Roundup: Cases for the HP iPAQ 2210/2215: Vaja,
Piel Frama, Krusell, Proporta and CASESonline
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.