Friday, October 5, 2012

Kindle Paperwhite Covers and Cases

Wow! I've been using the Kindle Paperwhite for a couple of days and I'm really impressed. The frontlighting is beautiful and the touchscreen is really responsive. I'm not a huge fan of touch screens so I was reluctant to switch from my Kindle Keyboard to the The Kindle Touch, but the Touch won me over. It "disappeared" while I was reading just like the older, button-operated Kindles. The Paperwhite is even better.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the very effective lighting on the Kindle Paperwhite means you don't need a lighted cover or reading light. But most people are going to want a protective cover or a sleeve.

As I've said before, sleeves tend to be lighter and cheaper while covers tend to be more convenient. i use both, depending on my mode of travel. When I'm backpacking on a wilderness trip where every ounce counts and I want the Kindle to have as much protection as possible, I use a sleeve. For ordinary travels by car or plane I use a cover. The main difference is that the Kindle has to be removed from the sleeve to be read, while with a cover you can just flip the cover open and start reading. On the other hand, sleeves protect the Kindle on all sides, but covers usually leave the USB connector and power button exposed.

Some readers also like the feel of the Kindle Paperwhite better when it's in a cover, saying that the bare Kindle is almost to light and thin to hold comfortably. The cover makes the Kindle feel more like a "real book"-  that is, a dead-tree book.

The Amazon Kindle Zip Sleeve weights just 2.4 ounces and zips closed on two sides to fully protect the Kindle. On wilderness trips where I expect to encounter wet weather, I'll enclose the sleeve in a zipper plastic bag for extra protection. This sleeve also fits the non-touch, basic Kindle and the discontinued Touch, and comes in several colors.

My favorite cover so far is the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Leather Cover. It weighs 4.6 ounces and the   Paperwhite just pops in and is gripped securely by the edges- there are no straps across the corners of the Kindle. A magnetic catch holds the cover closed. When you open or close the cover, the Paperwhite wakes up or goes to sleep- no need to use the power button.

Amazon's sleeves and covers are a bit pricey but there are plenty of alternatives. The official, made for Kindle sleeves and covers that you find by following the "accessories" link in the Kindle Store tend to be more expensive that the unofficial accessories you can find by searching in the entire Amazon store and then selecting the Electronics department. Here's a few of both:

The Timbuk2 Kindle Plush Sleeve is $19.99 and completely enclosed and protects the Kindle.

The Marware Atlas Kindle Case is just $19.95. It uses elastic bands to hold the Paperwhite in place and also to keep the cover closed. It comes in several colors. I've used a couple of Marware products for my two Kindle Fires and I like their products.

The Marware Jurni Kindle Case is $17.17 and combines the protectiveness of a sleeve and the convenience of a case. It zips fully closed but opens to let you use the Paperwhite without removing it.

The Acase Leather Case is just $9.45 and is getting good reviews. It comes in a variety of colors and snaps closed.

And for those who like to have the Kindle Paperwhite propped up, there's the Timbuk2 Kindle Dinner Jacket. Although this case doesn't protect the edges of the Paperwhite very well, it does flip open at the top, allowing the cover to serve as a stand to the Kindle can be viewed in portrait orientation. (Some covers with stands only hold the Kindle in landscape, which is great for tablets but for E-Ink readers, not so good.) There's a hand strap as well as an accessory pocket.

For use in really nasty environments like river trips and the beach, have a look at the
TrendyDigital WaterGuard Plus Waterproof Case for $19.99. It is waterproof and protects the Kindle from sand as well. Though there's no impact protection for the screen, the company claims you can operate the touch screen through the case. Reviews agree but point out that touch operations are harder than on the bare screen.

The same applies to screen protectors- some people report that the protective layer is hard to put on, traps dirt and bubbles underneath, increases glare, and makes the touch screen harder to operate. I'm in that camp, but others like them: amFilm Premium Screen Protector Film Matte Clear.

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