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XDA II Case Review: Cases for the O2 XDA II, iMate, MDA II and Qtek 2020
Posted August 2004 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief

Vaja Flip Top Leather Case

Vaja is the Mercedes of cases, offering top quality leather, intelligent and ergonomic designs, many colors and several customizations too. Their embossed flip top case uses Vitelino leather and the unembossed case uses traditional Aniline leather.

Their leather flip top custom built case fits the XDA II like a glove, adding little bulk. The semi-gloss leather has an attractive grain, and you can order this case in one of nine colors (embossed) or select from five two-tone color combinations for the unembossed case.

Once you select your case color, you can add options such as SD card slots inside the front flap, a matching leather lining, belt clip, extra cover cushioning and personalization such as logoing or having your name stamped inside the case. We received the base version of the custom case in Latte with a soft leather interior, no SD slots and no extra cover cushioning.

This case is extremely attractive and slim, and the front cover has a very rigid insert to provide added protection for the screen. The XDA II is encased in leather, with openings for the sync port (you can sync via cable but not cradle when the XDA II is in the case), reset hole, headset jack and mic. A cut down on the side provides easy access to the volume slider, camera and voice recorder buttons. As you can see from the photo on the right, the flip cover can fold far down so you can take photos when the XDA II is in the case. A very nice design: the lens is protected, yet you can easily take photos when the unit is in the case. The case has a snap closure.

What can we say? Another attractive and well designed case from the folks at Vaja!

Web site: www.vajacases.com

Price: $54.90 and up

 

Vaja case
back of Vaja XDA II case
vaja case

 

Top left, front of case. Top right, back of case: notice the flap that opens low to expose the camera lens to take photos.

side of Vaja case

 

 

Piel Frama Leather Case

Piel Frama makes top of the line cases for almost every PDA. Their cases are stylish, classy and extremely well made. Like Vaja, they make high end cases that add a touch of class to any PDA or smartphone.

We received their two tone cow skin leather case in tan and black with contrasting stitching. The case is also available in solid tan and solid black, and they make crocodile and ostrich cases as well. Piel Frama is one of the few companies making a case both for the naked XDA II and the XDA II in the CF backpack.

Piel Frama's cow skin case is made of aromatic mid-grain leather that's supple and thick enough to be protective while not adding much bulk. The interior leather surfaces are very smooth and soft, and will not scratch your phone. The case comes with a removable belt clip system.

Leather surrounds the XDA II, protecting the sides and front bezel. There are cutouts for the sync port (you can sync via cable but not cradle), headset jack, reset hole and the volume/camera/voice recorder control cluster on the left side. The leather doesn't extend far enough around the unit to block the mic, so no mic cutout is necessary.

Inside the front flap you'll find two SD card slots, three credit card/business card slots and a large pocket that runs the length of the flap behind the card slots. The flap is internally reinforced to increase screen protection. While not as rigid as the Vaja case, it affords plenty of protection. The case has a snap closure.

Piel Frama cases are always among our favorites, and the XDA II case is no exception: it's beautiful, classy and keeps our investment safe.

Web site: www.pielframa.com

Price: 60 Euros (about $74)

 

Piel Frama XDA II case
Piel Frama case
Piel Frama XDA II case

 

Top left: front of case finished in two-tone leather. Top right: back of case with belt clip mount and hole for camera lens.

Piel Frama leather PDA case

 

PDair Aluminum Case

Looking for even more protection for that expensive smartphone? Consider the aluminum case from PDair. As you'd expect, the case is rigid and is great for those who pack their XDA II into a bag with lots of hard gear, accidentally site on their PDAs or keep it wedged in a tight pants pocket. The case is made of scratch-resistant aircraft grade aluminum and comes with a removable belt clip.

The case is lined with soft neoprene to add shock protection and protect the XDA II from scratches. Inside the front cover you'll find an SD card holder (see photo, right). PDair's case is well-machined: it's smooth, evenly finished and has no sharp edges. The hinge works smoothly and the tab compression closure holds tight. Slide the XDA II into the case from the top and the tight fit and four wrap-around metal tabs will hold it firmly in place.

