Vaja Tungsten T3 Custom Case Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
PalmOne Tungsten T|3

Everyone who talks about the Vaja cases always comments about the smell of
the leather when they open the box. O.K., maybe I’m jaded about leather, because
to me it smelled like a nice leather jacket. But the feel! Now that is something
to talk about. This has got to be some of the most supple leather I’ve ever
felt – it is beautiful!

I ordered a custom Vaja 920 case with the following specs:

920 —– Case for Palm Tungsten T3
* Two Color case – Vitelino Arangio/Pantone 1525 C and Caterina
Latte/Pantone 7501 C
* 2 SD/MMC slots & 1 Money Pocket
* Classic Cushioned Cover
* Without belt clip
* Personalization on the inside – Dwayne J. Wilson
* Matching Leather Lining

What I received was something akin to perfection.

The case was more beautiful than I imagined. It arrived in the standard black
and orange Vaja box which I quickly opened. The attention to detail on this
case is amazing. The stitching is a soft orange that perfectly complements
the orange of the leather.

The SD slots are nicely stitched and do not touch the screen when the case
is closed. They rest on the top lip of the Palm. The money pouch is behind
the SD slots and is where I tucked the included Vaja warranty card.

I cannot tell how they put my name on the cover, but it has not shown any
signs of wearing over the past month and looks very professional.

On the whole, this case reminds me of custom boots I have seen that are made
with meticulous detail and attention to craftsmanship.

And on that note, I want to bring up another nice detail. On the inside of
the case, completely covered by the T3 when inserted, is a promise
to you from the craftsmen of Vaja:

"This case has been designed by a group
of PDA’s enthusiasts and made by a skilled craftsman following the
highest quality standards
of the leather industry taking care of every detail in each of its
almost fifty processes Only the top ten percent of the Argentine leathers
are
selected for its quality, tact and durability to be able to offer comfort
and service during its natural lifetime utility. VAJA

Made in Argentina"

This is carefully embossed in fine detail and adds to the subtle touches of
quality that this case exudes.

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In the above pictures you can see the reset hole in the back of the case.
This perfectly matches the reset pin hole in the T3 when the slider is open.

The leather is very tight and form fitting to the bottom slider of the T3.
You can carefully slide your T3 into the tight glove fit of the bottom holster
and rest assured it is not coming back out until you want it to. The fit is
superb.

These close-up shots show the quality of the workmanship. I chose the magnetic
closure and padded cover in order to give my T3 every inch of protection I
could. The cover is very nicely padded and does not add any bulk at all, in
fact it adds a nice feel to the cover when closed. The magnets are so strong,
you can lift the T3 by the cover!

The back of the T3 is a stiffer leather, meant to reinforce the case and give
a solid brace to the back of the case.

It is very hard to put into words how luxurious this case really is. That
is why I tried to put bigger pictures taken closer up than normal.



The only, and I mean only, gripe I could possibly find with this case is that
the bottom leather is very thin – but this was done on purpose by Vaja. So
that the T3 could fit carefully into the hotsync cradle. You must tilt it a
little, but it fits just fine. And this could even have been circumvented if
I had chosen the snap instead of magnetic closure, as the bottom flap would
cover the thin leather bottom.


Is this case for everyone? No – it is quite expensive and the process that
Vaja uses to produce the vitelino leather used in this case is supposed to
be a bit more fragile than normal.

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VITELINO:
The beautiful, cracked-look surface of this leather type is achieved by
polishing with extreme pressure by rollers made of agate, steel or
glass. Our process for Vaja products generally uses the glass rollers
because it allows for the best possible results.
The Vitelinos, while one of our highest quality and most beautiful finishes,
can also be somewhat delicate. As such, we recommend this finish for businessmen
and women who understand the nature of this very elegant and comfortable
product.

The cases are available in many different
styles and color combinations. I find this very striking to be able to have
the ability to make a fashion statement as well as protect my T3.It was a very
satisfying experience choosing custom features knowing that the case was being
made especially for you.

In the past month I have carried this with me daily and I have not noticed
anything other than the normal wear that good leather gets when used often.
It holds up very well.

If you want the best of the best and want to make a bold statement with your
PDA or phone case – Vaja is the case for you. But if you are satisfied
with the normal, humdrum black or tan cases – then don’t look at the Vaja –
you
may
get envious. It’s that good.

