There is no need for any introduction here as Vaja is already widely known for their luxurious leather gadget protective cases. For those of you who are just know discovering Vaja for the first time, get ready to drool as every single case Vaja makes is in fact drool worthy. Those of you who are into leather will most likely already know Vaja, the Argentinian maker of handmade leather cases for a lot of popular gadgets currently on the market. Vaja has long been one of my favorite case makers that output one of a kind leather goodies to not only protect gadgets, but to add the maximum amount of elegance and luxury possible. The iPad 2 is in need of such quality to match its superb craftsmanship and materials. What better way to do just that with Vaja's Leather Agenda folio case. Vaja has sent over their Leather Agenda for the iPad 2 in the Ruby Wine and Birch two-tone flavoring so don't miss the full review right after the break!
First and foremost, I want talk about the quality of the leather. After all it's the first thing that you notice in Vaja's cases. I've gotten the chance to review many leather cases in the past and I can say that I've got a fair bit of knowledge when it comes to quality leather. I can appreciate good leather when I see, smell and feel it. Those are the three things you want to have done right when it comes to expensive leather. The Leather Agenda boasts Vaja's Floater leather, a grainy cowhide with that familiar pebble texture and look. I've never had a leather case nor leather bag that matches the quality of leather Vaja uses. It's an incredible luxurious feeling and looking leather that might change your mind about that chunk of change you just dropped on a Vaja case.
The strong leather smell that exploded in my face when I first opened the box where the Leather Agenda came packaged in was oh so satisfying and lasts for a long time. I don't know what the cows over in Argentina are being feed, but the leather is just incredible in quality. It's no wonder Vaja take such high pride in the leather they use. That explains why my father told me a long time ago that Argentinian leather is considered the best.
The Leather Agenda folio case for the iPad 2 bares the metal Vaja logo on the front bottom side like any other case made by Vaja. Unlike other case companies that plaster their name over their cases, the Vaja metal logo actually compliments the overall design of each Vaja case and a very subtle and unobtrusive way. It's something I would expect to see in any expensive product. The thickness of the padding is just right for a good amount of protection while retaining an overall slim profile. For the most part, the iPad 2 will mostly remain protected inside the Leather Agenda.
Moving around the back of the Leather Agenda is where you will notice the key points in where the iPad 2 isn't protected by the case. Primarily the iPad 2's corner around the back camera, volume, headphone port and function switch. This isn't anything new in Vaja's case designs and has always been like this, exposing such parts of a certain device. Both the top and bottom portions of the iPad 2 are also exposed but by much less. In turn, this is an advantage for making the ports and buttons all easily accessible. It's really a matter of taste and if those exposed points are important to you being covered up and protected by the case. I see this is a minor drawback to the Leather Agenda and by no means would it increase the chances of your iPad 2 from being destroyed if dropped. If you must have your iPad 2 fully protected, this probably isn't going to be your best bet.
Vaja's Leather Agenda isn't all perfect. As much as I would have liked to say that it is, it isn't. Taking a close look at the back side of the Leather Agenda reveals the front cover anchor finished with a Vaja embossed metal accent as well as the elastic band that acts as the case's closure system. I'm not a fan of elastic bands, let alone elastic band closures. I can see this elastic band becoming a problem in the future, as any other elastic band does. It's just a primitive way of a closure system I think. Vaja will charge you an extra $60 for the Leather Agenda with the elastic band closure over the similar Libretto case for the iPad 2 that only uses a magnetic closure system for $160. The Leather Agenda will run you $220 if you fancy elastic bands and a two tone color scheme. If I were to choose, I would have gone with the Libretto over the Leather Agenda. I don't like the elastic band closure, but it does work well nonetheless. I think going with a magnetic closure is much sleeker, easier to manage and reliable.
While the Leather Agenda does support the iPad 2's on/off magnetic functionality, its magnets are not strong enough to keep the front cover closed and solely meant to use the iPad 2's on/off magnetic functionality. If you are seeking a more cleaner magnetic closure, you would want to look at Vaja's Libretto instead. One thing that's accustomed to leather folio cases is that the toughness of the leather when it's brand new and not used. The Leather Agenda's front cover needs some time "breaking in" because of the thick joint it has, it will want to pull back a little revealing a bit of your iPad 2's side bezel. After days of use, I can say that the leather did in fact break in more allowing the front cover to cover up the iPad 2's whole entire bezel and screen. It's not a perfect fit at first and I do think Vaja should have made the front flap a tad wider to completely cover the entire front face of the iPad 2 from the start. You can even see a slight bezel being revealed on the product shots on Vaja's own website. I would think that this sort of thing would bother you if you're picky about little details.
Moving into the inside layer of the Leather Agenda for the iPad 2 reveals an all leather interior from top to bottom with the Vaja wording embossed and making up a nice interesting pattern many companies have grown to take for their own leather cases. The leather lining the inside of the Leather Agenda isn't the same as the leather showcased on the exterior. It's much more rigid feeling.
The iPad 2 fits extremely snug inside the Leather Agenda. There is nothing obscuring the display and bezel of the iPad 2 so usability remains to a maximum. You can see the somewhat harsh looking stitching on the inside, most likely caused by the leather type that is used to line the interior. The stitching on the exterior of the Leather Agenda is flawless and almost undetectable to the eye. Not to worry though, the rough looking stitching on the inside of the front cover isn't going to scratch your iPad 2's screen.
Finally we get to the stand capabilities of the Vaja Leather Agenda folio case. There are two positions in which you can stand your iPad 2 in. The landscape position works very well and the angle is perfect for viewing. It's sturdy enough so you can fully use the iPad 2's touch screen without having to worry about it tipping over.
You can also utilize the Leather Agenda's typing position that has a perfect angle that's comfortable enough for typing all day long. Like the landscape position, the typing position is sturdy.
At $220, the Vaja Leather Agenda folio case for the iPad 2 is a significant luxurious statement maker, but does it does have its downsides. I would suggest going with the Leather Agenda just because of its elastic band closure and higher price tag than its more affordable sibling, the Vaja Libretto. It makes more sense to go with the Libretto if you're not a fan of the elastic band and even saving some cash in the process. The quality is top notch and nothing I've came across matches Vaja's leather quality. And for that you're going to pay a premium price. If you're looking to get one for yourself, you will be able to fully customize the color scheme with many different colors to choose from. As with any Vaja case, expect the handicraft process to take about 35 days.