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PDA Case Reviews: Vaja Fine Leather Case and I-Volution

Vaja cases have an excellent reputation in the PDA community, and for good reasons: the cases are elegant, stylish and fit each model like a glove. These are some of the nicest cases out there.

Each case has the story of Vaja cases stamped into the interior back section of the case (see far right illustration), giving you that sense of old world charm and class. Great gifts, if these cases are in your price range.

But how functional are their cases? We reviewed the Classic case for the naked iPAQ H3800 series and the Palm model 791 for the m100 series (it fit our m130 as well, just a little snug).

The iPAQ classic case we reviewed had a snap closure and came in a polished black leather. The case fit perfectly: not too snug, no internal voids and it closed easily. For most all models, magnetic closure models are also available, and you can get yours with or without Vaja's "Ultra Clip" belt clip. Inside you'll find slots for 2 credit cards and 2 SD cards. The flip cover has an ABS insert for added rigidity and protection. The buttons are all accessible while the PDA is in the case, and with a little nudge, you can get to the reset hole on the bottom. You can sync you iPAQ while it's in the case. Models are available for the iPAQ with an expansion sleeve as well.

The Palm m100 case comes in a two-tone tan and deep green leather combo. It looks great! All buttons are accessible, there's a hole for the rarely needed reset button and of course, the window for the clock (clear plastic, so a portion of your screen isn't exposed to damage) Press the Vaja logo and the clock will display. You won't be able to sync in the cradle with this case, but there is a hole at the bottom so that you can use a sync cable. The flip cover has ABS inside to protect your screen further.

Vaja cases are available for just about every PDA, in several colors, types of leather, with magnetic closures and snap closures, and with or without a belt clip.



iPAQ 3800 case
inside the iPAQ case
Vaja Palm m125 case

Above, left: iPAQ 3800 Classic Case

Above, right: inside the iPAQ case

Left: model 791 - Palm m100 Flip Top Case

Vaja I-Volution (other Vaja cases are above)

A totally new concept in case design, the I-Volution is available for several PDAs, including the iPAQ (all models), Palm Tungsten T, the Sony Clié NR70 and NX series. The I-Volution fits like a form-molded case, but instead of being plastic, it's covered in elegant leather. In fact, you have your choice of more than 30 colors and a few textures!

Inside the lovely leather covering, there's ABS plastic to protect your beloved PDA. The ABS is form-molded to the shape of your PDA and that's how this case manages such a perfect, slim fit. This also means this case is one of the most protective soft cases. Leather is bonded to the ABS on both sides, giving it the classy look. It adds the least bulk of any PDA case on the market. The cases stay shut thanks not just to the tight molded fit of the flip cover, but magnets under the closure point.

The iPAQ 3800/3900 series case has two slots for SD cards under the flip lid. You can hotsync while the iPAQ is in the I-Volution. There are cut-outs for the stylus and headphone jack and well as the record button (though you do have to try to actually press the record button, preventing accidental recording).

The Clié NR70 case is available as the standard I-Volution Dyna for $119 US, and as the I-Volution Dyna Mix, which is a two-tone case selling for $129. You'll be able to swivel your NR70 while it's in the case, access the headphone and jogdial while the PDA is closed. You can use a hotsync cable, but not the cradle while your Clié is in the I-Volution.

The Dyna II is available for the Clié NX series, and is pictured on the right. It fits like a glove, adding little bulk to the PDA. The bottom of the Clié slides into the case, and the top section is held snuggly in place via the form-molded case edges. You can pop off the top half of the case to switch the Clié from clamshell to tablet mode. While you can leave your NX in tablet mode while in the case, you will have to pry the case off the screen section each time you use the NX. It's much more convenient if you use the unit in clamshell mode, since you won't have to remove the top half of the case to access the screen— just flip the Clié open, and the case moves as one with the NX.

The Dyna II for NX has cutouts for the HotSync port (you can sync via cable, but not cradle when the Clié is in the case), WiFi CF slot, the reset hole and there's a mesh grill over the speaker area. The left side of the case is left open so you can access the capture button, jog dial, headphones and etcetera. The right side has an opening for the stylus and the grommet for the Sony hand strap.

The case itself arrives in a molded leather-covered presentation box (see image above), making it an excellent gift. The smell of leather is aromatic, and the leather itself is supple and rich. Is it worth the price? If you want a futuristic, ultra-slim, protective soft case that looks high-tech yet elegant, and you have the money to burn, then yes! There's a reason why these are the most popular high end cases for PDAs.
prices range from $50 to $105 US

The I-Volution cases run from $119 to $149.

Vaja I-Volution
Left, presentation box, also leather covered, that the case arrived in. Right, I-Volution for iPAQ 3800 series, with SD cards in pockets.

Vaja I-Volution for iPAQ
Vaja I-Volution for iPAQ

Vaja I-Volution for Sony Clie NR70

Vaja I-Volution for Sony Clie NX60 & 70V

NX70V in case





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