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If youíve recently bought or received a Kindle 4 the chances are that you are going to want to protect your new baby, I know I did. There are two main avenues to take when buying a cover, the official, expensive route or the unofficial and far more affordable. I knew which route I was going to take, there is no way I could justify spending £40 plus on an official cover, after all thatís just under half the cost of a Kindle. After making the decision to go down the unofficial route, I had a bit of a search on Amazon and discovered the SD Folio Case Cover Pouch (henceforth known as the cover) with a free clip on reading lamp. This case is available in a variety of colours, but I chose the purple which cost me £8.99 with free delivery.
With a faux leather exterior and faux suede interior the cover is a beautiful almost plum purple. Deep enough in shade to not be too feminine, but light enough to not be too masculine, I feel itís the perfect colour for either sex and itís looks extremely smart. The stitching is in a slightly paler shade, contrasts well and is extremely even, which loans itself to making the cover look far more expensive than it actually is. The cover opens and shuts via a magnetic clasp, that looks like itís a snap fastener, but actually closes without the need for any pressure. The clasp holds very securely but takes minimum force to open. When closed I would say that the cover looks rather like a slim line filofax and so pretty stylish.
On opening the cover itís simplicity itself to position your Kindle. There are four corner straps, the top two of which are elasticated. Once placed over each corner of the Kindle these straps hold it firmly in position, with absolutely no movement and the fit is perfect with just a couple of millimetres overlap. I especially like the way the fact that the interior is made of a very soft faux suede which helps protect the Kindle from scratching. Another point of the interior that I particularly like is a pocket on the back of the front cover. This pocket is perfect for holding a train or bus ticket and means my ticket is always to hand when reading on public transport.
Holding the Kindle whilst it is in the cover is something that takes a while to get used to. The front cover can be folded behind the back which makes it easier to hold. I have tried holding it as I would a book, but found the fact that the Kindle is only on one side makes it lop-sided and uncomfortable after only a few minutes. All of the Kindleís buttons are available whilst in the cover, but I do find that the few extra millimetres does mean that I struggle to reach the left hand page turns and the crook between my index finger and thumb does rub a little, which can be painful after extended reading sessions. I also find that the faux leather exterior does tend to make my hands sweat a little more than normal.
While the cover is slightly padded, I wouldnít say it would necessarily do a fantastic job at protecting my Kindle from a fall onto a hard surface. But it does do a fantastic job of protecting my Kindle from the contents of my handbag, meaning it hasnít got a scratch on it even after sharing said bag with keys, money and goodness knows what else. While I already felt the Kindle was stylish, I would say that this cover makes it look even more stylish. As to durability, well Iíve only had the cover for a few weeks but it has had very extended use protecting my Kindle both at home and out and about. So far the cover appears to be extremely well made, the stitching has held firm, the magnetic clasp hasnít lost any of itís staying power and even with the front regularly being folding back there is no sign of cracking along the spine. Oh and not being made of real leather, when the exterior gets a little grubby, itís easy to clean with a barely damp cloth.
The cover itself is fantastic and definitely fit for purpose. It looks smart, protects my Kindle and makes the reading experience just a little bit more ďbook-likeĒ. At the price this is selling for on Amazon, which is now £9.99 this is a fantastic buy and as far as Iím concerned even with my very slight niggles worth five stars out of five. But the cover is not all you get for your money, you also getÖ
While I would describe the cover as stylish the same certainly couldnít be said about the light. Powered by three AAA batteries this clip on light is rather large and bulky. The light clips onto the cover via a hinged, spring action clamp, which is slightly padded on one side. As it contains three batteries I find that it is a little heavy and it is best to clip the light onto the front page of the cover and then fold that behind the rear page. I have tried clipping the light on to the cover and holding it like a book, but the extra weight does make it feel unbalanced and uncomfortable to hold. Once clipped into place the clamp does not mark the cover.
The actual light is an LED bulb at the end of a poseable swan neck. With this neck being over six inches in length, itís easy to manipulate into the exact position to illuminate the Kindle without glare. The light is switched on via a small button at the bulb end. This button is slightly raised which means itís easy to find, even in the dark. Once switched on the light is the perfect balance between being bright enough to illuminate the Kindle without being so bright that it disturbs my partner sleeping beside me. I find it does exactly what it should, which is allows me to read in bed without having to have the bedside light on without disturbing my partner or hurting my eyes.
As to battery life, I cannot be exact on how long a set of batteries will last. I installed a set of mid-range batteries (ELC to be exact) several weeks ago and that same set of batteries are still going strong after at least twenty hours of reading time. Obviously cheaper batteries wonít last as long, while high range will last longer, but so far Iím very happy that Iíve not had to change the batteries so far.
All in all, while the light is in no way perfect, itís certainly fit for purpose. Itís not the most stylish of accessories and is a little heavy, but I do like that it is independently powered and doesnít suck my Kindleís battery dry and I love that it allows me to read my Kindle in bed.
While I really would recommend that anyone who owns a Kindle should by a cover, I really canít understand why they would pay the extortionate price that an official cover demands when this is available. Although not made of leather, this does look as if it is, and it is very well made with good attention to detail. The addition of the free light is another definite plus point as although it isnít particularly stylish it certainly does the job. So Iím whole-heartedly recommending the SD Folio Case Cover Pouch with Free Clip-on Reading Lamp to anyone who is purchasing (or has purchased) a Kindle 4. After all the Kindle itself is fantastic and it makes sense to spend a little to protect it.
Pictures of New Kindle SD Folio Case Cover Pouch
Cover and light
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