on November 24, 2011
First of all, this cover is not nearly as bad as some of the reviews make it out to be. It doesn't feel like "cheap" plastic, nor does it feel like it's going to immediately disintegrate into a pile of rubbish. So let's start having a look at it in detail:
1) The back. Mine is very thin leather, formed around what appears to be a rubber-like shell. In my opinion, the leather on the back looks pretty good. It's tightly form-fitting, and form-fitted and bonded to the shell, so I can see where some casual users might mistake it for plastic. It is in my opinion, most definitely leather. Is it "quality" leather? Well, I suppose so, but it'd also have to be extremely thin quality leather.
2) The shell. The next layer would be what I call the form-fitting shell. It comprises the structure that makes up the back half of the cover. The kindle touch fits very tightly into this shell. It's certainly not going to fall out of there. In fact, it might not be all that easy to remove the kindle, it's so tightly snapped in. The shell tends to increase the bulk of the kindle a bit, which I actually like. It feels like it'll give me some shock/drop protection. Contrary to some other reviewers, I don't think it makes the kindle overly bulky. I think it gives a very thin device some much needed weight and substance.
3) The light. It's on a snap up arm on the top. There's no adjustment to it, it's either fully up or it's fully down. It gives off plenty of light to read my kindle in the dark. The light is at a fixed angle. It's slightly brighter at the top of the kindle than the bottom (it does after all, have to obey the laws of physics). The light is of course powered by the kindle's battery. That's your reason for buying this case and not some other case.
4) The front cover. It's made of the same thin leather as the back, with some hard material sandwiched inside, and then a felt-like inner layer. The front cover is extremely thin. It's not flimsy as other reviewers have claimed; it's actually quite stiff. However it's thin enough that it feels like you could snap or crease it if mishandled.
1) The cover looks good, fits good, and is compact. It's just the right size, and it's just the right weight. It feels like the cover is designed for the kindle. It doesn't feel like a sloppy poorly fitting aftermarket case. Your kindle and the case become one.
2) The light illuminates well, it lights up the whole surface of my kindle, making it easy to read.
3) It offers adequate protection. The rubber shell will protect from drops and shocks. The front cover, provided it stays closed, will protect the screen.
1) The light distracts me while I'm reading, particularly if I read while laying on my back in bed. I wish it had more of a glare shield. I might try fabricating something from a piece of black electrical tape, just to see what happens.
2) The light feels fragile. It articulates up and down, but does not articulate front to back. If you ever whacked it a good one front to back, you'd probably bust it off, at which point you'd have a non-lighted kindle cover.
3) The front cover has no means to stay closed. I wish it had magnets to give it a little extra staying power. My K2 cover had nothing to keep it closed either, so I don't feel slighted, but you'd think on the 4th generation someone would be able to figure out a way to stick some magnets in there.
4) The front cover is both stiff and thin. It feels like if I mishandled it that I could easily damage it. For example, tossing it into a briefcase or a bag and letting the cover get caught in just the wrong way could leave me with a big ugly crease. This wouldn't be so much a problem if there would have been something to keep it closed.
In short, I'm both impressed and disappointed in the quality. Impressed because it turned out to be much better than the reviews led me to believe. Disappointed because it's a very pricey case and I'd like the light and the front cover to be a little more hefty in design. I also really wish the light had a better glare shield. I deducted one star due to the perceived lack of durability and one star due to the lack of value for such a high price.
on November 22, 2011
Kindle Touch Lighted Leather Cover, Saddle TanGiven previous reviews, I wasn't sure I was going to be happy with this product - but I couldn't be more pleased! The case arrived today. The fit is ... perfect. The unit is snug - without the distraction of elastic or exterior "holders". The light works brilliantly! It is comfortably bright, and covers the whole page. Better yet, it is always there and recharges with the Kindle. The leather is very smooth, over a rubberized/plastic gray case that matches the color of the Kindle. The stitching is FLAWLESS. The cover sits flush to the unit and is lined with a dark grey felt that also matches the color of the Kindle. It is so lightweight, I was amazed (probably because my K2 + case is considerably heavier!)
