My Vaja Classic "beta test" case just arrived this morning from FedEx. I've taken a few pictures and put up a little "first impressions" for anyone interested. The pics and image commentary on on my site (linked below), and the first impressions are in this post further below.
Please note that this is NOT an I-Volution case. This is a standard pouch style case meant only to hold the UX when it's not in use. It's not a work-through case by any means. For that, you'll either need to wait for the I-Volution, or see if Vaja develops some other custom case for this thing.
I await previews from those lucky people who'll get to test the I-Volutions, as I'm sure they'll be great.
If you're interested in the pictures I took, check 'em out here: http://www.magearts.com/VajaClassicBeta/index.html
Please note that this preview was thrown together quickly. I'll clean everything up into a proper "article" once I've had a few more days to use this thing.
On to the first impressions:
Out of the box, this thing hits you like every other Vaja case out there: with the scent of strong leather. Believe me, this is a beautiful smell. My previous experience with Vaja cases assures me that this smell will stay with the case for at least a month and a half of use.
Not having had any idea what the "Classic" case was truly supposed to be, I was sort of disappointed when I discovered that it was, indeed, a simple pouch. I was almost hoping for a work-through flip-top case similar to the models they have for the NR's and NX's
But that little bit aside, I can honestly say that this is still a nice looking and feeling case. Vaja's quality here still shines through in every stitch and fold of the leather. They haven't lost their touch.
The case they sent me was a smooth, glossy black leather, a great choice for any business styled environment. The interior is the same tanned leather that they've been using since I first got my Visor Prism case a few years back, and it helps maintain the "classy" feel of the case.
The case itself has two slots for holding Memory Sticks. These are located on the front of the cause, just underneath the closing flap. They're nice and snug, so there really shouldn't be any worries about them falling out unexpectedly.
Speaking of which, that's also not a problem you should fear for the UX itself. While this is a pouch, and it's meant for frequent removals of the device, the fit is wonderfully snug. I could actually hold this thing open upside down and the UX would stay put. I'm sure this will change slightly as the case is broken in, but for now it's a good, solid fit.
One oddity that I did notice was that the case comes with two closures: snap and magnetic. I'm not sure if this was just a "feature" of the beta test case so the user could get a feel for both, or if this was a deliberate design decision.
When I filled out my beta test application, I requested a snap closure, simply because I was hoping for a few card slots to put my credit cards in. The last classic case I had was for my Prism w/VisorPhone, and I used that as a wallet replacement. And as credit cards and magnets don't mix, I requested a snap in hopes of being able to use this case, at least in part, as a wallet styled case.
No go. They put the snap in there, but they've also got the magnets, too. It's not truly a loss, however, as there are no extra pockets in this thing. Just the pouch for the UX and the two slots for the memory sticks. That's it.
Finally, the last little thing I'd like to touch upon in this first impression is the belt clip. It's the same "Ultra Clip" they've been using for a while now, and it's a major improvement over their first belt clip iteration (which was nothing more than a bean sized nub).
However, I can say with experience that even the Ultra Clips have a habit of breaking, and the Vaja Classic case appears that it could easily suffer from this issue. The nub itself is solid, but a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and the weakest link has ALWAYS been the point of attachment of the nub and the case.
Over time the adhesive used wears down, and the nub becomes loose. This will then stretch the leather around the nub, and may eventually cause it to fall out. I've had this problem with every single Vaja case I've had thus far. The best way to avoid it is to remove the case when you're sitting down anywhere (car, desk, etc etc). Because the nub is lossened each time it impacts an object like an armrest or seatbelt buckle.
I eventually figured out a way to replace the clip once this happens, and I have my own method of assuring a solid attachment. I physically drive a screw from the inside-back of the case out through the middle of the belt clip. I then shave off the extruding part of the screw, and fill up the open space around said screw with gap-filling hobby cement (glue). I had a "fixed" Vaja Prism case whose clip lasted longer than the stock clip.
But anyway, I digress. Check out the images on the site, if you so wish, and ask any questions you may have here. I'll respond to them as best as I can. I'll also be compiling a list of potential improvements for the case and sending that off to Vaja with links to this thread and my preview as well (hey, it IS a beta test, right? They WANT feedback).