Vaja Cases’ I-Volution Case for hp iPAQ

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INTRODUCTION

Vaja is one of the few

case manufacturers, who, if you asked members of the

handheld community who have been around for several

years, would be mentioned as a “survivor.”

I can’t think of a single accessory that has captured

the interest of enthusiast websites as much as the

Vaja case. Perhaps it’s the elegant Argentinean leather.

Perhaps it’s the presentation (with most of their

recent releases) of a leather case within a useful

leather bag. Or perhaps it’s the fact that aside from

the iPAQ itself, there aren’t really any other accessories

available quite so exclusive and luxurious. Whatever

Vaja does, I applaud them for continuing their trend

of producing some of the best leather products in

the world. I’m thankful to have them interested in

satisfying Pocket PC lovers! Heck, at Pocket

PC Summit this June, out of all the cool gadgets

members of the community demonstrated for me, Vaja

cases were the most popular. People were so proud

of their investments!

   

In this quick review, I will be taking a look at the

first of Vaja’s new I-Volution

line, the “Morpheus.” If you don’t agree

with me by the end of this page that the Morpheus

is the coolest-looking naked iPAQ case solution ever

created, rub your eyes for a bit, as you likely have

something obstructing your vision! Vaja has taken

the notion of the Expansion Pack to the next level:

protection that snaps onto your iPAQ just like a sled!

 

WHAT’S HOT

I’m never disappointed

with the new construction technologies Vaja uses with

each iterative refinement of their case lines. Let’s

step through what makes the I-Volution worth the cold

cash.

If

you thought previous Vaja cases were stiff, check

this out: three layers of ABS plastic have been integrated

into the leather lid, making it a little harder to

crack that precious iPAQ should you drop it. Not like

you ever would want to test out this feature!

Like

many Vaja cases, convenience takes high priority.

The I-Volution is no exception, as you can sync your

device without removing the case.

Accidental

opening of cases while on the belt is definitely a

concern for many, so Vaja put two magnets inside,

one at the base of the case and one at the lower part

of the lid. So now you basically need to “pop

open” the case with a reasonable amount of force

to expose the screen. It’s quite difficult to open

the case without intending to do so.

I

love Vaja’s UltraClip, and the one included with the

I-Volution seems to be stronger than ever, though

on this I am not positive. The UltraClip supports

360 degree rotation, and most impressively, withstands

pressure of 60 kilograms (132 pounds)! With the UltraClip,

your belt will fall apart way before the UltraClip

lets go!

 

CASE

SHOTS

Once you’ve removed any

expansion pack (the biggest caveat of the Morpheus,

in my opinion, so you can’t use your case in conjunction

with a WiFi CF card), you’re ready to

enjoy some premiere luxury!

Your

Morpheus won’t come in a cardboard box. No . . . that’s

way to cheesy! Instead, you’ll get this fantastic

leather (read: real leather) case encasement.

 

I

couldn’t think of an interesting use for this case,

so here’s another shot of it.

Inside

the encasement you’ll find the UltraClip and Morpheus

case. Ladies and gentlemen, grab your gear!

The

I-Volution is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Looks like some kind of case/expansion pack mutant.

I

expected only the finest leather and handstitching.

The leather was delivered; I was amazed to see only

a few stitchings on the case, though.

Much

as the current expansion packs “blend into”

your iPAQ, so does the I-Volution.

Natural

fit and full exposure to all buttons and headphone

jack/stylus ports.

Even

the voice recording button is perfectly exposed.

SD

slot storage is a really great idea! However, I think

it’s time to upgrade from my baby 8 MB card.

View

of the back with UltraClip snapped on.

The

headphone and stylus cutouts were perfectly executed.

 

I

even think the base of the case, often overlooked

by the other guys, is kicking!

 

BUILD QUALITY

Like all Vaja products,

you can expect your I-Volution purchase to last a

very long time; if you have issues with the stitching

or leather quality, Vaja is usually good about making

good on their mistakes. Just contact them through

their support

page and get helped.

 

OPTIONS

Color options are always

abound with Vaja’s higher-end products. Choose among

over 25 color and leather style choices before your

final purchase is complete. You can also add the UltraClip,

which I believe to be very worthwhile, for $4.00.

 

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

size=2>Got an iPAQ 3600, 3700,

3800, or 3900? I-Volution will work for you, as long

as you’re willing to fork over the dough.

 

BUGS AND WISHES

   

I’m

still looking for a leather iPAQ + CF Sleeve option

that I would actually use on a daily basis.

It might come as a shock to the pocketnow viewers,

but I have carried my iPAQs in one case for over two

years: the Otter

Box! I love it because it fits my iPAQ + SilverSlider

perfectly and it’s unbelievably tough. Yes, I have

dropped my iPAQ several times with so much force that

it would have failed any other case, including the

I-Volution. My dream is to find a case as marvelously-designed

and attractive as the Morpheus but that accommodates

a SilverSlider or CompactFlash component board. The

Whitney was never for me because I found it to be

overly cludgy, so I’m looking to Vaja to do something

better. If not, I’ll just wait until iPAQ has integrated

everything and just use a naked case! Here’s

your chance, Vaja, to make me and everyone like me,

the perfect case.

 

PURCHASING

   

Ah

yes, the painful part of buying a Vaja case: checkout

time. The Morpheus will set you back $149.90 ($154.90

for the UltraClip model; various color/leather combinations

can set you back up to $15.00 more) plus shipping,

and you can buy it from Vaja’s PDA

case page.

 

PROS


  • What an

    extravagant luxury!


  • Topnotch

    leather


  • The sexiest

    “expansion pack” ever

  • Reinforcedleather for impact resistance

 

CONS


  • Very expensive

  • Only handlesnaked iPAQ (by design)
  • Few stitches;looks less handmade

 

OVERALL

IMPRESSION

Has Vaja “done it again?”

You bet they have! The Morpheus is the coolest case

yet for the naked iPAQ, and the competition will be

hard pressed to come up with something more attractive.

But, like I mentioned above, for me to be really satisfied,

I want something to accommodate a CompactFlash slot

without me thinking that I’m using a CF expansion

pack.

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About The Author
Jared Miniman