The Vaja I-volution For Palm Treo 700 Series Case Review

It wasn’t long after I received a Palm 700p review unit that I knew I would be buying either the Palm OS version or the WM5 version of the Treo to use as my mobile phone. Other than which OS to go with, my next decision was what case. I’ll admit it, I went right to the Vaja‘site, and I literally swooned when I saw the T7 Silver.

However, reality eventually set in once I saw the price for that intricate piece of sterling silver accented leather-art. Luckily, there was a very similar case available with a more wallet-friendly price – the i-volution for Palm Treo 700 Series.

As with all Vaja cases, the first thing that greets the owner upon opening the box is the yummy smell of perfectly tanned Argentinean leather. The second thing that the owner will notice is the case’s complete attention to detail. Everything is laid out perfectly, and all has been created with a good experience in mind for the owner.

Designed with an open-face style which allows full access to the Treo’s face, this particular i-volution case is perfect for those that use a screen protector and prefer not to fool with a flip lid, however there are other equally gorgeous versions available with either top or bottom flips. The Treo i-volution is available in Caterina leather which has a matte finish and a less shiny appearance than the Vitelino and Aniline leathers of the Vaja cases I usually review.

I wanted to get something completely out of character – to break away from the olives and browns that I usually favor. At a loss when confronted with all of the color choices on the Vaja custom order page, I decided to get my sorority’s colors – lavender and maroon. Of course, on the Vaja site they have the much more descriptive names of orchid haze (front) and ruby wine (back). There are 37 color choices in all, and a different color may be used on the front and back (as I did), or the same color may be used on both the front and back (similar to the T7 design).

The naked Treo 700wx measures 4.43″ tall x 2.34″ wide x 0.87″ thick, and it weighs 6.1 ounces. Once positioned in the case, Treo measures 4.6″ tall x 2.7″ wide x 1.1″ thick, and it weighs 0.8 ounces.

The entire interior of the case is lined in Vaja embossed leather that matches the top half of the case’s color. Silver screens cover the ear speaker on the front as well as the larger speaker on the back. A milky white plastic oval dome is embedded in the case to cover yet still project the Treo’s LED blinks. The subtle and stylish Vaja logo erupts from the top right of the case – it is the only branding evident on the case’s exterior.

There is an option to buy a heavy duty plastic ABS UltraClip for $4, which I chose not to get, and then there is the personalization option. Text may be added for $10, or a graphic may be added for $30. As you can see, I added the Gear Diary logo which was not only embossed, it was lightly accented in matte gold to match the embossed Vaja logo on the case’s bottom.

Worth noting is that the opening on the bottom is wide enough to provide unfettered access to the headphone jack, the sync & charge port, and the microphone. While the case will not work in an after-market Treo cradle, it does work perfectly with the sync & charge cable that comes standard with the Treo.

This is my first custom item to display the Gear Diary logo…and it leaves me verklempt! Here you can better see the mesh covering the ear speaker, the LED cover and the Vaja logo.

The left side of the case allows easy access to the volume and camera buttons.

The right side of the case covers just about everything, as there are no buttons on that side. Note that almost all corners of the case are either covered or they have leather extension to help provide protection.

The top of the case is left open, because it is not only used to insert and remove the Treo, it also allows access to the antenna, SD card, Infrared port, mute switch and stylus silo.

According to Vaja, “The Treo device should always be removed from the open sides, pushing also with the thumb from the bottom charge cutout to help it slide out. Please do not try to insert the fingers between the case frame and the unit front and back; this may affect the frame resistance or damage the semi-rigid case frame completely.”

The back of the case has a dip in the design to allow use of the camera and mirror. This dip and the placement of the stylus silo makes for the one unprotected corner on the case. Of course, Murphy’s Law states that if the PDA is going to be dropped while in the case, it will land on this corner. Maybe you all aren’t as klutzy as me, but so far I haven’t dropped my Treo (knock on wood). 😛

There are black i-volution cases available immediately with or without Ultra Clips, but the handcrafted custom color cases usually take between 7 and 15 days to create and ship.

The leather of the i-volution case really adds warmth and luxury to a fairly common PDA Phone. I absolutely love mine; I get comments from others asking me what I am holding when they see the bright color combination, and they always compliment the personalized logo on the back.

If you have a Treo that needs a case and you don’t want a run-of-the-mill leather jacket, then you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Treo cases offered by Vaja.

The Vaja i-volution for Palm Treo 700 Series is available directly from the manufacturer.
MSRP: This case starts at $90, as tested it was $120
What I Like: Gorgeous leather in a custom handcrafted design, many color choices and opportunity for personalization, access to all buttons & ports, corner protection
What Needs Improvement: Nothing

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

4 Comments on "The Vaja I-volution For Palm Treo 700 Series Case Review"

  1. Very nice, but I think it is still too bulky personally. I think I am going to carry my Treo 750v naked when it arrives 😀

  2. Totally understandable – If I were trying to keep it in my pocket I would probably feel the same way. 😉 As it is, my Treo is always in my hand or in my bag; women really have it made. 😉

  3. Yes, I guess thats why a JASJAR isn’t out of the question for you either. Its like you are carrying around one giant pocket all the time!!

  4. Mitchell, you are exactly right. It’s a pity that you guys can’t always get away with carrying man-bags- those of you that want to, anyway.

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