capsule review

Vaja i-volution (with hook) for iPod nano

At a Glance
  • Vaja i-volution (with hook) for iPod nano

If you're looking for something a little more chic to accent your second-generation iPod nano, you might be interested in Vaja's latest i-volution. Each case in this line is made from custom, handcrafted leather in one of thirty-seven colors. The custom work comes at a price, though: each case costs $45 and takes twenty days to make.

The i-volution is more of a faceplate than a true case: it clips onto the nano, but it doesn't wrap all the way around, so the nano's back is left exposed. The front has openings for the nano's screen and Click Wheel and the bottom of the case hosts a metal clip for attaching to your purse, bag, or belt loop. Vaja includes two flexible, non-adhesive screen protectors; one will cover both the nano's screen and Click Wheel, the other is just big enough for one or the other. Put the protector in the case, clip the i-volution over the front of the iPod, and you're good to go.

The i-volution's leather is pleasant and luxurious to the touch, and it's reinforced, so the iPod is protected from minor bumps and falls. The screen and Click Wheel protectors will keep the nano's more delicate components dust and scratch-free, but they're a little flimsy for anything more. Also, while the Click Wheel worked fine through the protector, the nano's screen definitely became blurrier and harder to read; you certainly wouldn't want to use it to show off photos.

Because the back of the i-volution is wide open, there's zero protection for the back of the nano. Although the nano's anodized aluminum is somewhat resistant to scratching (more so than the chrome back of its predecessor), it can still take a beating if thrown into a purse or a pocket that also contains keys or other sharp objects. And the price and time it costs to get an i-volution means that this is hardly an impulse buy. But if matching your nano to the rest of your ensemble is a primary concern, then the i-volution may very well fit the bill.
--Dan Moren

At a Glance
  • Vaja i-volution (with hook) for iPod nano

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