Periscope Lighted Folio Kindle Cover Review

periscope-kindle-8I really enjoy my Kindle, but always grumble when I’m unable to see the display in dimly lit environments. It’s a problem that keeps me reading on my iPhone more often than the Kindle, because the iPhone has a backlight. When the folks at Periscope asked if I would like to review their Lighted Folio Kindle Cover, you can guess what my answer was.

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The Lighted Folio is not a minimal cover. It’s more like wrapping a nicely bound leather hard cover book around your Kindle.

Dimensions: 8-1/4″H X 7-1/2″W X 1-1/4″D
Weight: 13 ounces

With the Kindle 2 inserted, the total weight adds up to pretty hefty 1 lb 12 oz.

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Each cover of the folio is close to a quarter of an inch thick. On the Left side is a lined 5 x 8 inch notepad. Sewn into the spine is an elastic tube that can hold a pen or pencil. Next to that is the LED housing and on the Right side you will find the area for the Kindle. The cover is held closed with a magnetic snap.

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The Kindle is held in place by four elastic straps. I’m not a big fan of using straps when the Kindle has special slots in the site that are made for a metal holder.

It is possible to fold the Left cover behind the Kindle.

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The twin LED housing is stored in a leather holder.

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The light is powered by 3 AA batteries, that are unfortunately not included. The light can also be powered by an optional AC adapter that can be purchased for $14.95.

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To use the light, you just grip the head and pull it out from the housing. As you can see from the image above, the light is mounted on a telescoping arm. The LEDs will automatically turn on after you extend the arm.

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The arm can then be bent at a 90 degree angle and the head can swivel in order to adjust the angle of the light on the Kindle’s display.

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Here we see the Periscope Lighted Folio in action. As far as lighting the screen, it does a good job and can’t be faulted. But, I did run into some issues with it. The main problem is that it can introduce glare on the screen unless you fiddle with the angle and direction of the light. The other issue is that whenever you pull out the light from the housing, or push it back in, the bright LEDs shine into your eyes as you do so. If you aren’t paying attention to where you’re looking, you’ll have a nice flash bulb sensation for a few seconds. One more problem that I noticed is that it’s quite awkward to press the Previous Page button on the Kindle while it’s in this case. The LED housing is in the way if you typically use your Left hand to activate that button.

The construction of the Periscope Lighted Folio is very nice and I’m sure that it would do a good job of protecting your Kindle from everyday wear and tear. That said, this cover is really bulky and heavy and probably isn’t one that I’d want to carry around with me very often. If you like eBook readers but still want that real book feel, the Periscope might be perfect for you though.

 

Product Information

Price:$49.95
Manufacturer:Periscope
Pros:
  • Hard covers protect the Kindle
  • Fully adjustable light head
Cons:
  • Bulky
  • Light can glare on the Kindle's display
  • Previous page button hard to press
  • Light shines in your eyes when closing it
Posted in: eBook Readers, Reviews

{ 5 comments… add one }

  • Bob Williams December 2, 2009, 10:38 pm

    I had to go back and check what year this was…yep 2009.

    We were doing stuff like this with Palm Pilots in 1996. Why aren’t these devices back or edge lit?

    1
  • TC December 2, 2009, 11:25 pm

    I think the point to e-Ink displays is not to back-light them to reduce eye strain. Some sort of indirect edge lighting might be interesting but back lighting is a no-go if you plan to read for long periods. It also kills battery life.

    2
  • Philippe Radley December 3, 2009, 4:09 pm

    You cannot backlight the Kindle: the type is opaque, unlike in crystal liquid displays. You could sidelight it, but that doesn’t seem to work well (it was tried with a Sony). You must use overhead lighting.

    3
  • Julie December 3, 2009, 4:30 pm

    @Philippe I understand that e-ink devices can not be backlit. That doesn’t keep me from wanting one that can be. I’m waiting for the next step in technology – a nice iPhone-ish display with unlimited battery life :)

    4
  • Mary August 21, 2010, 3:06 pm

    eInk IS the latest technology for the many who complain about back lighting and who cannot read an LED screen outdoors or a brightly lit environement. Extended battery life is only a secondary benefit. I had a backlit screen on my Dell Pocket PC years ago. The battery was rechargable and the screen good indoors away from light. But a lot of people find fault with backlighting anytime on their eyes. eInk technology offers an alternative and the new (Kindle 3) has improved the contrast even more. With the Kindle you can always read on your computer or iPhone when you prefer backlighting, like at night, and switch to your eInk Kindle by day for plain as paper view with no glare.

    5

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