Vaja ivolution Top iPad Case Review

Every time a new mobile gadget becomes popular, it’s not long before Vaja creates a case for it. Vaja has long been known for their luxury leather cases that are designed to protect as well as look fantastic. One of their first iPad offerings is the ivolution Top case. I asked for a sample, they sent one and here are my thoughts.

Vaja is currently offering 3 variations of the ivolution Top case. Two of them have stripes. I opted for the non-striped version in my favorite color – Green (or as Vaja calls it, Grass Hopper).

[most of the images in this review can be clicked for a larger view]

This case is comprised of two pieces. The bottom play-through half and the screen cover. There are 20 exterior colors that you can choose from and 27 interior colors. The interior of my case is Reed Yellow.

Both sections are semi-rigid and are covered with soft padded leather that feels nice to the touch and smells wonderful. Vaja’s logo in metal is attached to the screen cover.

The interior is embossed with the Vaja logo.

Inserting the iPad into the case does take a bit of wrestling, but once you get it situated, it’s not going to come off because it fits like a glove with no gaps around the sides

The entire back side is covered by the case, along with the left and right edges. There are appropriate cutouts for the volume and display lock.

There’s another bit of Vaja bling attached to the cutout for the volume switch.

When the iPad is encased in the ivolution Top, all the features are accessible including the power switch, earphone jack and microphone.

The dock connector and speaker are left uncovered too.

The screen cover part of the case hooks securely over the iPad at the top and bottom. Although not pictured here, you can actually hook the cover on the backside of the iPad when you’re not using it to protect the screen.

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If the naked iPad has ever felt slippery to you while you are carrying it from place to place, the back cover of the ivolution will take care of that problem. Its soft padding gives you something to grip as well as making it more comfortable for lap use.

Side view with the cover attached.

Top view with the cover attached.

And the bottom view with the cover attached.

If you don’t think you’ll ever use the screen cover, you can save yourself $50 and just buy the ivolution Grip, which is the same thing as the Top, minus the uh… top 😉

I looked over every inch of this case and couldn’t find any defects in the materials that it is constructed from or the construction itself. Yes, this is a very expensive case, but it will protect your iPad from everyday wear and tear while looking fabulous as it does it.

If you liked this story, be sure to read our other stories:


Product Information

  • Play-through
  • Removable screen cover
  • Padded
  • 35 day wait time
  • Expensive
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21 comments… add one
  • Andy Chen May 21, 2010, 6:00 pm

    Ack! I missed the FedEx delivery of my Vaja “bottom” (no top) today because my office building is closed (though I’m at work).

    Julie, just how much bulk does the bottom portion add? I’m not sure if it’s an optical illusion, but it looks quite thick overall! Or is it just the curvature of the iPad’s back?

    • Julie May 21, 2010, 6:07 pm

      @Andy it does add some thickness due to the padding. Probably somewhere between an eighth and a quarter of an inch.

  • Bryan Sherman May 21, 2010, 6:18 pm

    Is it wrong that the existence of this case is the first time I’ve thought I might want an iPad? 😉 I have loved Vaja cases since I bought one for my Palm V… just wished they loved Android phones a little more… Maybe I’ll buy a wallet for my Vaja fix.

  • Paul Dale May 21, 2010, 9:34 pm

    I am really torn about this case. Vaja makes beautiful cases, no question about it. Fabulous leatherwork and very protective. I simply cannot decide between this design and the Saddleback sleeve design. I just cannot establish suitable criteria for preferring one over the other, but I don’t want to have to buy both of them. They are a draw to me. Portability? Ease of function? Looks? Protectiveness? Feel? Smell? Heft? I am lost. What do you think? Do you know what I mean? Sorry for sounding like a baby.

    • Julie May 22, 2010, 8:10 am

      @Paul The ivolution and the Saddleback Leather sleeve are two completely different cases with a different purpose. The ivolution is play-through. You put it on and you really never have to remove it. The SBL Sleeve is only used for transporting your iPad from place to place as you can’t use the device while it is in the sleeve. So you need to ask yourself if you prefer to use an uncased iPad (SBL) or an iPad enclosed in a case (Vaja).

  • James Wages May 22, 2010, 3:18 am

    Great information. Your review inspired me to search for some more info and I found this YouTube video on the same case:

    After visiting the manufacturer’s website, I must say that I would love to see a review of the Vaja Leather Agenda. I Googled without success on that model. A good number of ivolution reviews are out there, but none on the Agenda. So if you do an Agenda review, you just may be the first!

    Thanks again.

    • Julie May 22, 2010, 8:05 am

      @James The Agenda does look unique. Let me see what I can do about getting a sample for review.

  • Pat May 22, 2010, 10:40 am

    Thanks for the review. Vaja has a lot of good looking iPad cases. It’s really hard to pick from one of them but with your review, kind of leaning on getting the iVolution Top.

    Julie, do you think the price is well worth it though?


