By Jared Miniman | July 15, 2002 12:38 AM
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!
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
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!
many Vaja cases, convenience takes high priority.
The I-Volution is no exception, as you can sync your
device without removing the case.
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.
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
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!
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.
couldn’t think of an interesting use for this case,
so here’s another shot of it.
the encasement you’ll find the UltraClip and Morpheus
case. Ladies and gentlemen, grab your gear!
I-Volution is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Looks like some kind of case/expansion pack mutant.
expected only the finest leather and handstitching.
The leather was delivered; I was amazed to see only
a few stitchings on the case, though.
as the current expansion packs “blend into”
your iPAQ, so does the I-Volution.
fit and full exposure to all buttons and headphone
the voice recording button is perfectly exposed.
slot storage is a really great idea! However, I think
it’s time to upgrade from my baby 8 MB card.
of the back with UltraClip snapped on.
headphone and stylus cutouts were perfectly executed.
even think the base of the case, often overlooked
by the other guys, is kicking!
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
page and get helped.
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.
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
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.
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
“expansion pack” ever
- Reinforcedleather for impact resistance
- Only handlesnaked iPAQ (by design)
- Few stitches;looks less handmade
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