We have devoted a good bit of web space to products for the ipod. There are now stores and web sites whose only purpose is to sell accessories for Steven Jobs’ brilliant little creation.
One of the few areas of criticism of the new generation of ipods is their ease of scratching. They look beautiful – but to pay $300 or $400 for a piece of electronics that easily scratches can be irritating. So, since you spent so much for the ipod – why not buy a fashionable, protective case? On the one hand, it is frustrating to have to spend more money – on the other hand, it is the best way to protect your investment. Vaja, one of the finest leather case manufacturers now offers an alternative. Is this the case for you? Read on for my thoughts.
Vaja has long been known as one of the ‘Premier’ leather case manufacturers in the world. Their cases are custom ordered – the user picks out the type of leather and the color combination and can even get it engraved. They are known for using premium full grained Argentinean Cowhide which is both beautiful to look at and smell and very durable.
For the ipod, Vaja offers several variations of cases. My sample was part of their ‘Ivolution’ series – more of a hard leather case with two color of leather and a protective screen over the clickwheel.
The Ivolution case is a slip-in design as opposed to a flip case or ‘book’ style case. The ipod simply slips in (rather tightly) the case. The case has a built in screen protector and a thin screen over the clickwheel. The screen protector was durable and only added minimal glare to videos on the ipod. The screen over the clickwheel is very interesting. When ordered with the screen, you use the clickwheel just like usual – but the thin, protective screen keeps scratches and fingerprints off the click wheel itself. I found that it took slightly more effort to effect the commands on the click wheel – but it was hardly noticeable.
The benefits of the Vaja design is that top of the ipod and the dock connector at the bottom are completely accessible. This means that there is no protection for the ‘hold’ switch if you drop the ipod – but that isn’t usually where problems occur. Because it is totally open, you don’t have to worry about ‘feeding’ your headphone wire through any cut outs like those on many of the ‘flip cases’ tested here.
The craftsmanship I have seen on all my Vaja cases is top notch – and this is no exception. The leather is beautiful – it is soft and hard at the same time – protective – but beautiful. The cutouts are perfect and the seams are clean. There is just a wonderful experience when you open the package (which is also beautifully done) and you get that first smell of the Vaja leather.
My sample case came with a new kind of clip – not the basic ‘ultra clip’ found on other vaja cases. This clip is known as the ‘rivet clip system.’ The description from the vaja case is: yhe Rivet Clip System consists of three elements: 1) A Pin inserted at the back of the case, which is fixed between the leather and ABS structure by a special anchorage system, without any seams. 2) The E-Clip is directly attached to the pin at the back of the case. 3) The QR Belt Clip, which should be fixed to the E-Clip, allowing you to carry the case on your belt.
The clip certainly did its job – but this is kind of personal decision as to whether you want to go with or without the clip. If you order it with the clip – there will be a small, pointed protrusion from the back of the case when it is not in the clip. That protrusion can scratch wood surfaces or other places you might usually place your ipod upon when not clipped to your belt. Go to the web site and see if it is for you.
Another winner from Vaja. This is a beautifully designed and crafted case. It looks good, feels good and smells good too. Vaja cases are on the pricey end of the spectrum – but you won’t be disappointed.
Final Grade: A
Pros: Simple design, beautifully crafted, lots of color combinations
Cons: A bit pricey when compared to other cases
The Vaja custom Ivolution case for the ipod Video can be ordered at www.vajacases.com prices start at $70.00 and go up as you add options.