What are the Best Cheap Kindle Cases and Lights?

by Reads (10,903)

Kindle accessories are too expensive. Some of the cases and lights I’ve reviewed at TabletPCReview almost cost as much as the eReader itself, which is absurd. While I can appreciate the design and craftsmanship that go into making a quality case, that doesn’t mean that I can afford to (or even want to) spend $50 to $100 on luxury accessories each time I purchase a new handheld or tablet.

Sometimes it’s even more fun to see what you can get for the least amount of cash. So when I purchased a Kindle with Special Offers recently, I knew I needed a case and a reading light for it, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of cash outfitting my new electronic reader. I found some very interesting products, but it took some digging–most of these items don’t show up in the regular Kindle store on Amazon. Unless you’re lucky enough to stumble across some of the less expensive items, you’d never know that you don’t have to spend $40 on a Kindle case, or even $20–you just have to know where to look.

CASES

The Amazon Kindle has gotten a lot less expensive over the years since it was first introduced, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about protecting it on a daily basis. There are a variety of cases to choose from, including book-style covers, silicone sleeves, and slip cases. Each one has pros and cons, so in order to choose the best one you should consider your needs, such as whether you often travel with your device, need a built-in stand, or just want something basic to protect the Kindle when you toss it into your bag.

Boxwave Eclipse Crystal Slip Case ($14.50)
If you’re looking for something a little more protective than your typical silicone skin case, but you don’t want to get a full leather case for your Kindle, you might consider the Crystal Slip Case from Boxwave. At first glance it looks quite similar to regular silicone cases, but it’s made out of a thicker, more rigid rubberized material. It doesn’t have the same soft touch feel of silicone; it’s smoother and shinier.

The fit on this particular case is rather tight, so it may take some work to get your Kindle into the case the first time you insert it. You’ll need to put in the top corners of the Kindle first, and then stretch the bottom edge and corners of the case over your device. Once you do so you’ll see that all of the edges and corners are well protected, and there are cutouts where necessary for the speakers on the back of the device, as well as the power button and charge/sync port on the bottom. The page turn buttons on each side of the device are covered, but the area you need to press is labeled so they are still fully functional within the case.

The Eclipse case is a little different from the others, with a distinctive circle design on the back. It’s subtle and understated, not the sort of thing that shouts loudly, but the pattern still offers some customization. Even better, the smooth surface means that it won’t attract every particle of dirt and dust like silicone is prone to do. It’s a great everyday case, and a good value.

Boxwave Flexiskin ($9.95)
The Flexiskin is a silicone case designed to provide everyday protection for your Amazon Kindle. It doesn’t cover the screen or provide extreme impact protection, but it does cover the back, sides, and corners in a soft grip material that’s pleasant to touch. It’s more comfortable to hold for long periods of time than the device itself, without adding a lot of bulk. It also adds some personality to your Kindle, which is nice if you don’t particularly care for mundane dark gray electronic devices.

The interesting thing here is that the Boxwave Flexiskin seems to be the exact same product as the CrazyOnDigital set reviewed below, except that it has a small silver Boxwave logo stamped on the back, and the Boxwave product comes in different colors. If you are just dying for a pink, orange, or white case for your Kindle, or if you really only need one case instead of the CrazyonDigital family pack reviewed below, you can save a few bucks and go with Boxwave instead.

CE Compass Faux Leather Cover for Kindle 3 ($6.47)
This case is a book-style case, with magnetic tab closure on the front. It opens to the left, just like a book, and you’ll see a slip pocket on the left for receipts and other small papers. The Kindle is secured in the case by sliding it into the yoke on the right side. As you can see in the photos, almost everything is covered, while leaving the page forward/back keys on both side uncovered for ease of use. There is a slight gap on the left side of the screen, but the fit is good enough that you can hold the case upside down and the Kindle doesn’t even begin to slide out the top of the yoke.

You can fold the front cover back behind the device while reading; the spine of the case is wide enough and flexible enough to do so easily. The materials are rather nice; while I don’t think that anyone would mistake this case for a high-end executive model, it is nicely made enough to stand up to casual visual scrutiny. The red material has a slight “grain” and the front cover is slightly padded.

There are a few rough spots evident when I run my finger along the stitching on the front cover, but they aren’t too noticeable when you’re just looking at the case. The top of the Kindle, the page forward and back buttons, and the ports on the bottom of the device are all left exposed, so this isn’t the case for you if you plan to toss your Kindle into a book bag or are otherwise rough on your electronics. But if you want a book-style case, and you’re more interested in price than in ultra high-end materials, you can’t go wrong with this one–it’s not perfect, but then again it’s less than $7.

CrazyOnDigital Kindle 3 3G 3rd Generation 4 Skin Cases Cover Set ($12.99)
If you need a family pack of silicone cases, or if you just have a really hard time making up your mind, this is the set for you. It comes with four cases in blue, purple, black, and white. The cases are made of a good quality material, with all the appropriate cutouts for the charge/sync port, power switch, and headphone jack on the bottom of the device, and the speakers on the back.

The page forward and backward buttons on each side of the device are covered, but they are plainly marked and feature the same misprint seen on the Boxwave Flexiskin. Oddly enough, there are also cutouts on the left side where the hinge of an Amazon-branded case would connect to the Kindle, but there’s no way you can actually use this skin with one of those cases because it’s too thick to allow it to attach properly–it won’t work with the reading light I bought that is powered by the Kindle.

