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A very nice sleeve, but not quite perfect...
on October 6, 2011
Everyone's taste in Kindle protection is different and we are all looking for different things and perceive a different value in terms of product cost vs. features. This Kindle cover has several nice attributes, but does lack a few key features I find important (plus a bit of an extra I could do without).
One thing about Kindle covers is that they boil down to two design types--the sleeve and the 'book style' covers. Many people like the protection and feel of the book type cover, plus some function as easels or stands. However, I am in the camp where I just prefer holding a 'naked' Kindle while reading. For people like me, the sleeve style is the way to go.
One positive note, well it is AVAILABLE. I think Amazon does get a bit of a bonus when putting out new products-they have the accessories ready to go. Granted it's not as bad as when K3/Keyboard came out and a lot of vendors were apparently left flat footed and with tons of inventory and no new product. I was sure a new Kindle was coming out this time when several sellers were suddenly slashing prices on their covers! This time around there are also several other alternatives available, but not a whole lot, so again, this one is at least AVAILABLE.
This sleeve is very lightweight--this is both a positive and a negative depending on your use patterns. Part of the appeal of the sleeve is to maintain the sleek nature of my Kindle. A heavy or bulky sleeve detracts from this while most likely offering more protection. This product is light and low profile-- and though there is padding, it is more of a 'keep it safe in a small purse' type. I would NOT feel comfortable using this sleeve in a rougher environment (like my children's backpacks--or even mine). There is minimal rigidity to the design and the padding is fairly thin--it will protect the screen, but I'm not sure how well the whole Kindle would stand up to heavier impact. Again, great for some use patterns, not so great for others.
The zipper--positive or negative depending on your point of view. I like zippers in many places, I'm just not wild about them near my Kindle screen as I am a bit of a klutz. Some designers put a protective fold or flap the keep the zipper away from the actual holding compartment. Not a huge thing, but I don't like the potential for direct contact between the Kindle and the zipper.
The materials-hmmm. Not a nice way to say this, but there is a fairly strong chemical odor when the package is first opened. After a couple days this is resolving but I can still smell it while holding it right up to my nose. A bit of a turn off and sensitive noses and airways may not enjoy this!
The materials again--the fabric is a little rough and pebbly and two tone (grey/black for one and two shades of blue for the other)--my sons like the look, but I don't find that appealing and I suspect that it will 'pill' after awhile. The household Y chromosomes disagree with me (well, not about the 'pill' part, they have no idea what I'm talking about--one of my parenting failures as I have not taught them this apparently), but they love the way the covers look.
The little (presumably) faux leather band is not sewn all the way down--which is nice because you can slip your hand through it and use it to carry or as an attachment site. I like this.
The construction itself is very well done in terms of assembly. A very clean, tidy and quality look.
Overall, I give this 4 stars as. I have seen other designs that are able to maintain the sleek profile but use a more rigid material for better impact protection, which I prefer. I'm a little leery of the zipper design and I'm not a big fan of the material used. However, there are plenty of nice features too, and it all boils down to personal taste and overall it is a nice, quality, sleeve.
Recommended, just not for me (but these are for my kids and they love them).
EDITED 11/17/11 (at least in my time zone..). Now my boys have been using this sleeve for over a month now and I wanted to add a couple comments. On the plus side the chemical odor did fade away completely--no issue in my family, but it was bad enough that I think someone with reactive airways or a strong nose could really find it bothersome. No 'pilling' or zipper issues yet, but the way the zipper goes around there was one case of the Kindle falling out and hitting the tile floor when my youngest thought it was closed all the way. Obviously user error (the Kindle was fine thankfully!) but design-wise that may be an issue for someone.
This is working out fine for my kiddos...at this point I'd be giving a 4.5 stars if I could!