It’s no secret that I have long enjoyed the Argentinean company Vaja‘s leather products, so when my birthday rolled around this year the Gear Diary Editors knew just what to do — they gifted me with the new Vaja ivolution Top for Apple iPad in my choice of colors. I chose the girly and bright Violet exterior with Rosa interior …
The ivolution Top appears to basically be a combination of Vaja’s slightly less expensive ivolution Grip case ($100) and a matching and completely detachable top cover. As has been noted countless times before by me and many others, Vaja’s leather has a yummy smell that just begs to be inhaled. I love the large pebbly grain of the Vaja Floater leather; the metal Vaja symbol on the front looks more like a decoration than a logo.
With the cover attached, the iPad’s screen, corners, back, and a good part of its sides are covered in sumptuous, protective leather.
Both the top and bottom of the case are composed of a molded form which has been covered with lightly padded full grain Floater leather on the outside, and lined in a much more finely grained Vaja stamped contrasting colored leather on its interior. The result creates a stiff, protective shell.
Here’s a closeup of the Vaja branded leather lining …
The iPad slips snugly into the bottom half of the case, and friction holds it in place; there are perfectly placed cutouts which allow access to the various ports and buttons. The cover also uses friction instead of snaps or Velcro :shudder: , and it is shaped so that it can either be snapped on the iPad’s front or back.
This is the top edge of the iPad in the ivolution …
When the top half is snapped on the back or front of the iPad, there is still full access to the power button, headphone jack and microphone.
This is the iPad’s lower end when in the ivolution …
When the top half is placed over the screen, the sync and charge port is covered but the speaker is still left uncovered. When the top half is placed on the back of the iPad, the sync & charge port is still fully accessible.
The right side of the ivolution has a cutout for the screen lock switch and the volume rocker …
… while the left side, which has no buttons or ports, is left fully covered.
Other than the interior stamped leather lining and the metal Vaja “V” on the front (which is so subtle it looks more like a pretty design), the only branding on the Vaja case is a metal tag stamped Vaja on the ivolution’s back side, next to the volume rocker and screen lock switch.
Those who prefer to use their iPad in a reclined position will need to consider a separate iPad holder or … another case — perhaps the gorgeous new Vaja Leather Agenda ($230).
Due to its light padding, the ivolution Top adds a bit of thickness to the iPad but hardly any length or width; this padding should be enough to protect the iPad from dings and drops.
I love using the Vaja ivolution Top not only because it is beautiful and protective (and because it feels so nice and smells so good), but also because it is like owning two cases in one.
On days when I am using the iPad around the house, I can remove the front cover completely and leave the iPad in the ivolution’s back half. On days when I am out and about I can keep the iPad’s screen protected inside both halves of the case until I am ready to use it; when I need my iPad, removing the cover and snapping it onto the ivolution’s back is a quick and simple process.
The Vaja ivolution Top is like many couture and bespoke items because it is pricey and very fashionable. But unlike many fashionable items, the ivolution Top is comfortable to use and extremely functional.
The Vaja ivolution Top is available directly from the manufacturer.
MSRP: $150, allowing 45 days for the handcrafting process
What I Like: Convertible protection — the case only has a cover when I need one; available in many colors for interior and exterior customization; light padding keeps the case from being too bulky; perfect fit allows everything to stay in place with simple friction; the yummy Vaja smell
What Needs Improvement: Not so much an item needing improvement, but if you decide your installed screen protector is enough, then you might consider ordering only the Vaja ivolution Grip, which will save $50.