    • Julie May 22, 2010, 5:02 pm

      @Pat Pricing vs. worth is a funny thing… People are obviously buying Vaja cases, so their prices are not completely out of wack for their clientele. Would I personally buy this case? Probably not… But that’s because I prefer to use my iPad (and all my mobile devices) caseless. I’d rather spend $150 on apps than a case. But that’s just me.

  • RainyDayInterns May 25, 2010, 7:30 am

    We had the same lust for this Vaja case. Here is a version of the ivolution in blue and white:

    Click on any of the images for a larger version.

    We noticed a slight dimpling of the leather around the logo, giving a slightly less fitted look. We think this may be due to the thick padding. The leather may relax over time and the shadow may smooth out. We shall see.

  • Mawrk May 28, 2010, 7:50 am

    Vaja makes coolest design iPad cases, that’s the bare truth! However, have you ever heard about Pielframa, Spain? They also make top-quality cases, not only for an iPad. Yesterday I found an article saying Pielframa is Ferrari among iPad cases ( which is very true if you take a look at this shining red leather. And it’s even a few bucks cheaper than Vaja 🙂

    • Julie May 28, 2010, 8:12 am

      @Mawrk Yes, we’ve reviewed Pielframa cases here before and I agree that they are very nice. But, they aren’t Vaja. 🙂

  • peter May 31, 2010, 12:30 am

    thx for the great review Julie. could you help me get a sense of how thick the case (top & bottom) would be with the ipad inserted? want to see how much bulk it would add. thx!

    • Julie May 31, 2010, 7:44 am

      @Peter I just sent this case to one my writers so that he could see if he wants to buy one, so I am just guessing when I say that the bottom part of the case adds about an 1/8th of an inch to the bottom thickness and the top part of the case adds about 1/4 due to the padding.

  • Rumrunnergm June 29, 2010, 11:31 pm

    Julie can you tell me whether with the front cover removed whether the IPAD will fit onto any of the stands that use the power port such as the IPAD OEM stand or others? I’d rather have an Ivolution if the IPAD will still work with an easily portable stand than have all the bulk of the Agenda when folded over and laying on my lap.

    • Julie June 30, 2010, 7:35 am

      @Rumrunnergm I ended up sending the case to Dave Rees. My guess is that it will not fit any most stands that have a narrow slot for the iPad.

  • David July 16, 2010, 10:11 pm

    I wanted to share some experiences I have had with Vaja Corp, maker of leather cases for iPhone and Ipad.

    I ordered two custom iPad Cases in late May. Delivery was to have been in 45 days, it was stated on their website and in their order confirmation. The credit card was charged instantly on ordering. At about 35 days after placing the order I contacted their customer service in Argentina inquiring if delivery was still on time. The answer was quite contrite, “Delivery is 45 days from order.” No familiarities, no thank you for your order.

    At 47 days and no recipe of goods, I again contacted their customer service. The answer this time was to quote the FAQ section of their website which states in poor English that “delivery time is a guess.”
    They concluded this e-mail with, “At present, demand is huge so our production processes are taking a little bit longer than normal.”
    Today (day 48), after a lot of outside intervention with Vaja, I hear from thier customer service that the cases have not even been started!
    We leave for three weeks in Europe and will have no Vaja case for the iPads. Buyers should beware of ordering from this company as they want the money quickly but do not deliver on the product.

  • James Wages July 26, 2010, 10:08 am

    I was hoping to see a review of the Vaja “Agenda,” but today I see that Vaja now has an “Agenda 2”! What a drop-dead gorgeous iPad case!

    And yet, if we take David’s sage advice to heart, it would appear that the company might in fact take our money and run? Julie, if you do get an Agenda or Agenda 2 for review, you may wish to take up David’s case with the company. For truly, some among us here may place an order only to run into the same trouble David has.

    Thanks again for the review!

    • Julie July 26, 2010, 12:27 pm

      @James I forwarded David’s complaints to the president of Vaja and he responded to me and David directly explaining the situation with David’s order. Apparently Vaja was swamped with orders for iPad cases and was unable to deliver in a timely manner. Hopefully David will post another comment to let us know what he thinks once he gets his case.

  • Macman7 October 31, 2010, 8:06 pm

    I had the Vaja iPhone case for my 3GS. It was a very nice case, but I can’t say the same for the iPhone 4 case.
    I ordered the Vaja Agenda for my iPad for it’s functionality. As I was waiting for my delivery ( 66 days ) I found the most functional case that I’ve ever seen. It’s the Nizmo’s genuine leather Angle case. I opted for the black with orange stitching. I also ordered the Nizmo’s Racer for my iPhone 4.
    It’s not only beautiful, but provides all every function you could
    want in an iPad case. Ok, the leather isn’t the quality of Vaja, but I received it in 3 days. As for the the Racer case, it is beautiful, nice leather, and so thin. Overall I have to say, that i choose my Nizmo’s cases over Vaja for half the price.

  • Gio April 30, 2012, 7:34 am

    Sorry to all but the case of vaja sucks does not fit on the upper left corner and the company refuses to take it back. What kind of business refuses to honor the product?
    does nor snap period. I will advise against buying it unkess you triec it yourself, cannot be bought on line and accept these too optimistic reviews, BEWARE.

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