Vaja's iVolution Case for the Zune
Vaja is well known for making the BMWs of portable gadget cases. Much like BMWs, Vaja cases are finely crafted from premium materials, offer superior performance and/or features and carry a hefty price tag to suit. Vaja’s iVolution case is the latest-and-greatest in their line of Zune cases, and at first glace appears to be no exception to this rule. The nice folks at Vaja were kind enough to send Zune Thoughts a review unit to put through its paces, and I was anxious to see if it would stand up to its reputation.
The iVolution comes in a refreshingly modest white box with the Vaja logo and a ‘Designed for Zune’ sticker that they undoubtedly paid a premium to Microsoft for. In the box was the iVolution case itself, an envelope with three clear acrylic screen protectors in it and instructions for ‘installing’ them. The iVolution itself is a multi-sensory experience, and every sense says “yum”. The first thing you’re hit with is the incredible smell of freshly-cured fine leather. Anyone who’s walked past a leather store knows what I’m talking about. The ‘Caterina’ leather has a very fine grain, pleasing both to the eye and the hand. It even makes a very soft ‘leather sound’ when you handle it.
Inserting my Zune into the case was a tight fit, and my first thought was “Boy, I wouldn’t want to do that very often”. Thankfully, there are cutouts in the case in all the right places, and I’m not sure I’ll ever have to take it off. I’m not a huge fan of screen protectors, so at first I didn’t think I’d be using them, but after inserting one and using it for a while, I haven’t had a problem with it, and it does offer added protection to my Zune’s screen, so I’ll probably leave it there. I did find that I had to cut down the acrylic screen protector a tiny bit to get it to fit into the case just right. However, working with leather is not a precise process, so I can’t fault the case for that.
In daily use, the iVolution was basically everything I wanted out of a Zune case: It looks great, feels great and protects my precious Zune very well. The entire top of the case is cut away, giving free access to the hold switch and headphone jack, as well as giving your fingers a place to grip the Zune when taking it out of the case. There are cutouts in the acrylic protector that allow access to the buttons and navigation circle on the front, and though my fat fingers had to get used to poking the buttons through an opening, I had no problems navigating the menus on the Zune. The sync cable fits nicely into the cutout at the bottom and I had no problems inserting or removing it. I got one in all black (of course), and it kind of reminds me of a big awesome leather biker jacket for my Zune (it even has a leather Vaja ‘liner’ on the inside). With the iVolution on my Zune, I feel confident throwing it in my jacket pocket with my keys or even dropping it from waist height (I do that sometimes). They do offer two belt clip options (not a fan myself) as well as custom text or logo imprinting on the back. The case I reviewed runs $70 USD, but with all the bells and whistles expect to pay $120 USD.
All told, I found the iVolution case stood up to its reputation well. Everything about this case says ‘premium’, and much like a BMW, I felt a little premium myself when using it, and I highly recommend the experience to everyone. You can order your own custom Vaja iVolution case directly from Vaja [Affiliate].
Damion Chaplin is a Graphic Artist and fellow Zunite living in the San Francisco Bay Area with his brilliant wife Lorri and His Imperial Majesty “The Kitty” Grimalkin I. He kinda wishes his Zune was as sexy and classy as a Vaja case.