There's nothing like the smell or feel of good leather, whether it be on a couch, baseball glove -- or a case for your HP iPaq 2215 PDA. When it comes to leather PDA cases, Vaja is one of the best for providing high-quality and eye-catching leather design. With the new I-Volution Aptus case for the iPaq 2210 / iPaq 2215 Vaja provides numerous ways to customize your case by both color and features. These cases come at a high price though, higher than some PDAs themselves, is this cost worth it?
Let's first take a look at the clamshell style opening I-Volution Aptus case I have from Vaja:
A view from above of the case inside
A view from above of the case outside
If you've bought an iPaq 2215 you know that it comes with a free case, if you haven't bought one, check out the iPaq 2210 / iPaq 2215 review here, but meanwhile here's a look at what you get in the box, the free case is circled.
Now, free is a loosely used term here. Obviously the price of the case is built into the product you buy. Furthermore, I honestly believe HP put the free case in there to make you wish you had a better case. In a word, the included case is rubbish, it's nylon, it reaks havoc on the rubber grips of the 2210 and there's ugly stitching all over it, even the HP logo on mine is tilted. You'll want to buy a better case than what comes with the iPaq, and if you want the Porsche of the cases world then you should definitely look at the Vaja I-Volution Aptus case.
Vaja has been making leather PDA cases for a long time, almost since the time PDAs came about. They know what they're doing, they are careful in designing and molding their cases and they only use leather of supreme quality. Therefore before even obtaining the Aptus case I knew to expect something good, and I was not disappointed.
The fit for the 2210 into the Aptus case is perfect
When you buy a case for your PDA you generally want it to do four things:
The Aptus case solves each of these problems very well. The only thing that can touch your PDA Screen when the iPaq is in the Aptus case is the soft leather interior. Fortunately, scratching can only occur to objects when rubbed against another object harder than themselves, leather is not harder than an LCD screen so no scratching can possibly occur to your iPaq!
I mentioned that the Aptus case has a soft leather interior and of course a very nice, but slightly harder leather exterior. You might be wondering how well leather will do in protecting your PDA from falls if it's an all leather case. The answer is it does very well because although it is all leather on the inside and outside, there is a very hard plastic reinforcement that sits between the outer leather case and inner. This hard plastic makes sure the case keeps its shape while also making it rigid, sturdy and better for protecting your iPaq.
If you desire the ability to carry your PDA on your belt then you can add-on an Ultra clip to the Aptus case as an option. The clip is a free add-on, the only thing is that you'll have to wait 20 days for delivery if you choose this option where as shipping is immediate if you choose a case without the clip. My case comes without the clip, so I cannot comment on this feature. Vaja provides an extensive overview of the Ultra clip on their website that you can check out though. Personally I'm a programmer and sit at my desk all day so I have no need for a clip, but if you are a doctor walking around a hospital or office then having a clip will almost be a necessity for ease of carrying.
Now the final question remaining is how does the case look and perform? The look of the case is amazing, mine has a very professional look since it is black. A great thing about Vaja is that you can customize your case colors so that instead of being professional you can be very trendy. There's 48 different color options. If you want a violet case, Vaja will let you do so.
Make a fashion statement using custom colors, or maybe it's just a statement?
Another option you can add onto your Aptus case is a push SD card holder. The case comes standard with a holder for an extra SD card, which is a great feature, but if you want the ability to push down on your SD card and have it released like it is by your PDA then an extra $6 will get you this option.
As far as the rest of the case goes, the fit for the iPaq 2215 is snug to tight, which means it is held in very well. Vaja calls this tight fit mechanism its "AntiSlide Shark Closure". Sounds like marketing puff to me, all I know is that the iPaq stays in the case. The case is also thin enough that it doesn't add bulk. The exact dimensions of the case are illustrated:
A cutout for the speaker on the back allows you to hear audio while the iPaq is in the case. There is also a cutout for the stylus and headphone jack on top:
While the case is closed you won't be able to synch, there is no opening for the sync port, you can insert a synch cable when the case is open and do things that way though. As mentioned before the case is clamshell style opening and not bookstyle, there are no clips, zippers or buttons to hold the case closed but rather it is held closed using a molded lip that sort of snaps shut over the sync port. The closing mechanism works fine, although I wouldn't have minded seeing a fastener of sorts to convice me the case is closed.
So overall I'm extremely pleased with my Vaja case because it fulfills all the needs I have for a case and because it's made of luxury leather. So what's the downside? The price of course. The Aptus I-Volution case starts at $109.00 non-customized. The price goes up for customization of colors and features. Even $109 is more than the low end Palm Zire series PDA. Obviously if you want this case you can't be on a tight-budget. I think it makes a lot of sense for business professionals that wear a suit -- using a hard case that's aluminum looks wrong when you're wearing a suit and tie, you need something stylish like the Aptus case. If you get the clip this case might also make sense for doctors walking the office, private pilots, software engineers, or project managers. In other words, jobs or roles where I'd assume you make enough money to splurge $100+ on a case and want to look cool on the job. Of course, it is Christmas coming up so for that extra special time of year when we like to splurge this might be one of the items you splurge on....
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