What this case is not, is a beautifully padded, high end, pebbled leather cover - although it does appear to be good quality smooth leather. Nor does it have a tab to keep the case closed (although I never secured the tab on my last cover, so that obviously is not a priority for me!) Further, given the snug fit, I don't doubt that getting the Kindle OUT of the case would be very difficult. If you like to change covers, and need to secure the cover as closed, you will not likely be happy with this product. However, for me, this cover meets my needs better than any other I've found so far.
I do most of my reading at night, and since the Kindle Touch is not back lit, a lighted cover is a must. Having owned Amazon's Kindle Lighted Leather Cover, Black (Fits Kindle Keyboard) with my previous Kindle, I knew exactly what I wanted in a cover and while the new cover has some advantages, Amazon really missed the boat as far as design:
FORM FACTOR - The back of the case is made of molded plastic that fits perfectly to the Kindle Touch. You slide it in and it clips in place. Terminals on the back of the Touch connect to terminals on the case to provide a connection for the light (the light draws power from the Touch itself). The Kindle Keyboard cover had a mildly annoying elastic strap to keep the cover closed. The Touch cover omits the strap completely, and there is nothing holding the cover closed but gravity. This isn't too much of an issue for me because I can't really see too many instances where the cover will fly open, I just find it strange the developers didn't address this. The Kindle Touch actually has a thin piece of metal underneath 90% of the bezel. If you hold a magnet up to it it will attract. It would not have been difficult at all for Amazon to insert a small magnet into the cover so it at least draws it closed and prevents it from flying open. But again, I can't really see myself having an issue with the cover coming open a lot. The Kindle Keyboard cover did have an issue with people accidentally opening it the wrong way, breaking the terminals off in the hinge. I actually ordered a clip for my cover to prevent that from happening. This isn't an issue with the current design. My biggest gripe about the form factor is that it is too snug of a fit. It bis very difficult to remove the Kindle Touch from the cover once it is in. There is no depression for you to put your finger under it and separate the two. You have to hold the cover with two hands and pry/peel it off the device. I have found the easiest way is to support it on my knee or a desk and put pressure against it until it comes off. If you are someone who frequently takes the cover off your Kindle, I promise you that this will annoy you to no end. However, since the cover is so much more streamlined, I will likely leave it on all the time. With the Kindle Keyboard cover, I liked to remove it during the day so I could feel the lightweight of the Kindle in my hands. This cover is small enough that I think I can get the same effect with it on.
LIGHT - The light sits flush inside the top of the case. Terminals on the back of the Touch connect to terminals on the case to provide a connection for the light (the light draws power from the Touch itself). I do not know what the actually draw on the battery is, but it is fairly negligible compared to normal Kindle use. Even using the light all the time, you should still get at least a month of regular use. The light slides out easily when ready for use. It does feel really flimsy though and I would be careful with it while open, as it seems like it could snap right off if you accidentally sit on it or something. There is only one LED bulb as opposed to the previous cover's three. It is fairly bright but it will not provide even light cover across the entire Kindle. The bottom 20% is a bit dark, but I find it is completely acceptable to read with and have no complaints there. I would say it is a slight improvement over the Kindle Keyboard light.
DURABILITY - This is definitely a cheaper case than the previous one. Although it is made of leather, there isn't much of it. The leather on the front of the case is a very thin piece, connected to a thin piece of felt which sits against the Kindle display when closed. It is 1mm thick compared to 4mm for the previous case. Although some may prefer this, since ideally, you don't want a bulky cover, it seems to provide much less in the way of protection for the front of the cover. With the Kindle Keyboard cover, I =am reasonably confident that I could briefly sit on the Kindle with no damage to the unit. I would never bet on that with this cover. It provides protection to the Kindle from scratching only. Unfortunately, there is nothing to protect the cover from scratching. The Kindle Keyboard cover was textured, so if you did scratch the cover, it would be difficult to show up. This cover is completely smooth. I ran my keys across it and it instantly scratched. I don't think it will likely draw too many scratches and I mention this mainly to comment on durability, but people may want to know this if they plan to keep it in their purse or a desk.