Price: as customized here – U.S. $116.90 Base price
– U.S. $84.90

Pros: 
Swanky, luxury protection for your T3
Well crafted leather case, solid stitching and great fit.
Able to hotsync while in case
Able to easily access SD card, stylus, IR port, reset pin.

Many different colors and styles to choose from.

Cons: 
Expensive

 

Product Information

Price:
Manufacturer:Vaja
11 comments… add one
  • Julie January 26, 2004, 10:45 pm

    Post your comments here on the Vaja Tungsten T3 Custom Case Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/vaja-tungstent3-case-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • Matt January 27, 2004, 12:26 am

    I have had alot of cases but a VAJA is my favorite. I just change handhelds to much and can’t afford a new Vaja each time.
    I have a question, what are the white strips on the T3 in the pictures?

  • wilsondm2 January 27, 2004, 12:49 am

    The white strips are “eGrips”. A full review of them can be found here:

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/egrips-review.html

  • JoAnn January 27, 2004, 12:55 am

    I notice you mentioned that when SD cards are placed in the slots, they rest against the top edge of the T3 (above the screen). My Vaja TT case is the same way, and I soon noticed wear marks on the Palm where the cards rest. The problem can be avoided by tucking the cards into the business card pocket behind the card slots – of course, it’s a bit late now! 🙁

  • dgallina January 27, 2004, 1:35 am

    Good review!

    I *loved* the 2 different Vaja cases I have had in the past.

    I only wish that they had released a decent case for the Zire 71! There *is* a Zire 71 case, but it’s a slip case, so you can’t *use* the palm while in the case 🙁

    Diego

  • ebrandwein January 27, 2004, 4:02 am

    I just picked up a Vaja for my Treo 600. They are the best without question.

  • Matt January 27, 2004, 2:43 pm

    thanks for the reply, I will check out the grips. I think they would be great for the person who changes pdas alot .

  • radleyp January 27, 2004, 3:59 pm

    When I owned a PalmIII, I bought a Vaja case, and admit that everything you say about the luxurious look and feel is true. Alas, it added real thickness to the package and I quickly went back to using the plastic flip-lid. So I read your review to see what thickness was added by this case. But you did not say. I carry my T3 in one of three places, a jacket pocket, a shirt pocket or my left front pants pocket. I do not now use a case, and make do with the supplied flip lid. How much thickness is added? I have always found this – as do my male friends and colleagues – to be the main issue when buying a case. Philippe Radley

  • margoba January 29, 2004, 6:08 am

    The Vaja web site says to use the travel cable to hotsync with these cases, so it may well just be lucky that it will fit into the cradle.

    Second, I’ll bet it won’t fit into the cradle if you get the model that uses snap closure. It looks like the snap on the rear will be just enough to keep it from fitting into the cradle.

    -barry

  • wilsondm2 January 29, 2004, 5:25 pm

    Originally posted by radleyp
    When I owned a PalmIII, I bought a Vaja case, and admit that everything you say about the luxurious look and feel is true. Alas, it added real thickness to the package and I quickly went back to using the plastic flip-lid. So I read your review to see what thickness was added by this case. But you did not say. I carry my T3 in one of three places, a jacket pocket, a shirt pocket or my left front pants pocket. I do not now use a case, and make do with the supplied flip lid. How much thickness is added? I have always found this – as do my male friends and colleagues – to be the main issue when buying a case. Philippe Radley

    It does add a little to the thickness. I had no way of really measuring it, so that is why I took very closeup pictures of the sides especially, so you could see for yourself how much it did or didn’t add to the thickness. I have no problem with it. I like the padded cover for the added safety issue. The thickness doesn’t bother me at all.

    YMMV of course.

  • wilsondm2 January 29, 2004, 5:27 pm

    Originally posted by margoba
    [B]The Vaja web site says to use the travel cable to hotsync with these cases, so it may well just be lucky that it will fit into the cradle.

    Second, I’ll bet it won’t fit into the cradle if you get the model that uses snap closure. It looks like the snap on the rear will be just enough to keep it from fitting into the cradle.

    -barry [/B]

    From what I understand, Vaja recommends the travel cable as they don’t want to be held to a statement that it will for sure hotsynch in the case.

    you are probably correct about the snap, but I don’t know for certain as I don’t have that one. It makes sense though!

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