MobileTechReview.com PDA, Notebook and Phone Reviews and buyers guide
Phone Notebooks & Tablets Gaming Gadgets iPhone & iPad Shop Discussion

 


Advertisement


PDA Case Reviews:

Vaja Billfold Leather Case

Vaja has become the Mercedes of PDA cases. You can read our general review of several of their cases for other PDAs here. They use top quality leather and each case has the story of Vaja cases stamped into the interior back section of the case, giving you that sense of old world charm and class.The billfold case for the iPAQ 2215 sells for $74.90 to $80.90 US without a belt clip, and you can order it with a belt clip and/or other customizations for an additional fee. The billfold is a Custom case, which means it'll take about 20 days for your case to be made, and you can choose from several leather finishes and single or two-tone color combinations. In fact, all colors are listed with their Pantone numbers, so graphic designers, go to town matching a case to your favorite color!

We received the embossed version in Apple Green for review. Like all Vaja cases, it has a metal Vaja emblem on the front flap and the Vaja story embossed inside the case. The shiny embossed leather has color variations, as you can see from the pictures on the right. In photos, you might mistake it for suede due to the color variations but it is similar to patent leather (but not as shiny), with a hard surface texture and a definite sheen. The stitching matches the color of the leather and is finely done. The selection of colors and textures is refreshing, letting you express your individuality (you can get the case in black too).

The case has a snap closure, and the inner billfold has a separate snap closure. The billfold functions as a wallet, and has a full-length paper money compartment, and five credit card slots plus two SD card slots facing inward. The backside of the billfold section that faces the iPAQ screen has an additional credit card/business card slot. For a man who'd rather not carry both a wallet and a PDA, this case could be ideal, though these days few of us in the US carry around only 5 or 6 credit and ATM cards.

The Vaja case has cut outs for the CF and SD slots, the sync port (you can sync and charge via cable but not cradle), the charging and Bluetooth LEDs and the front buttons. There is no cut out for the power button, rather an embossed power symbol sits atop the power button location, and you can turn the unit on and off by pressing the power symbol. The case has a cut out for the headphone jack so you'll be able to listen to MP3s while the iPAQ is in its case. On the back, a small mesh grill covers the speaker hole, and there's a very small hole for the reset button. I found it a bit hard to use the 4 front buttons on the 2215 because the openings are rather small. The case fits snuggly, and you must be sure to get the iPAQ centered correctly so the leather doesn't overlap the buttons.

If you're looking for a quality case that does double-duty as a wallet and is available in many different colors and finishes, then by all means check out the Vaja Billfold case for the 2215. If you like the case but don't need a billfold, you'll be happy to know that Vaja offers a flip top case sans billfold for ~ $55 US.

www.vajacases.com


Vaja iPAQ 2215 case
Vaja case

vaja PDA case billfold view

Piel Frama Case

Piel Frama is always on my short list for leather PDA cases. Located in Spain, a country that's well known for leather-making, Piel Frama offers a wide selection of cases for many PDAs and mobile phones. You can read our general review of many of their cases for other PDAs here.

We received their cow skin leather model for review, which sells for 60 Euros (~$67 US). The case is also available in crocodile or ostrich (cow skin on the inside) for 90 Euros (~$99 US). The cow skin case is available in black, tan and black and tan. The leather is of excellent quality and is tightly grained and aromatic. The case has a magnetic closure that works very well, and has a removable belt clip. I love their magnetic closure: no velcro noise, and no fiddling to align a snap! The stitching matches the case color and is finely done.

The case's cover and back are reasonably rigid, offering good protection for your iPAQ. The back of the case is contour-cut, following the 2215's curved lines. There's a large mesh grill on the back for the speaker, and a cut out on the top for the CF and SD slots, as well as a cut out for the headphone jack. The front of the case is quite open, and it doesn't get in the way of the buttons or sync port (you'll still need to remove the iPAQ from the case if you wish to sync using the cradle).

Inside the flip cover there are 2 SD card slots, 3 credit card slots and a larger slot that can hold money, receipts and etcetera. The flip has enough play so that the cards won't be pressed against your iPAQ's screen, unless you squeeze it into a tight pocket.

If you're looking for a high quality case made in fine quality leather, put Piel Frama on your short list. The case adds relatively little bulk while providing good protection and easy access to the 2215's buttons and ports.

www.pielframa.com

 

 

Piel Frama iPAQ 2215 leather case

 

Piel Frama case

 

Krusell Handit PDA Case

Krusell is well known for their mobile phone cases. In addition, they make good quality leather PDA cases at reasonable prices. Each case has a metallic Krusell logo on the front and features reinforced leather that surrounds the front of the PDA. Their Handit case employs their capable and adaptable Multidapt® clip system which allows you to attach not only a variety of belt clips, but also car and bike holder clips which are available separately. The female clip is mounted permanently to the back of the case, and is very thin and unobtrusive.