Unfortunately, likely due to Amazon contracts with developers, it is unlikely you will see a better lighted alternative. If you do not need the light, I suggest getting a better cover. If you do need the light, this is currently the best thing you're going to get that doesn't involve having to use a bulky, clip-on attachment. It is not a terrible cover, but it is a disappointment given Amazon's previous version and what they could have done with it.
PROS: Lightweight, very small, better light, no elastic band.
CONS: Not as much protection, feels flimsy and a bit cheap, no way to keep cover shut.
Update: January 2012 - After a few months of using this cover, I have got it figured out enough that I can fairly easily get the Kindle out of the cover without having to pry it out with a screwdriver. I do still think it has several noticeable design flaws that Amazon could have changed, but one thing I do appreciate is how slim it is. I can easily put my Kindle in my pocket, which is something I couldn't do with my Kindle Keyboard in its cover. If I could, I would change my rating to 3.5 stars.
on December 3, 2011
After reading all the disheartening and negative reviews here -- and ordering the Kindle Touch Case with Light ANYWAY as I felt it was the only real option -- I have to share a different opinion:
I was prepared to be disappointed -- I am pleased.
I had the last generation Kindle 3 and case with light.
This new Touch version is an extremely positive evolution in terms of overall aesthetics and design. The overall look and feel of product carry a lot of weight with me. I am generally attracted to the Apple brand/ design aesthetic.
I loved the functionality of the old Kindle 3 and case, but honestly felt it was a bit clunky and felt old-fashioned -- like a prop you'd see on a 1980's sci-fi rerun.
This new Touch case is truly "slick" -- not just as in the tactile surface of the case itself -- but in the use of the word that describes something clever, expensive, and thoughtful.
The leather materials *are* thin -- but not in a "cheap" way, in a very slim, streamlined, elegant way.
There is no feeling of bulk to the case at all.
The light bulb itself is comparable to older versions in terms of performance, but more pleasingly and simply articulated -- built into -- the design of the case itself.
Everything about this feels like it was designed to be a seamless accessory to the Kindle.
It feels purposeful and intentional.
*The Rubber Band Thingy
The one thing everyone misses -- the "rubber band" to hold it closed. That was never a big deal to me. I don't really miss it that much, myself, I mean... there's not a single book I own that has a rubber band to close the cover. My wallet doesn't have a built-in rubber band. My laptop doesn't either.
While I wouldn't hate it if this case had one, I honestly can't imagine how one could be added without detracting from the overall high-end design.
I'm glad I did not let the reviews here deter me from ordering this item.
The Kindle Design Team is headed a really strong direction.
on November 23, 2011
I was very worried while waiting for delivery of this case because so many people seem disappointed with it.
I quite like it!
It fits perfectly (you wonder why they didn't just include it from the start).
The light is such an improvement from the last one, which I actually liked.
The cover flips back and forth quite easily and doesn't need a closure device because it sits perfectly, perfectly flat, even after being folded back for long periods. LIke a nice old hardcover book.
The "olive green" is actually exactly as pictured on the site and is very nice looking.
The leather is quite smooth, not textured or pebbled, which may be why some people don't like it, but it's fine, and may look even nicer as it ages.
The back is a little smoother than I anticipated, and may prove slippery, but I had not anticipated the rubberized edges, which are nice additional protection.
I actually wonder whether some people got a different cover from the one I did, because this case is fine, and much more refined looking than the lighted case for the previous generation.
It is obvious that some thought went into improving the design, especially the light and the flush, flat cover.
Very happy with this.
on December 2, 2011
I've bought every Kindle generation, day one.
The previous kindle cover had a pull-out light from the upper right corner, and I would go months without seeing the bulb directly.
This Kindle Touch light, you see the bulb burning into your eyes ALL THE TIME as you read. Wow.
You can even tell by looking at the little girl's picture on this Kindle Touch page, her face is lit up, like yours will be, as you read.
AND, unlike my previous wonderful Kindle cover, this is a flappy thing that has no reason to stay closed.
Please Jeff, replace this awful design! I don't think anyone actually used this before it was quickly put out onto the street.
What is the best alternative to this? If anyone knows tell me.
