Cole Haan Leather Cover for Kindle 3. Photo from Amazon.com
Q: I love my new Kindle 3, but I’m always worried that I’m going to knock a cup of coffee on it, or that my son will use it as a Frisbee. Are there any good cases you would recommend? — Anxious in Akron
A: Akron, I’m in much the same situation with my own Kindle. The device itself seems sturdy enough, but I always have this irrational fear that the beautiful but curiously-static screensavers of famous authors are staring at me, or through me, with their cold, dead E Ink eyes, beckoning me to read their books. Unfortunately, all of the Kindle cases I’ve seen and tried have some serious drawbacks.
Let’s start with the cases available from the Amazon Store. Most of the cases they sell are still for the second-generation Kindle, which won’t fit your device; you just have to ignore those entirely. In the left-hand sidebar you can pick your Kindle model, and you’ll only see relevant results.
Amazon Lighted Leather Cover, from Amazon.com
Amazon itself makes two cases for the Kindle that are basically identical: they’re both leather and come in a range of colors, with a microsuede interior and straps and hinges to keep your reader from sliding around or worse, out. The basic model is $35; add an on-board light, and the whole package costs $60.
Now, when the Kindle cost $400, springing $35-$60 for a decent-quality case and $50 for a two-year warranty had a kind of logic to it. But I don’t remember the woman from the new Kindle poolside ad leaning over and saying: “It’s a Kindle. $139. I paid about as much for the case and the warranty on it.” That would be a really stupid commercial.
Even my friends who love their Kindle cases and want to wrap their beloved e-readers in the best have problems with Amazon’s cases. Everyone agrees that the light on the $60 case can be useful, especially outdoors at dusk and occasionally in bed at nighttime. Everyone also agrees that it adds a lot of weight to the overall package, turning the light-as-a-feather e-reader into a clumsy hardcover.
That leaves you with two options: go for broke with a high-end case, or actually be broke and find something cheap and easy. The Cole Haan Hand-Stained Pebble-Grained Leather Kindle Case costs $99, and has a great rep carried over from its much-loved Kindle 2 cases. But Amazon reviewers complain that Cole Haan skimped on strength and quality to get its case out in time for the Kindle 3 launch.
Apparently the Kindle 2 case had an extra patch of leather strengthening the spine, that added extra protection and made the Kindle in the Cole Haan case feel like a high-quality book. The company’s Kindle 3 case is just one-ply, making the spine less stiff and more likely to wear with use. At other price points, that might be forgivable, but $100 is enough to nudge loyal users into the angry zone.
The longer the Kindle 3 is out, the more manufacturers begin releasing cases for it. Belkin has a line of sleeves available on the Amazon store now that I don’t think were there when I started researching this last week. In particular, many companies are starting to sell sleeves, not cases, that cost around $20.
However, if you’re plan to go this route, the best tip of all comes from Instpaper’s Marco Arment. In his first look at the Kindle 3, he notes how the Kindle 3’s rubberized back (as opposed to the earlier version’s slick aluminum) and slightly-smaller size makes it the first iteration to be comfortably used without a case. As for a sleeve, his solution is ingenious:
Photo credit/permission courtesy Marco Arment at Marco.org
A standard 6×10 bubble envelope — the size you’d use for shipping a DVD in a case — actually makes a decent low-budget Kindle 3 slipcase. And if your goal is to just throw it in a bag and have basic scratch protection until you remove it for use, it’s a pretty good solution.
Not bad at all. Next thing you know, those envelopes will be available in nano-patterned Naugahyde for $19.95.
In time, the marketplace will catch up, prices will (I have to believe) start to come down, and we’ll get more variety and usability out of our Kindle 3 cases. In the meantime, give one of these a whirl, preferably without putting down hard money first. If they don’t work for you, you can always go back to barebacking it.
P.S.: If you’ve hacked together your own Kindle/e-Reader/tablet case solution. I’d love to read about it in the comments. Share the love!
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Fuente: Gadget Lab