As relentless as the e-reader trend has become, so to is our quest at the Gadgeteer to provide readers with even more ways to dress up their luxury literary devices. While the sleek, minimalist design of Amazon’s 2nd generation Kindle happens to be one of it’s most alluring features, sometimes we simply feel the urge to break free from the norm.
Lucky for us, the fine folks at Speck have provided us with a couple of options to make our e-book experience functional and fashionable.
DustJacket for Kindle 2
The DustJacket model resembles that of many book-cover styles on the market, although it comes with a built-in, flip-out reading stand should you need your kindle in an upright, reading position (think train, airplane). Simply open the case, flip the front cover around the back of the device, and pull out the stand (which is attached via Velcro to the inside cover). It’s as easy as that! The device stands up quite easily, although your reading experience may depend on the type of surface your Kindle sits upon. I found that pressing the next page button needed too much force in a stationary position, causing the device to move around.
Another feature I liked about the DustJacket was the inside cover. I own Amazon’s version of the Kindle 2 case, and my one gripe is that the inside cover seems to offer minimal protection should any force be exerted on the device. Speck’s DustJacket, however, has a thick, plush, micro-fleece lined interior that seems poised for protection.
One drawback to all that extra padding, however, is the size of the case with the Kindle installed (which, by the way, is as simple as popping the Kindle into a pre-molded slot). Considering the sleek profile of Amazon’s reader, the device is rendered into a bulky, day-planner-ish size once the case in installed. This may appease some, though, as it felt like I was reading an actual book due to the size and weight of the case.
I suppose the verdict comes down to which you prefer more: safety or style? The case is priced at $34 and comes in two styles – Black Leatherette and Red.
Fitted for Style
Speck’s other case is the Fitted model. While the DustJacket brought both form and function to the table, the Fitted model is more about giving your Kindle a makeover.
As the photo illustrates, this case keeps the natural, slim profile of the Kindle while adding a few shots of color/design to the mix. Installation is – literally – a snap. Much like a case for a touch-screen phone, the Fitted model comes in two pieces that snap around the device, leaving all of the navigation keys and keyboard exposed to the user.
The design is simple, but easy on the eyes. Surrounding the white buttons of the Kindle itself is a black shell on the front of the device, leading into a black/white/gray houndstooth pattern on the back.
I have to admit, I’ve always been a guy that is fairly partial to leaving devices as they are. This isn’t to say I don’t want to protect my gadgets – I take good care of them – but part of the beauty, to me, is the aesthetic simplicity of the Kindle. However, after snapping on the Fitted model, seeing the white navigation buttons pop from the black background and feeling the soft, slick look of the houndstooth pattern on the back, I was a bit torn. I really like the look of this case. Perhaps I was getting tired of seeing the monochromatic tones that I once cherished about this device. This was a change – and I liked it.
The Fitted model is $39.95 and comes in three styles: Houndstooth Gray, Speakeasy Black Pinstripe, and Black and White Plaid. Both models in this review can be found on the Speck product page.