Friday, April 27, 2012

Kindle Accesories: Amazon lighted cover and JAVOedge flip case

It's about time that I returned to one of my favorite topics—my Kindle. In this post, I'm going to focus on Kindle keyboard cases. I currently own two.

My most-used case, but the second purchased for this Kindle iteration, is the JAVOedge MiMo Flip Case in Teal. Aesthetically, this case is beautiful in my favorite shade of teal. The synthetic, leather-like material is smooth and somewhat padded. Despite almost daily use since April 2011, the case shows only minor signs of wear at the top two corners. I even dropped my Kindle in this case (a heart-stopping moment) while listening to an Audible book on a walk. It protected my Kindle and survived unblemished.

Prior to this purchase, I insisted on book-style cases, but I have grown to love the flip format for the built-in stand. During lunch, it takes only the occasional tap to turn the page, which allows me to read comfortably while I eat. When not in use, the cover is held closed using hidden magnets.

JAVOedge MiMo Flip Case (Teal)
My Kindle slides securely into the pocket of my flip case and the combination of case plus Kindle isn't much heavier than the Kindle by itself. That said,  is easy to remove my Kindle for case-free reading when I'm somewhere safe, like home in bed. I can easily switch my Kindle to a waterproof case for reading in the bath. (More on that later.) I keep a few business cards in the cover pocket, both for identification, should I lose my Kindle, and to hand out.

I was able to dig up the above photo from February. I've learned to take better photos since (watch for an update on my Photosanity experience in a future blog post), but I didn't want to delay posting to take new photos. This at least shows the color fairly accurately. Click through the first link for additional photos.

This particular case is no longer available, but you can purchase many other colors and patterns of JAVOedge flip cases for Kindle and other e-readers.

I also own the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover in Steel Blue. I ordered the lighted cover to arrive with my Kindle keyboard in August 2010. I then used this cover exclusively until my purchase of the flip case eight months later.

The design of the lighted cover, which draws its power from the Kindle battery, delighted this gadget-loving geek. When not in use, the light is virtually invisible as it retracts into the top, right corner of the cover. This case is substantial and, though slightly heavier than the flip case, it doesn't seem overly weighty.

Hooking the Kindle into the hinges.
Aesthetically, the lighted cover is pleasing, though not as attractive and tactile as the flip case. The textured leather makes for a good grip but also has a rougher hand feel. My color choice—steel blue—is a muted grey-blue shade that isn't quite navy but tends that direction, giving it a very business-like appearance. I would have preferred a shade with more pop. The strap securing mechanism has a tab, adorned with the AmazonKindle logo, that makes it easy to grasp for fastening and unfastening. So far, it also seems very durable. The surface of mine has only one very minor scratch in the lower-left corner. The interior is lined with a felt-like matieral in dark grey. A lighter color would coordinate better with my white Kindle, but the material is soft and nice to touch when reading with the cover folded back on itself. My mom has the graphite kindle and the black version of this lighted case, and that combination blends nicely.

With light extended
Attaching my Kindle to the case is done via a hook and swing maneuver. It's very straight-forward once you get the hang of it, though it could be confusing at first. I love the hinged mounting system for its invisibility; it doesn't obscure or restrict the front of the Kindle in any way. Pulling power for the light from the Kindle itself is sheer genius. That means no extra device to charge or batteries to replace. Power drain from the Kindle does not impact performance, though you'll have to charge your Kindle more often than the usual (every few weeks) with frequent use of the light.

Extending the light is done by grasping the corner and pulling. This motion was initially slightly almost problematically stiff, but it loosened up after a couple of weeks of use. The light turns on automatically when extended and off when retracted or if your Kindle goes to sleep. Light projection is even and bright enough for easy reading in a darkened room. It is too bright for Hubby if he tries to go to sleep while I read. I work around this by strategically shielding the bulk of the light with my body, but it does limit my positional comfort.

Though the stand feature and improved appearance of the flip case lured me away from the lighted cover, the latter is still my go-to if I think that I will be in a situation where I will need a light for reading. If you like to read in the dark, I recommend the newer versions of my lighted case, available on Amazon for various Kindle devices. The lighted cover certainly can not be beat for its gadgety goodness.

All in all, I am happy with both covers for different reasons. If they could combine the features of both, I would have the perfect cover. Until then, I will continue to switch between covers as needed.

What is your favorite Kindle cover and why? Please post your recommendations in the comments section below.

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