks in presentation, it makes up for in build quality and general appearance.
Here are some extreme close-up shots to give you a better idea of its construction. You can see that all of the stitches are even and aligned and that the grain of the cushioned leather is pretty nice.
The bottom edges of the leather are a bit rough though, giving the case a bit of an unfinished look.
People say it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Velvet, "Made in China" tag, and no inner pockets. Sony is clearly all about appearances.
The magnetic strips that keep the case closed are very visible. They’re strong and thick, too, which is why they’re easily detectable on the front of the case as well.
When I first put my UX180P into the case, I was positive it didn’t fit. The sides are stretchy to accommodate the extended battery, so length wasn’t the problem.
The tubular Wi-Fi antenna running along the top of the UX seemed to be in the way.
Only after a bit of stuffing did I manage to get the case closed. You can see how the antenna curves the top of the case.
The leather will likely stretch out a bit over time, but for now, the antenna leaves a slight indentation on the velvet.
Other than that, the UX fits securely in the case.
Here are a few comparison shots of the case and the UX.
The soft carrying case included with the UX is thicker than and not as sleek as the leather case, but I think the "dimples" created by the magnets slightly diminishes the former’s appeal.
Sony’s VGP-CCUX1 leather UX case is well made and well suited for executives in business meetings (where the ripping sound of the included case’s Velcro closure may not be welcome), but I’m not sure that there’s any compelling reason (other than aesthetics) for anyone to buy it. I got mine as a requested birthday gift, but only because I love cases like nobody’s business.
I haven’t tested it out, of course, but I don’t think this case offers any more protection than the case already bundled with the UX. It certainly doesn’t offer any added functionality. In fact, it takes some away. The other case has a belt loop and metal ring for attaching various straps and clasps; this case must be tucked into a larger bag or held in your hand.
It’s still rather nice to look at (despite it pocketless-ness) and reasonably priced through Amazon for about $30 (MSRP $49.99).
Thanks, Chris and Aaron!