Actually, this title is a bit misleading. Reading with the Kindle 3 au naturel is a very comfortable and pleasant way to read. The weight and size of the Kindle 3 make it quite easy to read one-handed, even while lying down. Given the choice, I probably prefer reading on the Kindle without a cover. However, I’m a bit protective of my gadgets and I try to keep them in good shape. Our iPod Touches all have BodyGuardz or Invisible Shields (my BlackBerry was in service for three years and fell off a moving car once–when I retired it for the iPhone 4, it was still in immaculate condition thanks to the BodyGuardz cover).
So, despite enjoying the Kindle in its native state, I decided I wanted to be more careful with it. It can take days to go through all the available accessories on Amazon and it is a bit overwhelming/frustrating. The variety of styles, colors, and materials borders on mind-numbing. After hours of looking through page after page and reading scores of reviews, I concluded that a light would be useful. I looked at the Mighty Bright, the M-Edge e-Luminator, and the Kandle but didn’t want ANOTHER thing to carry around. A case that had a light and would protect my precious Kindle while it’s stuffed in my computer bag seemed like the best alternative.
Apparently, I’m cheap about accessories because the thought of dishing out $60 for a case to protect a $139 device really chapped my a$$. But, the thought of tossing a naked Kindle into my computer bag and then jamming it into an airplane cargo bin is just too frightening. Since Target carries the Amazon case, I decided to get it there so I could return it if I didn’t like it.
The case has a nice pebbled leather exterior with an elastic strap to hold it shut, a groove for the strap, and a leather tab on the strap to make it easier to grab. Although I’m a little concerned about the strap losing its tension, so far so good. When you fold the cover back, the strap can be used to hold it tight against the back of the Kindle, making it a little more convenient to hold. The inside of the cover has a soft microfiber that will certainly help protect against scratches. The interior spine has two metal tabs that are used to lock the Kindle into the case and to provide power for the light. Because I’m concerned about those metal tabs beginning to carve out the soft plastic of the Kindle, I leave the Kindle in the cover all the time. It’s a little disappointing but reading with the cover on makes it feel more like a book.
The light pulls out from the upper right corner of the back. It has a plastic edge that can be a little tricky to grab with your thumb but it’s not too bad. The light consists of three LED’s that shine onto the front of the Kindle. The light degrades a bit as you move down the page but even the bottom is bright enough for me to read. There are a number of things about this case that make it very nice:
- The LED’s illuminate the front of the Kindle but that’s about it. If you read in bed and aren’t sleeping alone, your partner will hardly even notice it.
- The light is powered by the Kindle battery, so there is no issue with remembering to charge something else.
- Because it’s powered by the Kindle battery, if you fall asleep while reading, the light will go off when the Kindle goes into sleep mode.
So far, using the light for 5-6 hours/week hasn’t put an appreciable dent in the battery life.
If you’re in the market for a case and would like the benefit of an integrated light, there isn’t much competition for the Amazon cover with light. It’s a high quality case and the pull out light is extremely convenient without being a battery killer. Check it out.