Review: Vaja Classic Top for Apple iPod nano 2nd Gen
Pros: A premium leather flip case design for the iPod nano, with thirty-two color choices, customizable options and add-ons.
Cons: Options and add-ons are not included at base price. Soft leather has a tendency to show scratches.
Classics never go out of style. Vaja has reintroduced the Classic Top ($40), a magnetic flip-style case for the second-generation nano, featuring customizable interior and exterior leather and upgrades. As always, Vaja’s cases are hand crafted, using rich leather with thirty-two available color choices. Depending on how you customize your case, the Vaja Classic Top can range in cost from $40 to $96. Aniline leather costs $40, while Vitelino leather costs $46, and other add-ons include belt clips ($4-20), personalized text ($10), and graphics ($30). The leather looks luxurious on the inside and outside, benefitting from embossed Vaja logos on the interior and a metal icon on the exterior front.
The sharp-looking two-toned Classic Top case comes with a magnetic closure flap; an inside nano sheathe has a built-in screen protector, access to the Hold switch, headphone jack and Dock Connector, and can be accented in a secondary color choice. Vaja tailors their cases extremely well, although we did notice some minor tarnish on the soft leather of the interior flap, for which we deducted a point. Vaja does note on their website that the case should be handled with care, especially lighter colors.
Although the Classic Top case excels in looks, it’s only a bit above average on protection: exposed corners as well as an unprotected headphone port and Hold switch contribute to a lower protectiveness score for the Classic Top case. As we’ve noted many times in the past, Vaja could easily correct these issues to make a more protective case for their consumers, but we get the impression that style and ease of stitching prevail in the company’s mind over protection.
Not surprisingly, the Classic Top case is generally easy to use—as easy as most flip-style cases. The nano conveniently slides both in and out of the case and the magnetic flap is simple to clasp; no need for a snap or fabric loop here. We also found during our testing that larger connectors such as headphone plugs and Dock Connectors are both fully compatible with the nano while inside; you can even fold the lid back and place the nano in most Universal Dock-equipped speakers and accessories. Be careful, however, of damaging the leather in the process.
The basic Classic Top case can be purchased for $40, a reasonable cost for a handcrafted case from Vaja. As is standard with the company, any personalization will cost an additional premium, so depending on the consumer’s own personal tastes and add-on features, a $40 case could easily become a $100 case. At the base price of $40, however, Classic Top scores relatively high in value for a handmade case, as it’s sharp-looking and needn’t be customized further in order to impress. Although similar lower-quality leather cases do sell for less, the Classic Top is no exception to the company’s past track record of iPod cases that offer unusually high style and fun color choices.