Vaja EM-500 Case Review

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Product Requirements:
Casio EM-500

Hey Casio EM-500 owners! If you have been moping because just about every PDA
under the sun has its own great looking Vaja case but yours; you no longer need
to feel left out in the cold!

Vaja #851
for the Casio EM-500 truly lives up to
the larger than life Vaja reputation. This case manages to look fabulous,
smell lovely, and even tucks a useful surprise in the bottom of its
flip-lid…well, wait a second… I am getting ahead of myself… 

This particular Vaja is available in Blue, Black, Cherry and Green Grain leather,
and also in Black or
Cognac faux Ostrich. The #851 is also available with or without a belt-clip. I was
presented with the Black Grain Leather without belt-clip (which is how I prefer
my cases) for this review. 

This is a great choice for someone that wants a case
with a professional appearance, yet that will look custom enough to stand out in
a crowd. I do feel that the "Black Grain Leather" name is a little
misleading. The majority of this case is actually a black, very smooth-grained
leather; but a large portion of the front panel is done in the black grain for
which the case is named.


You’ll notice that Vaja’s attention to detail extends to providing a cut-out
for the reset button on the back of the case. I don’t know why, but it seems
like a lot of case manufacturer’s are "forgetting" to do that.

A very discreet, raised metal tag – embossed with the Vaja
logo – is near the bottom of the flip-lid. 

I happen to like their logo,
and I think that their method of branding adds a touch of class to an
already sharp looking case.

This case stays securely shut with a leather tab that snaps
to the bottom-back. 
Upon opening the flip-lid, you’ll find that not only is the
#851 able to hold two ID or credit cards, it also has slots for two MMC or
SD cards – very handy.

 Behind the slots there is also a deeper
pocket for bills or receipts.

There is an ABS plastic insert between the layers of leather that comprise
the flip-lid. This extra protection should prevent any damage to your screen, if
it were to be accidentally bumped. This protection does not make the case
crush-proof, however.

Even with the thickness of the padded flip-lid added to the EM-500, this case manages to still
look streamlined and avoid being bulky on an already "blocky" PDA.
With the EM-500 inserted, the Vaja measures 5.3" (13.6cm) tall x 3.3"
(8.5cm) wide x 1.2" (3cm) thick. It is certainly still pocketable!

The holster that cradles the EM-500 is done in the same
smooth black leather as the majority of the case. 

As with all Vaja cases I
have seen to date, this holster is reinforced with a black nylon fabric to
prevent stretching and distortion. This is an attention to detail that really sets the
Vaja cases apart from others.

There are perfectly centered cutouts on the front of the
holster for the joy-pad, rocker button, and the launcher button. 

On the bottom of the case, there is a cutout to allow for

On the case that I received, the cutouts for two of the
speaker slots were a tad off-center. Since my case is a review unit,
and was plainly marked as such, I am reasonably sure that on a normal
retail case this would not be the situation. 

I did find that even with the
cutouts being slightly off center, speaker volume was in no way impeded. 

would also like to point out that this was the only flaw I found in
the case.

The left side of the Vaja has a perfectly aligned cutout for
the Infrared port.

 Slightly above is a long cutout for the area that
has the charging port, power button, jog-dial, and record button. 

The Vaja
leather is thin enough that it did not impede the use of any of these

Since this is a top-loading case, the top of
the EM-500 is left exposed when the case is open and the flip-lid is back. 

This allows unfettered access  to the stylus, expansion card slot,
and the headphone jack.

When the cases is closed, you will still have access to the
headphone jack through a circular cutout in the leather flip-lid.

I have been using the case for a while now. As I have been sitting here writing this
review, I have been wracking my brain for anything I would change if I
had the opportunity. I truly can’t think of one thing! Even my misaligned
speaker cutouts don’t hurt the case’s looks or functionality. 

I can
whole-heartedly recommend this Vaja as the sharpest, most form fitting EM-500
case that I have seen to date. 

Price:  $52.90 – $62.90 without belt-clip,
$54.90 – $64.90 with belt-clip
Available in Blue, Black, Cherry and Green Grain leather; Black or
Cognac faux Ostrich 

Professional appearance
Perfectly fitted case that adds very little bulk


Perhaps because it was a review unit, the speaker cutouts were slightly off


Product Information


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