The case is finished in medium grained black leather that has a slight sheen. The inner areas that directly contact the iPAQ are soft black suede. The back of the case is reasonably rigid, and the front flap is extremely rigid and should offer great screen protection. The inner flap has 2 SD card slots, 2 credit card slots and a larger slot that can hold an additional credit card, money or receipts. The case has a snap closure, with two female snaps on the back that allow you to adjust how tightly the case closes, in case you really load up the slot pockets.

The front of the case is open, so it doesn't get in the way of the iPAQ's buttons. I wouldn't mind if the side surrounds didn't wrap quite so far around the PDA, because you must get the iPAQ centered to avoid the case overlapping on the screen a tiny bit. There are cut outs for the sync connector (you can sync via cable but not cradle while the unit is in the case), and the reset button. The top flap contours in to allow access to the headphone jack, but there an no cut outs for the CF and SD slots, so you won't be able to carry the iPAQ with protruding cards (WiFi, GPS, modems) installed.

Krusell cases are available from many online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.

www.krusell.se

 

 

Krusell iPAQ 2215 case

Proporta Aluminum Case

If you're in the market for a hard case that will help your iPAQ survive bangs and whacks, the Proporta case is a great choice. Made of aluminum, the case is rigid yet lightweight (1.7 ounces) and adds very little bulk to your PDA. The interior of the case is lined with neoprene so the iPAQ won't be scratched, and there's a space for an SD card nestled in the neoprene that lines the inside of the front cover.

The case's edges are nicely machined and smooth so they won't cause you any pain on contact, and the hinges are sturdy and operate easily. The case closes via a compression clip on the left side, and has cut outs for the LEDs on front, and the speaker and reset hole in the rear. The sync connector cut out allows you to sync or charge the iPAQ via cable, but not cradle. The top rear edge of the case has dips for the stylus and CF slot so you won't need to remove the 2215 from the case to use these.

An extremely sturdy case that will offer a great deal of protection while adding very little weight and bulk. It sells for $39.95 US.

www.proporta.com

 

 

Proporta iPAQ 2215 aluminum case Proporta aluminum case

 

 

 

CASESonline Cases

CASESonline is an HP partner, and they make the lovely leather case included with the iPAQ 5500 series models. Their selection of iPAQ cases is simply amazing, offering 10 different case designs that are each available in quite a few styles (leather finishes and colors). Whatever your needs and tastes may be, chances are they have a case to suit. Their cases are well-crafted, stylish and custom designed to fit each iPAQ model.

Slim Case, Wall Street version $64.75

This lovely case is available in no less that 9 different styles, each of which is available in 4 or more colors. We received the Wall Street model in black, which is made of calf skin leather that's medium-grained and looks top quality and luxurious. The leather itself is soft to the touch, and the section that connects the cover to the back is supple, making it easy to open and close. Both the cover and back sections are reinforced and are quite rigid, and they also have padding. The case adds some bulk thanks to the padding and rigid inserts, but it's not cumbersome.

The iPAQ slides into the case and is held in place by a molded leather surround that connects to the back of the case via nylon webbing. It truly fits like a glove and the PDA will stay firmly in place. A stylus holder sits to the left of the iPAQ, and inside the cover you'll find 2 SD card slots, 2 credit card slots and a money pocket. The case is held closed by a tab closure.

There are cut outs for the power button, LEDS and sync port on the bottom. You can connect the PDA to a sync cable but not cradle while in the case. The top of the iPAQ is exposed, so you'll have no problem getting to the slots and headphone jack. The back of the case does not have an opening for the speaker or reset button.

This case is a strong contender! It has a very high quality look, a molded surround that holds the iPAQ firmly in place and plenty of protection. If you prefer to have an opening for the speaker, or want the slimmest possible case, then you may want to consider the slightly slimmer Piel Frama and Krusell cases.

Sleeve Case, Bond Street in Black $34.75

If you're looking for a simple case, check out the Sleeve Case, which is available in 10 different styles and several colors. The sleeve case is similar in design to the nylon case that's included with the 2215. Your iPAQ slips into the case, and is held in place by nylon webbing on the sides. But that's where the similarity ends! The included case fits too tightly and is rough, and has a tendency to pull the rubber grips off the iPAQ or even scratch it. The Sleeve Case has a better fit that should leave your side grips intact, and the front and back panels are made of smooth leather that won't mar your 2215. The front of the case has a single pocket for money/CF card/credit card, and two slots for SD cards. The SD cards are held in play by stretch nylon, and that's the only thing I found esthetically displeasing about the case. The leather looks so nice, I really hated to see nylon in the center. The case has a cut out on the bottom for the sync connector, and you can use a cable but not cradle while it's in the case. While you probably won't sync the PDA in the case since you won't be able to see the screen, you can charge it via cable while in the case.

www.casesonline.com

 

CASESonline iPAQ 2215

CASESonline iPAQ

Above, the Slim Case. Below, Sleeve Case.

 

sleeve case for iPAQ 2210

 

 

 

Back to MobileTechReview.com Home Questions? Comments? Post them in our Discussion Forum!