The feel of a print book in your hand is largely a function of its cover; it turns out, Kindle cases are exactly the same. Two new third-party cases do their best to imitate the look and feel of a hardcover book, but take very different approaches in doing so.
The first is by DodoCase, makers of a popular iPad case who’ve brought the same traditional bookbinding aesthetic to a Kindle 3 case, just announced today.
From a distance, the Kindle DodoCase looks almost exactly like a Moleskine notebook, but the exterior is a stiff black faux leather. If you knock on it, it feels and sounds like a hollow-core door — less like a Moleskine and more like a sturdy old Bible.
The Kindle’s enclosure is also deceptively simple. It’s carved of wood, and the exterior has a vertical grain that simulates yellowed or lightly gilded pages. My wife joked that it looked like it was made of popsicle sticks, but it’s sturdy, too, carved down from bamboo. Sloped gaps on the left and right edges allow access to the page turn buttons; a larger opening at the bottom lets you control the sleep/wake switch, volume control, and headphone and USB jacks.
The access to the jacks at the bottom is great, better than I’ve seen in many cases. The side buttons, though, are pretty constricted. You can’t really come
Rubber grips on each of the four corners hold the Kindle in place. I had my doubts about these, too (Kindle cases are notorious for not keeping the devices secure, but once my Kindle was squeezed in, it was definitely stuck. In fact, it’s a little tricky getting the Kindle out.
Just like with the iPad, each DodoCase comes with a different interior lining (see photo above): the original red-lined case costs $50, and $5 more gets you green, sky blue, dark blue, pink or charcoal. The linings are not exactly plush. The color is good, and I’d guess it’s made of linen — traditional in bookbinding, but a little slim for gadget cases, where everything’s been sueded up.
M-Edge's Cambridge Jacket for Kindle 3
For a different take on the Kindle-cover-as-hardcover-book, I like M-Edge’s Cambridge Jacket ($45). It has more of an “Everyman’s Library” feel to it: canvas with leather trim around the spine and the interior, which has a place to store cards and notes.
The Kindle’s held in place with leather straps, too; not quite as snug as the DodoCase, but a little more managable to slide in and out. The main complaint I have about the leather straps, though, is that they make it a little trickier to get at the sliding sleep/wake switch. The access to the page turn buttons, however, is perfect.
To be honest, I prefer the Cambridge jacket. It really comes down to feel. It’s softer, it has more texture; the spine’s just as stiff without feeling hard. Readers with a more austere aesthetic might prefer the DodoCase. I prefer either of them to the floppy leather-and-vinyl covers that feel like repurposed purses. Maybe that’s a gendered thing, but I don’t think those work well on bookshelves either.
And if you’re left-handed, or have gotten used to using your left hand to toggle back and forth on the Kindle, you’re essentially out of luck. No case I’ve tried gives uncramped access to the Kindle’s left-hand navigation buttons. You could probably use the DodoCase upside down or a protective sleeve on the go. Not many good solutions here.
What makes shopping for all of these cases difficult is that it’s nearly impossible to know how one will function until you get a chance to try it out. Really, it’s the same with phone cases: with most of them shipping online or in store displays behind cardboard or plastic, it’s tougher than it ought to be to get the things in your hands to find one that fits.
Traditional readers complain that e-reading can’t simulate the look and feel of a quality book. With cases, short of actually turning the pages, it can. It’s just harder for each reader to get a chance to find just one cover that feels right.
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How to Do (Almost) Everything With a Kindle 3
iPad Case Smackdown: Dodocase Vs. Pad & Quill
Dodobag, a Murse to Hold Your Dodocase
iPad-Case Maker Preserves a Dying Craft
Fuente: Gadget Lab