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Vaja i-Volution T66 case for the Treo 650

Review posted June 10, 2005 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief

Vaja, a well-known maker of fine handmade leather cases for PDAs, smartphones, iPods and more, has outdone themselves with their i-Volution T66 case for the palmOne Treo 650. The case looks wonderful, catching the eye of Treo 650 owners everywhere, fits like a glove and offers excellent protection. All ports are easily accessible and the case has the rich smell of aromatic leather.

Vaja's i-Volution line is unique: it's a semi-rigid, form molded case finished in leather. ABS plastic, which protects your Treo 650, lives underneath the leather covering. The ABS is form-molded to the shape of the Treo and that's how this case manages such a perfect, slim fit. This also means this case is very protective, fitting into the semi-hard category. Leather is bonded to the ABS on both sides, giving it a classy look. It's one of the least bulky cases on the market. The case stays securely shut thanks to two magnets under the flip cover. While expensive, nothing approaches the looks, fit and style of the i-Volution.

Vaja i-volution case for Treo 650
back of Vaja T66 case

 

The i-Volution is available in 47 different solid colors and over 100 two-color combinations (the back half is one color and the front half is another). Each color is labeled with its Pantone number, for those of you who are seriously into color matching and design. The case is available with and without Vaja's Ultra Clip belt clip, and you can have it personalized and even embossed with your company logo for an additional fee. We received their Caterina Steel Gray case for review, which goes well with our unlocked GSM Treo 650's finish and nearly matches the color of its antenna.

The case's cut outs perfectly match the ports, controls, speaker and camera— each one sized and aligned perfectly. The front and rear speaker grill openings are covered with a fine mesh that allows sound to pass through, and the LED cut out is filled with a translucent material so you'll be able to see the LED's light and color easily.

The left side of the case has a cut-down for the volume rocker and side button, and the edges are finished and rolled nicely. The case covers the entire right side since there are no controls there, and stops just short of the stylus port and camera lens. The back features a curvy cut-down for the lens and self-portrait mirror. While the case doesn't protect the lens, it won't get in the way of a quick shot. If you select the belt clip option, then you'll find a metal grommet on the back. The Ultra Clip plastic belt clip snaps securely onto this grommet.

The top of the case is completely open, allowing easy access to the SD slot, IR port, volume slider and stylus. Open the flip to gain access to the sync/charger port. You need not open the flip to plug in a headset since the cover attachment is offset to the right, leaving that jack open. The flip cover is rigid, and is slightly domed so that there's room for the SD card pocket and to ensure that it won't contact the screen. The SD card slot is spring loaded like your Treo's SD slot: push the card in to seat it securely and push on it again to remove it.

Like the Sena case we reviewed, the flip cover is hinged on the bottom and opens downward. This is a superior design for a smartphone case: covers that open on the side (book style) or flip over the top (common PDA case design) get in the way or flap in your face when talking on the phone. The downward opening allows the flip to hang out of the way when in a call. Note that the cover's rigidity and short, soft leather "hinge" won't allow you to wrap the cover behind the case, so you'll leave it hanging downward when using the device. The cover stays securely shut via two magnets at the top left and right corners. The cover is easy to open one-handed by slipping your thumb under a top corner and pushing, yet it stays shut in pocket or purse.

It's hard to find a case that we have no complaints about, and the Vaja is one of them. It's got a great look, is very protective, is finished perfectly with every surface looking good, and every cut out matches the device well. The magnetic closure keeps the case closed yet it's easy to open one-handed. It adds relatively little bulk to the Treo 650 and comes in a wide variety of attractive colors. If this case is in your price range, go for it! And if you prefer this case sans cover, check out their i-Volution T65 reviewed here. Note that the cases are made to order, so it will take about 25 days to get your case.

Web Site: www.vajacases.com

Price: Starting at $130

Treo 650 case open

 

 

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