Most aluminum cases completely cover the front face, which is fine for a PDA but awkward for a device that doubles as a phone. You want to quickly see who's calling and be able to make calls with the case closed. PDair takes care of this: a small window allows you to see incoming calls on screen, and cutouts for the speaker and lower control cluster (call send/end buttons, d-pad and mic) mean you can chat with the case closed.

In addition, there are holes for the camera lens, external antenna port, reset hole, headset jack, sync port (you can sync via cable but not cradle) and the left side control cluster.

PDair's aluminum case is well thought out, finely made and doesn't get in the way of using the XDA II as a phone and PDA. The only drawback with metal cases is that they do block RF somewhat, which means you may lose one bar of signal strength when the unit is in the case. This shouldn't be a problem if you live and work in areas of strong service, but if you're in a marginal coverage area, it may be a deal breaker.

Web site: www.pdair.com

Price: ~ $30

 

PDair Aluminum case

 

PDair iMate Aluminum case

 

Proporta Alu-Leather Flip Top Case

Can't decide between the elegant look and cushioned safety of leather and aluminum's strength? Check out Proporta's Aluminum Lined Leather PDA Case. This black leather case sports a thick aluminum insert sewn inside the flip cover. In fact, a cutout inside the front flip reveals the aluminum and is engraved with "proporta.com" so you know it's there! This protects the most delicate part of the PDA, the screen, while encasing the rest of the unit in soft leather.

The case is finished in tightly grained black leather with white contrasting stitching. Unlike the Vaja and Piel Frama cases, which wrap the sides and front bezel in leather, the Alu-Leather case uses two 1" wide side grips that hold the unit in the case. This means all ports are easy to get to and you can sync via both cable and cradle when the phone is in the case, but your XDA II won't have any side protection. The case has a magnetic snap closure, making it easy to close the case when on the go.

Inside the front flip you'll find two molded SD card slots and matching finished leather. The section of the case that touches the back of the XDA II is very soft suede which is easy to fold down when you need to expose the camera lens to take photos. The case comes with a removable belt clip and a removable insert flap with a clear plastic window that's suitable for a photo ID or similar items.

While metal cases can reduce wireless phone reception, the Alu-Leather case covers only one face of the XDA II with aluminum. We found it reduced signal reception about 15% compared to 25% for metal hard cases.

If you crave the look of leather but want added protection for your XDA II's screen, the unique Proporta Alu-Leather case is just what the doctor ordered.

Web site: www.proporta.com

Price: $34.95

 

 

 

Proporta Alu-Leather case
Proporta case

PDair Flip Top and Book Style Leather Cases

Who says a nice leather case has to cost lots of money? PDair cases are attractive, well-made and sturdy but sell for much less than top-of-the-line cases. While their cases don't come in myriad colors (black is their color of choice), they are made of very good quality leather and have plenty of creature comforts to please most folks.

PDair makes both a book (side opening) and flip top case for the XDA II, and these are pictured on the right. Each case is finished in fine grain black leather with suede on the inside back where the case touches the smartphone. The inner flap in covered in finished leather that matches the outside grain, and each have two SD card slots and three business card slots inside the cover.

PDair cases feature magnetic snap closures, making it easy to close the case when on the go. The book style case has a cutout in the back for the camera lens, while the flip top case's cover "joint" area is extremely soft and supple, making it easy to flip the cover back far enough to expose the lens when taking photos.

Both cases use 1" wide leather-covered metal grips to hold the XDA II in place, and these can be bent for a tighter or looser fit. The cases are stitched in white inside and out, contrasting nicely with the black leather.

Since grips rather than wrap-around leather hold the PDA in place, the sides, bottom and top are completely open, making it easy to get to all buttons, ports and switches. Of course, this design doesn't afford side protection, but it is convenient and you can sync via cable and cradle while the XDA II is in the case.

If you're looking for a reasonably priced, attractive and functional case for your XDA II, do check out PDair.

Web site: www.pdair.com

Price: ~ $35

PDair book style PDA case
PDair leather PDA smartphone case

Above, the book style case. Below, the flip top case.

PDair PDA case

 

 

PDAir XDA II case

 

 

 

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