Review: Sony Vaio TX & TZ series neoprene case

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 Amazonir?t=pocketables 20&l=ur2&o=1 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here), 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.

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Jenn K. Lee

Jenn K. Lee is the founder of Pocketables. She loves gadgets the way most women love shoes and purses. The pieces in her tech wardrobe that go with everything are currently the Samsung Galaxy Note II, Sony Tablet P, and Nexus 7, but there are still a couple of vintage UMPCs/MIDs in the back of her closet.

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9 thoughts on “Review: Sony Vaio TX & TZ series neoprene case

  • Avatar of Bruno

    This thing is amazingly ugly :-) Sony is great when it comes to design of their hardware, but their cases are hit-and-miss, and mostly miss!

  • Agreed. I think this is a fine example of the “you get what you pay for” saying.

    I filled out the return paperwork with Amazon the day I got the case and will be dropping it in the mail this afternoon. I ordered this case a few days ago. It should be delivered this week, I think, so I’m hoping for much better luck this time around. :-)

    It’s really annoying that there aren’t more product shots available. I hate finding out about dumb things like Velcro in person. This leather case I ordered has “easy-access magnetic snaps,” so even though I don’t really know exactly what it looks like from all angles, at least I know there’s no Velcro!

    What are you using for your TX?

  • Avatar of Bruno

    I do not use a carrying case per se – I do not carry the laptop on its own, it is usually in my bag or a briefcase. I have bought a case to protect it from scratches or bumps though. It is the one listed on Sony’s website as “semi-hard case”, which describes it pretty well. I do not know what the case is made of, but it protects very well and does not add bulk nor weight. It does not look great, but not nearly as bad as some other ones.
    This is the one:

  • Avatar of Bruno

    P.S. Could not agree more about the lack of product shots! I have contacted a dozen of Samsung’s resellers asking for a picture of the “Samsung Urban Cross Bag 2” – and while all resellers are happy to take an order, none of them has a picture!

  • I just found and bought this case that seems to be available only in Japan. I found it on eBay for a reasonable price (only $40!) and it includes that little accessory pouch.

    I have a feeling I’ll like this case better than the leather one I bought the other day. All I want is a Vaio-branded sleeve, really. Like you, I want to slip the TZ into another bag.

    The case you have looks nice and understated. I especially like the zippers! Are there any inner pockets?

  • Avatar of Bruno

    No, there are no pockets, I suppose they would add bulk to the case. I have never really needed them though. The case is just the right size that if you need to carry the laptop and a few print-outs, they fit very nicely in it even without pockets.
    The case you have bought looks really good. Never saw that one before. Good find!

  • Avatar of richyhu

    I have the same CKTZ2 leather case for my TZ. It is a little expensive but fits beautifully. Looks very nice too. The magnetic strap has 2 positions – 1 for the laptop with the regular or lightweight battery and another one to accomodate the TZ with the extended battery on.

  • Avatar of MathProfJohnson

    Jenn- Imagine that I bought that case for my t150 in blue!!! LOL… I now keep my t150 in a Tucano 10″ sleeve. It is a zipped case similar to the VAIO sleeve for the s-series from Sony.

  • @ Bruno: I just realized that the case you have isn’t listed on Sony Style’s U.S. site. There’s one that looks similar to yours except it’s made of leather. It’s weird that Sony sells certain cases exclusively to certain regions.

    @ richyhu: Thanks for the info on the magnetic strap. I was actually wondering about it because it doesn’t look completely smooth in the product shots.

    UPS is scheduled to deliver the case tomorrow. I hope it’s as slim as I think it is . . .

    @ MathProfJohnson: I had no idea it even came in blue! The Tucano sleeves look good and unassuming. Are they padded?


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