I DO like how thin the leather is, making the case and Kindle compact. But I'd give that up for closure and the clever retractable light of the last generation cover
---Update. After experimenting with velcro to keep it closed (not a slick solution)...I took someone's advice on here and used electrical tape as a flap 1"x.3" horizontal flap that blocks the LED bulb from shining into my eyes. It even looks good. And it makes a huge difference! So until they make a stay-closed Kindle Touch cover light, I'm staying with this.
This is my first Kindle, and I've had the lighted case for a few days now and must say that I really like it. The leather is not at *all* plastic-like. This is what a quality tight-grain leather looks like. If it scratches, it scratches. Leather isn't metal or plastic, and the leather bags and cases that I have all have wear and scratches of one kind or another from use. Leather ages, and, I think, actually looks better as it gets some wear to it. The Kindle fits perfectly in the case, and I have no fear that it will fall out. All the ports and buttons are readily accessible, and there are no corner braces holding it in, which is quite aesthetically pleasing. I like not having an elastic band or binder around it -- the simplicity is quite elegant, and it's very booklike as a result. In fact it's like holding a fairly thin trade paperback, but one that stays open. merely flip it open when you're ready to read, and either hold it like a front book cover or flip it the whole way around -- your choice. The light works quite well and illuminates the entire page, though it's not quite as bright at the bottom, but is certainly bright enough to read. It feels wonderful in the hand, and I have no fear that it will slide off anything any more than I do the Kindle without a cover. All in all, it does precisely what it's intended to do -- protect the Kindle and provide light -- and does it very well indeed.
on December 31, 2011
So, going into this Kindle cover search, the first place I stopped was here, at the "official" Amazon Kindle Touch Lighted Cover. The price put me off a bit (it still does) but the reviews were so abysmal that I wasted about 6 hours exhaustively searching Amazon and Google for any cover that held better promise. None did. Here are the things I really liked/wanted that I was unable to find elsewhere:
1. A light that is always there and powered off the Kindle. This is a big deal, because I read in the dark and REALLY don't want to have to fumble around with a separate reading light. The side table light is too bright for my wife, and the clumsiness of the add-on lights is really annoying.
2. Real leather. I like nice stuff, understated class, etc. I know what leather feels like, and I enjoy it. I'm not a snob or aficionado, but I can tell the difference between pleather/polyurethane/plastic and leather.
3. No ugly plastic/elastic straps covering the fascia of my lovely Kindle. As a long-time book reader and a hesitant e-book convert, it's pretty important to me that the thing 'disappear' in my hands while I'm reading it.
4. No unnecessary bulk. The Kindle Touch is small and sleek. It's a little too small and sleek to really be comfortable reading it, so the cover needs to add a little bit of bulk, but not much.
After determining that none of the other cases currently on the market met these needs, I relented and bought the "official" one. And guess what? It's perfect, and I absolutely love it. My comments on the common gripes:
1. "The light is chintzy and it gets in my eyes." The light illuminates the screen. It doesn't have any flickering problems. It doesn't get in my eyes the way I hold the Kindle, but I can see how it would. Just for grins, I put a tiny piece of black electrical tape over the very top 1/8 inch of the bulb, and the problem is completely gone. Any reasonable angle provides good lighting without being distracting. As far as being 'chintzy', I don't know how these people treat their electronics, but the light is not flimsy. It stows away flush with the case when you're not using it. Seems robust enough to me, but then again, I don't use the light when I'm reading anywhere but in bed. Maybe if you like to run in the dark and read simultaneously it will be a problem. Or, more realistically, if you have a tendency to fall asleep while reading and drop the kindle or roll over on it: If you do either of these, you might end up with a "non lighted case". But then again, your Kindle probably won't last long either... maybe you should go back to paper books.
2. "There's no closure mechanism". Well, I may differ from the majority of reviewers, but I'm careful with my stuff. I'm not carelessly throwing my kindle in bags full of paperclips and loose staples. If it is traveling with me, it's packed either in my clothes, next to my laptop in the padded compartment of my backpack typically used for delicate devices, or somewhere equally protected. I'm not concerned about the cover flying open in transit and allowing something to puncture the screen. And it is well designed enough to lay flush with the face of the Kindle, so not much is getting in there. A side effect of "sleek" and "flush fitting" is that the cover piece is thin. But don't take that to mean it's flimsy, on the contrary it seems incredibly well constructed. I rather like it.
