A few weeks ago, a case and reading light for my Amazon Kindle arrived. Regulars of the forums and ABI know I am usually quite hesitant at using covers and cases for my devices. I like to think that the manufacturer designed their product to be used as it is. The argument for the use of cases is the protection of your device, but as designers are using better and better materials for their products, a little bit of care for your device does what a case was required to do to protect your precious gadgets several years ago. However, one thing that gets my interest with cases is when they offer an extra functionality. The iPad Smart Cover is one such case which extends the functionality of the iPad with the integrated magnets and the various positions it can be maneuvered into. The M-edge Executive Jacket for Amazon Kindle is another such case.
Style and build quality
I got the M-Edge Executive Jacket for Kindle. The case as the name suggests, is a jacket, and wraps around the entire device. The Kindle sits on the right hand side of the jacket when opened, and you have pockets on the left to store your various documents. Although, these pockets are not large enough to store an A4 sheet of paper without folding it. When closed, the jacket has a small strap that allows you to securely close the case. This strap, also can be used to hold it open while reading by folding the cover back.
The outside is made of fake leather, and comes in your choice of the 7 colours they have available – I got the black one so it would match my iPad, Kindle and iPhone. Don’t let the word “fake” fool you though – it is very nice and feels great. When I filmed the video to accompany this review, I believed it was real leather. I checked the case out again on the M-Edge store and was surprised to learn it was fake. The inside is made of a microfibre which is soft to the touch and gentle on the Kindle. It accompanies the leather well, and the colour (at least on the black version) suits the Kindle and outside leather nicely.
A nylon strip wraps around the entire case. It is a little bit different, and makes the design stand out, as opposed to the entire thing being “leather” and is a nice touch.
The Kindle fits in very securely, and once strapped into the case it will not be going anywhere. The bottom half of the Kindle is held in by two “leather” straps that wrap around the device, while at the top there is 2 straps that are elastic, and secure it in place. Below you can see the bottom strap over the bottom right-hand corner of the Kindle.
The case also has a special slot for where you can insert the e-Luminator Touch Light, but more on that below.
As I mentioned in the video, I was struck by how well this case was made. The entire case looks as if it is made with care. As you can see by the photos above, the stitching is flawless. The “leather” and nylon outside and microfiber inside, really adds to the quality of the case.
The case has suffered hard knocks, being in my bag to and from university. It holds up well, and there are no marks or blemishes. So it shouldn’t look terrible if you leave it in your bag for a while. It feels sturdy, strong, which is important to me. Durability of a case should be seen as being able to last just as long as the device it is made for – not just protect the device. The jacket certainly feels like it will keep up with the Kindle as the years go buy.
I would have thought that while reading, the case would get in the road and make reading cumbersome. Yet, the opposite happened. The case became quite an integral role in holding the Kindle while reading. Since the Kindle became thicker when the jacket was folded back, my hands had somewhere to grip properly. I found that while in bed, I was no longer resting the (thin and hard to hold for extended periods) Kindle on my tummy, but actually holding it up with my own hands. The case gives the Kindle more body, which is great as gadgets are getting thinner and thinner constantly.
e-Luminator Touch Light
A while back I did an article on e-ink screens and their benefits over LCD. I briefly spoke of how e-ink does not have a back light, and needs an outside source of light to be read. The reason I am recalling this is that M-Edges’ Executive Jacket takes this into account with the Kindle, and makes space for the e-Luminator Touch Light. In other words, this case has been designed with a reading light in mind.
This brings us back to what I believe a case should be – an extra functionality of the original device. By adding something simple as a place to hold your reading light, they have enabled the Kindle to be used practically everywhere safetly, which is quite a large achievement.
The light comes in either charcoal or white, and is powered by a single AAA battery. There are 3 brightness settings which are adjusted with the touch part of the light on the top. The light is an LED, so I am assuming the battery life is good (M-Edge say that you can get ~20hrs at medium intensity). The light is on a large flat platform, which can be used on real books if need be due to the wedging ability of the platform. This is a great little bonus for avid readers as they can replace their older reading lights with this one, and still have it compatible with the case for newer books.
A negative of this light, is that without the case the light really had no secure way of attaching to the Kindle. The case is what makes this light special – without the case, the light is only sadly suited to printed books. The light is also compatible with other cases that are produced by M-Edge. So, it is possible to have several types of cases, and have the one style of light for all of them as well as your printed books.
The light is on a pivot point, allowing the base to be twisted around from the flat base of the light. The arm is bendable, and stays in its position when moved. This flexibility allows for pretty much any position under the sun, and every reader should be able to find a position in which they are not bothered by the presence of the light in their way.
The light is definitely bright enough to read, and also see all the bottom keys on the keyboard of the Kindle. It is easy to say that the e-Luminator light definitely does its job. I found no glare off of the screen (as is with e-Ink screens) and it is indeed easy on the eyes, even those with uber-sensitive eyes like myself.
The light fits perfectly into the case, and is not bothered at all when you actually close the jacket up. It is not easily going to be forced out of the case, and it is going to be just as safe as your Kindle in your travels.
The M-Edge team seemed to have been able to pull of a great device combination. The Executive Jacket is a lovely case, but coupled with the e-Luminator Touch Light it becomes a brilliant case. The case holds up well to the bash of your bag, but still looks great when you pull it out. The classy design, along with the great manufacturing make it a brilliant accessory. The e-Liminator Touch Light is a great little reading light for your Kindle, but also has the added bonus of being able to be used on the more older analogue form of books.
You can check out both of these products at the M-edge store.