Vaja 864 – Sync-able Case for Jornada 540 Series Pocket PCs Review


Product Requirements:
HP Jornada 540 Series Pocket PCs

The HP Jornada 540 Series Pocket PCs are the only Pocket PCs with an all
metal case. They even have a metal screen cover that protects the display.
Basically speaking, you don’t really need a case for this PDA. As an HP Jornada
user, you might be asking yourself right now "Then why am I reading this
review?"… To which my answer would be, that there are advantages to
encasing your metal PDA in leather. Leather will protect the metal case from
scratches, and will give you a couple of card slots for storage.

Vaja is one of my favorite PDA case
companies due to the fact that they create quality leather cases that don’t use
Velcro, and are available in a variety of unique colors. The 864 Sync-able Case
for the Jornada 540 Series Pocket PCs is no exception. It is a slipper style
case that comes in several color/textures including Blue Grain, Black Ostrich,
Cherry Grain, Black Grain, and Green Grain. 

The 864 is available in a belt-clip or non belt-clip version. I will be
reviewing the Green Grain belt-clip version. 

The first thing that you will need to do in order to use this case is to
remove the metal screen cover from your PDA. The HP can then slide into the
leather holster. You’ll want to make sure that you have it fully inserted so
that all the button cutouts line up as they should. The fit is nice and snug…
almost a little too snug actually. If you want to remove the PDA from the case,
you’ll have to do a little tugging, cursing, pulling, and cursing before you’re
successful. You’ll also need to be really careful how you remove the PDA from
the holster. There are two small sharp standoffs on either side of the top of
the Jornada. They are part of the attachment system for the metal screen cover.
You don’t want to grip the PDA by the top side edges because you’ll probably
stab your thumbs on them. And it won’t feel good! Can you tell that I’m talking
with the voice of experience here? 

Luckily, this case is sync-able so you really don’t need to remove the PDA
once it’s situated. 

I like the fact that this case does not have a leather bar that separates the
application button area from the PDA screen. Instead it has one large cutout
that encompasses pretty much the entire face of the PDA. Only the power button
and speaker grill have their own small cutouts. The power button is easy to
press using the tip of your finger.

There is also a cutout for the voice recorder button on the left side of the
holster. In addition, the rocker/action wheel is exposed and easy to activate.

One aspect of this case that I really like is something that is purely a
style issue. The seam that runs along the sides of the case curves from the back
to the front giving it a unique look that I like. It doesn’t make the case any
better, it just makes it look more interesting.

The holster portion of the case is not padded. The front holster is lined in
a black satin material with the back part of the case being constructed of a
soft tan colored leather. Part of the backing does have a slight stiffener
between the inside and outside leather pieces. The back of the 854 also has a
small cutout for the reset switch and the metal belt clip button.

The screen cover part of the Vaja 864 case is padded and has an ABS plastic insert
to protect the display from bumps. The inside of the cover has 3 card slots with
a larger card slot behind them. Because this case uses magnets to hold the cover
closed, you will not want to put credit cards or other cards that have magnetic
strips on them in these card slots. Doing so will most likely render your cards

The outside of the screen cover is made of an attractive combination of
colored or textured leathers with the addition of a small metal logo. There is
also a slender leather pocket for the stylus. Having the stylus in this location
doesn’t make it the easiest to retrieve. Due to the fact that the HP stylus has
a large flat shape to it, I’m not sure what a better location would have been. I
think the leather stylus pocket will get easier to use as it gets broken in.

A small cutout for the earphone jack is available so that you can listen to
audio with the cover closed.

As mentioned earlier, the cover is held closed with magnets. I like this
solution much more than using Velcro, but I think I would prefer a leather snap
strap better. Although the magnets are quite strong, it is possible that the
cover could become dislodged while in a bag and as a result, a foreign object
could come in contact with the display. 

As described before, this is a sync-able case. You can actually put it in the
cradle or use a cable to charge / sync without needing to remove the PDA from
the case. I had no problems at all using the case with the cradle. I didn’t have
to press overly hard to make contact like some sync-able cases that I’ve used in
the past. 

The Vaja 864 case is a very nice quality leather PDA case that looks
fantastic in every respect. The leather is flawless, the stitching is even and
fine, and the styling is great. I pretty much like everything about this case
except for the price. It is very expensive. But if money isn’t an object, and
you want a leather case for your HP Jornada, I think you’ll love this one!

Price: $74.90 ($72.90 without belt clip)


4 different storage slots


Stylus is a bit difficult to remove from front cover pocket


Product Information

  • Sync-able
  • 4 different storage slots
  • Expensive
  • Stylus is a bit difficult to remove from front cover pocket
Posted in: Windows Phone
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Julie July 7, 2003, 4:21 pm

    Post your comments on the iPod Armor Case Review.

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • endfile April 3, 2004, 2:58 am

    Dear Julie,

    Your review was the most complete I have read, especially the detailed photos in appropriate places.

    Did you send a copy to Matias?

    The viewing window and a docking slot would solve most of the concerns I still had after reading your review.

    Could you email us all if a new version is created that resolves these issues?

    Thanks again,

  • Julie April 3, 2004, 2:21 pm


    Matias sent me the case, so they know of the review 🙂

    As for learning about an update to review (if/when there is one), the best way to do that is to subscribe to our review mailing list. It’s just a simple text e-mail that goes out every time we post a new review. You can sign up here:

  • ericvos November 25, 2004, 7:07 am

    At first the case looks and feels good. Yet, look at the machining, hinge and gauge and you will start to wonder. Then drop it and you will be disgusted. Your unit will most likely survive. Yet, the case will not. In my situation, the plastic broke and the hinge bent. I fixed it with crazy glue and took the hinge apart and fixed it. I’m waiting for the next bump when I can do it all over again. NO real workmanship was used in creating this. You see this type of machining on cheap chinese toys. At 50 bucks don’t go there. Lilipod is a better case if you want great protection. Not as sleek or small. Yet, made to last. Look at the reviews on ipodlounge. You will see funny stories on how this thing holds up. It was rushed to market on the CHEAP! The gold standard for metal is a Rhinoskin Titanium. Too bad they don’t have them for ipods. This thing is the tin-foil standard.

  • tuneguard March 20, 2006, 11:59 pm

    The hard case cover definitely won’t fly apart if you drop your ipod with this cover on.
    It doesn’t cost $50 either. They don’t cover the entire ipod just the front face and 2 sides.

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