3. "The leather is smooth and therefore slippery." Well, it's smooth leather. As you use it, there will be more grip, but it's not as if this thing ways 10 pounds and you really need to get a grip on it. When it's open, the rubberized molding is more than enough grip to keep the kindle where you want it. Also, if you read with the cover folded over the back like I do, you're holding the microfiber suede side with your fingers and the very grippy rubberized molding around the edge of the kindle. It's not going anywhere.
4. "Its so hard to get the kindle in and out of the case". I don't need to do this often, I don't know about you. Once it's in the case, I really don't foresee the need to remove it. But in case I did, Amazon gave me the instructions, and guess what? They work! Kindle comes out, screen intact, and the cover is not damaged!
All in all, this is a very well made and thoughtfully engineered case. My guess is that the core of everyone's gripe is really the price. For that, I deducted one star. Bravo, Amazon, on a well designed case. Drop the price $15 and you'll have a sure winner.
on December 25, 2011
I think that the reason for all the mixed reviews on this product is that everyone has different needs and wants when it comes to a Kindle Cover. I know that I was recently searching for a cover for an iPad and it was a tough search. Also, it is very difficult to know what a cover is like until you have it in your hot little hands. Since Amazon has a great return policy, I would recommend getting it and sending it back if it is not what you want. I think I take a little exception with some of the reviews because if I order something and don't like it because it doesn't fit my specific needs, I don't think it would be appropriate to give a negative review based on those needs. I would be more inclined to send it back and say to myself "that is not what I was looking for but it might be what others want."
Fot those who want to know what it is like - it is not a soft cover. It is basically a hard plastic covered with leather. And unlike the K3 Keyboard lighted cover, it is a smooth and slippery finish rather than a pebble finish. It is very form fitting - the Kindle fits into the plastic inside snuggly and the cover closes easily. I find no need for a strap and in fact would find a strap to be annoying when holding the Kindle. The light is more even and focused than the K3K cover light. I can see that if you hold it in a particular way that it might shine in your eye. Not an issue with me.
For me, it gets 4 stars because it is pretty light, it protects the Kindle, the light does the job and I like the integrated look of the Kindle in the cover. I found the weight of the K3K lighted cover to be a little on the heavy and bulky side and I found myself taking the Kindle out of the cover and reading 'naked' when the opportunity presented itself. I think with this cover I will not do that very often.
I dropped it down to 4 stars because it is pricey, and the light itself feels a little fragile - it will be interesting to see how it wears over time. But the cover does not feel 'cheap' to me. It feels like some thought went into the design. It may not be for everybody, but if you want a alternative to a bulky book light and want the option to read in a dark room or in bed, it should fill your needs. In addition, it provides enough protection that I now feel comfortable taking my Kindle to work or when I venture out somewhere and want to be able to read when waiting in line, at the Dr's office, etc.
on November 22, 2011
For several generations, official Kindle covers have included a closure mechanism. This is absolutely necessary to protect the Kindle in the course of ordinary travel, from damage by forceful contact with other small items in a briefcase etc. The lesson was an expensive one for many, and well-learned.
Now for $60 Amazon soils the Kindle Touch - surely the best kindle reader ever - with a defiantly under-designed cover. It has no closure, and your KT will be easily damaged by pens, paper clips, whatever.
Earlier but recent covers also allow easy removal. This is important, because one often wants relief from the extra weight for extended reading. But to remove the KT from this cover requires a seriously dramatic exertion; I feared the device itself it might crack open.
The light has very limited travel and does not really reach the bottom of the page.
This is a TERRIBLE accessory product. Experienced and quality-conscious users are bound to be bitterly disappointed with it.
Save yourself the grief. Look elsewhere.
And yes indeed, I ordered it early, I actually received it, and I wrote this review with the product in my hand (well, in the box for immediate return).