If you’ve read any of my reviews and news articles, you’ve probably noticed two things about me: I love my Sony PRS-600 Touch eBook reader, and I LOVE cases and covers for my electronic devices. Watch out, because now I’m reviewing the Executive Jacket and the Platform Jacket from M-Edge and their brand-new e-Luminator2 book light for the Sony 600 reader!
Sony cheaped out with the 600; they didn’t include a cover, and I found their neoprene sleeve woefully lacking. I don’t like to read with a naked reader, so I tried my 600 in various covers I had for my old 505 reader. I also require a book light, because I use one every time I read. I was accustomed to using the 505 reader in a case with an integrated light, but the 600 didn’t fit in it, and I just didn’t like using a case with a clip-on light. I bought one of the new lighted covers from Sony the moment they were available. If you read my review of the Sony lighted case, you won’t be surprised to hear that I quickly abandoned it. Devon Mish from M-Edge commented on the Sony lighted case review to say their covers and book light for the 600 would soon be available. I asked Julie if she would contact M-Edge to see if they would send us a cover and light for review. They were kind enough to send two covers and a light.
I already owned an M-Edge Executive Jacket for the 505 reader. One of the things I really liked about it was how protective it was. The leather cover was stiffened to provide screen protection. I normally like soft, supple leather, but I want protection over my electronic screens. The Executive cover also closed securely with a wrap-around strap. Because I liked these features, I decided I’d ask for the Executive Jacket for the 600. I also asked to try out the Platform Jacket; this is similar to the Executive Jacket in appearance, but it opens at the top instead of the side. I was also sent the e-Luminator2 book light for the Sony 600.
M-Edge is another company that doesn’t waste a lot of money on fancy packaging. I personally like this, because it tells me two things. I know that the entire purchase price went into the quality of the leather goods, and it tells me that my new leather cover isn’t going to need a lot of coddling when I use it. The M-Edge Jackets were packaged in thin, clear plastic sleeves. When I opened them up, they smelled good, and they looked beautiful. I asked for a navy blue Executive Jacket. The navy is a nice, reddish-tinged navy that’s not too dark, and it has white or cream top-stitching. I asked for the mocha and saddle version of the Platform Jacket. The mocha is a coffee-with-a-touch-of-cream color, and the saddle is a latte brown. The Platform case also has the white/cream top-stitching. Both jackets are made of pebbled leather with a matte finish – not too shiny for the guys to use.
Let’s start with the Executive Jacket. This is a book-style cover. I really like this style of reader cover, because it is most like reading a paper book. The Executive cover is lined with a gray fabric with a suede texture. The inside front of the jacket has several pockets, sized to hold memory cards, business cards, or a folded piece of paper. There is a black elastic pen loop sewn into the spine. I did not use any of these pockets or the pen loop. (Say it with me – I don’t want to risk scratching my reader!) The reader is held in the cover with two leather and elastic straps at the top corners and two leather straps at the bottom corners. The outer bottom strap is shaped differently than the inner one. M-Edge made it a little smaller to prevent it pressing on the volume rocker on the bottom of the 600 reader. These straps hold my reader very snugly. I’ve never had the slightest fear that my reader will fall out.
There is a sewn-on leather strap that wraps around the outside of the cover. The end of the strap slides under the beginning of the strap to make a tight closure. I love the look and the function of this strap, but I do find the loose end is right where I want to put my hand when I hold the cover for reading. It’s stiff enough that I can’t just push it to the back of the reader, but it’s by no means a deal breaker for me.
With the reader in place and the cover closed, you’ll notice there is some extra space at the spine of the Executive Jacket. The magic of the M-Edge cover is in this extra space and in a little pocket sewn into the lining under the back of the reader. The pocket is located at the top of the cover, and it is designed to hold the e-Luminator2 book light in place. Simply slide the paddle end of the e-Luminator2 into the pocket, and the light head and flexible metal neck will rest in the extra space along the inner side of the reader. The light head contains a “Super Bright” LED, and there is a plastic lens that helps to evenly disperse the light. The little cylinder at the other end of the flexible neck holds a single AAA battery (not included). The battery compartment also serves as a pivot point; simply twist here to raise the light head into position. The neck is long and flexible enough to allow you to adjust the head to illuminate the screen. I have the best results when I turn the lens parallel to the reader, so the entire screen is washed with light.
The back of the light head has a three-position switch – low illumination, off, high illumination. There is a noticeable difference between the two intensity levels, but I have found that the low level provides a good amount of illumination for most situations. I think the battery would probably last longer at the lower intensity, too. M-Edge says you’ll get more than 20 hours from a battery, with no dimming. I do have a bit of a problem with the switch. Instead of turning off the light, I always seem to push it back and forth between low intensity to high. I wish it had been arranged off-low-high, so at least I could just shove it over to “off” easily. Again, this is not a deal breaker for me.
The Platform Jacket is as beautifully made as the Executive. It also has the gray fabric interior, the little storage pockets, and the black elastic pen loop. The reader is held in place with the same straps as in the Executive Jacket. It has the same strap closure, stiffening to protect the screen, and it looks like the Executive Jacket – only in “portrait mode”. The Platform Jacket opens like a steno pad, and you can flip the front all the way to the back, and use the strap to form it into a stand for hands-free reading. The reader angle isn’t really adjustable, so you may find it most comfortable to read when it is sitting on a higher surface. For example, a seat-back tray in an airplane may be a little low for comfortable hands-free reading. You can also just fold the front all the way back and hold it in one hand. There is a stiff strip down the left side of the reader that makes a nice grip for one-handed reading.
This stiff strip is where the e-Luminator2 rests when not in use. The book light works beautifully with the Platform Jacket. The only problem I had using the book light was when I tried to raise the light into position. The leather was so stiff here that the battery compartment couldn’t pivot. However, the instructions for using the book light say that you should pull the e-Luminator2 out from the side of the reader before pivoting. I found I could pivot the book light into position in the Executive Jacket without this step, but it was necessary with the Platform Jacket.
I can say – without the shadow of a doubt (thanks to the light from the e-Luminator2!) – that I have found the perfect cover and light for my Sony 600 reader. I absolutely love the M-Edge Executive Jacket with the e-Luminator2 book light. The Jacket is beautiful, it smells good, it’s protective, and the navy color looks great with my red 600. The light from the e-Luminator2 is just the right amount, and it covers my entire screen. The book light adds very little weight to the case. Because it’s “built in”, there is no bulky lump on the back of the case when I’m reading and no extra item to stuff into my purse. I also like the Platform Jacket, and it will be nice to use when I want to huddle under the covers and read in bed this winter.
And you don’t have to be jealous if you don’t have a Sony 600. M-Edge makes covers and book lights for the Sony PRS-300 Pocket reader and for all Kindle editions (1, 2, and DX). According to their web site, they are also planning accessories for the Barnes and Noble nook. If leather isn’t your thing, they also offer neoprene covers.