Review posted June 10, 2005 by Lisa Gade, Editor
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.
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
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.