Sony advertises its Neoprene Protection Case (VGP-CCTR/J) as "the perfect fit in size and style for your TX series notebook." It can also accommodate the slightly larger (10.9" x 7.8" versus 10.7" x 7.7") Vaio TZ, Sony’s newest ultraportable laptop and the successor to the TX series.
But just because it can doesn’t mean it should.
Read on to find out why the search for the ultimate companion for my new TZ170N is far from over.
Contrary to its name, the "neoprene" case is made primarily of cushioned nylon reminiscent of grade-school backpack shoulder straps.
The focal point of the case is a cheap-looking piece of "metal" bearing the Vaio logo. The tag is not only lopsided and fused to the case, but also full of scratches.
The (neoprene?) netting is slightly rough to the touch and makes a weird crinkling, crunchy sound when pushed/pressed. It’s sort of like a combination of stepping on dried leaves and that sound a toddler in diapers makes when crawling or walking.
There’s also something very creepy and nest-like about the material, especially close-up.
A reflective silver tubing-of-sorts is sewn (with relatively straight and even stitches) around most of the case’s edges, which ties in nicely to the logo and adds some visual appeal.
Instead of something more professional and discreet like buttons or magnetic snaps, the case uses a Velcro closure. Velcro is secure, sure, but I can’t stand it. It’s loud and ugly and belongs on children’s shoes or waterproof "ripper" wallets. It has no place on an accessory designed for a $2,000+ notebook.
The large pocket on the back of the case also makes use of a piece of Velcro.
I really would never have bought the case if any of the product pages mentioned the closures (or anything else, for that matter; there are basically no details about this case available anywhere).
The CCTR/J neoprene case provides a decent fit for the TZ, but I assume it fits the TX a little better.
Even though the TZ is only two-tenths of an inch longer and one-tenth of an inch taller than the TX, the fact that Sony does not explicitly list the TZ as a "compatible device" for this case should be taken into consideration.
The Vaio TZ fits into the case both right-side up and upside down, though it seems to go more deeply to the bottom of the case in the former position.
I normally expect a neoprene case to add very little bulk to whatever it’s encasing, so this was an unpleasant surprise.
You might remember from my Vaio TZ unboxing post how thick the Samsung Q1P with the organizer pack looked in comparison to the TZ. Now look!
The Sony Neoprene Protection Case is nicely priced (only $27 at Amazon), but based on build quality and appearance, it should really be included free with every TX and TZ purchase. I don’t doubt the case’s ability to protect a notebook (it’s thick enough, after all), but it’s cheaply made and absolutely not the "perfect fit in style and size" for an ultraportable Vaio.