Review: Sony Vaio TZ leather case (VGP-CKTZ2)
The Vaio Leather Carrying Case (VGP-CKTZ2) sits at the top of Sony’s line of accessories for its TZ series of ultraportable notebooks. Available in black and champagne gold, the leather case is luxurious, elegant, and slim.
But all that style doesn’t come cheap. Carrying a suggested retail price of $150, the CKTZ2 is pricey protection for an even pricier notebook.
Is it worth it?
The CKTZ2 case is made of a high-quality cushioned leather that is smooth and supple.
Unlike Sony’s Neoprene Protection Case, this one is well made and befits even the most style-conscious business professional with even stitching and a minimalist design.
The all-black case is accented with an understated silver Vaio logo on the front.
The back is briefcase- or binder-like in its simplicity. A small pocket would’ve been a nice addition, but I suppose its exclusion ensures that the case retains its slim profile.
Since Sony is stingy with its press shots, the accordion-style sides were not what I was expecting when I ordered the case. They’re growing on me now, but I wasn’t fond of them at first.
As shown in the three photos above, craftsmanship and general build quality is pretty flawless. The edges are nicely rounded and finished, which is a welcomed departure from the leather case (VGP-CCUX1) designed for the Sony Vaio UX Micro PC series.
Even more surprising than the accordion sides is the way the CKTZ2 opens.
"Designed for quick and easy insertion/removal of your Vaio from the top of the case" is printed on the back of the box, which I think is slightly misleading. It isn’t difficult to insert/remove the TZ from the case, but the "flaps" make it more cumbersome than my definition of "quick and easy."
The flaps at the top are held shut by a magnetic strap made of coarser-grained leather than the rest of the case. Paired with the two indentations corresponding to the magnetic buttons on the back, the strap is the aesthetically weak element of what is otherwise a very beautiful design.
The Vaio TZ fits securely and perfectly into the case. It slides in and out easily (once the flaps are out of the way) and adds very little bulk to the thin notebook.
The inside of the case is lined with a soft cloth that feels like a combination of wool and felt.
There are two magnetic buttons attached to the leather strap.
The one closest to top of the strap (above right) gives the case some breathing room so that it can accommodate the TZ with the extended battery, while the other button (above left) is for use with the standard battery.
Here are some comparison pictures of the CKTZ2 leather case next to the TZ to better illustrate how compact and slim the case really is.
And here’s the case (with the TZ inside it) next to my Samsung Q1P UMPC with matching organizer and keyboard.
The Sony Vaio VGP-CKTZ2 leather case may be an expensive way to protect a subnotebook, but it’s absolutely worth every penny. Its impeccable design and quality construction are the perfect complement to the Vaio TZ series.
The case can be purchased from Sony Style, Amazon, and other retailers for between $130 and $150.