I would even be happy with a slightly lower quality case at this price–$3.25 each is a crazy good price. (Save even more if you buy another CrazyOnDigital item, like a pack of screen protectors, on the same order). But CrazyOnDigital doesn’t cut any corners, so if you like any of these colors and/or have friends and family who need a Kindle case, this package is one of my top picks.

ECO-Friendly Cork Envelope Sleve Case ($10.99)
This case is well named, because it is indeed a cork envelope for your Kindle. It’s perfectly sized for the Kindle, and a good option if you’re looking for a slip case. It’s made of a soft and smooth cork material; until I felt it I never would have believed that cork could feel so nice. The case is finished with red stitching and the pattern reminds me of a baseball.

The closure is a simple loop and tab that is easy to manipulate. Open up the flap and you’ll see that the interior of the case is fully lined in a soft, suede-like material that won’t scratch or damage your Kindle. The naked Kindle is easy to insert and remove, though the fit is tight enough that you won’t be able to use a silicone jacket inside the case–but you shouldn’t have any problem with a skin if you want to personalize your device.

The only slight negative is the small metal logo on the lower right corner of the case that I wish wasn’t there. In my opinion it distracts from the overall look and cheapens the case just a bit. It seems that logo is actually glued on, and isn’t otherwise secured to the case, so if you’re of a mind to do so, you could probably remove it without damaging the case.

The case is well-constructed and I like the fact that the case is made from recycled cork shreds. Being green doesn’t have to be boring or ugly, and this case proves that point handily.

iPearl mCover Leather Folio Cover ($11.99)
If you want a book-style case for your Kindle, but you don’t want to pay $30 for Amazon’s version (or even more for a designer case) this is the one for you. I was concerned by the ultra-low price, but when I received the case, my opinion was quickly changed. The materials and workmanship are excellent–the case looks much more expensive than the price would suggest.

The exterior is genuine leather, with a nice grain and white contrasting stitching. The case is held closed by an elastic band that fits snugly in a channel on the front panel. To open the case, just pull the elastic band to the right and off the front cover. Inside you’ll see that the case has a leather pocket on the left for receipts and business cards, and the right side is finished in a soft black material. It feels like velvet (but isn’t) and will keep your Kindle safe from scratches.

Your eReader is secured inside the case by small black yokes located at each corner. They don’t look like much, but they’re just the right size to hold the Kindle securely. This isn’t quite as attractive a solution as the metal hinge attachment on the Amazon-branded case, but then again, this case is $20 less–money you can put toward buying more Kindle books.

mCover Polycarbonate Hard Shell Cover Case ($6)
This is perhaps the most unique case in this roundup, and also the least expensive. It’s a snap together case that arrives in three pieces: the front, back, and screen cover. You insert the screen cover into the front of the case and then place it face down on a table, lay your Kindle inside, screen side down, and then snap on the back cover. Once you snap it on securely, you have a case that covers the entire Kindle device aside from the page turn buttons on the sides, the keyboard on the front, and the power button and charge/sync port on the bottom edge.

It has a built-in kickstand on the back which is just perfect for hands-free reading during mealtimes. The stand can be adjusted to hold the Kindle at a variety of angles, which is a good thing because the screen cover does add just a bit of glare that you might have to counteract. This case probably wouldn’t be a good choice for those who like to hold their Kindle for extended periods of time, however, due to the plastic cutouts and such. They aren’t rough, but they can cause hand fatigue since they’re not as soft as a silicone, rubber, or leather case.

It’s not the perfect case, but I do like the funky style and the crazy low price. There are several other colors to choose from, including pink, orange, blue, purple, green, red, and black, some of them costing as little as $3.98.

rooCASE Super Bubble Neoprene Sleeve Case Cover ($19.22)
This is one of the more expensive cases in the bunch, but it’s also one of the most protective. The case is made of neoprene and is basically black, except for the zipper (the case is also available in pink, red, orange, and blue) and the logo on the bottom right corner of the case. There’s a large pocket on the front designed to hold your USB cable, charger, headphones, and other small accessories. It’s a good size, taking up half of the front of the case, but it is secured only with a small tab of velcro, so you can’t stick any extra-small or valuable items in there, since there’s a chance they could fall out.

Open up the zipper at the top of the case and you’ll find a shocking green (or the color your picked) interior. The lining is “bubbled” to provide extra shock protection for your device, and overall the case is very well padded. It’s also a bit oversized for the third generation Kindle, and it worked fine for my original B&N Nook as well as for the Nook Color tablet, so I suspect that it would work well for just about any ereader device you might happen to have.

I like the fun design of the case and the protection it provides. Since there’s some extra room in there, you can use it with a silicone Kindle sleeve if you like, or you might be able to stick a book light inside the case as well, depending on which model you use. If you’re more concerned about ultimate protection than you are about executive style or having the smallest possible case, this is the one for you.

SimpleSleeve for Kindle ($16.99)
This is a simple slip case for the Kindle that is made of good quality materials and is highly protective. It’s made of black neoprene with a colored panel on the front (just for fun), and has a large zipper on the top that extends most of the way down both sides so it opens up nice and wide. The interior of the case is also black, and very plush and protective. What I like best is the fact that it’s just a bit oversize, so it works very well with a Kindle inside a silicone sleeve, for example, and also has room for my SimpleLight reading light accessory as well.

There’s no pocket on the front for small accessories, which was a disappointment at first. But then I realized that I didn’t really need to carry anything else around with my Kindle such as  a charger, headphones, etc., so not having a pocket also prevented me from stuffing the case full of things that I don’t really need to carry along on a regular basis. The SimpleSleeve is just the right size to accommodate my Kindle in a silicone sleeve with the SimpleLight right beside it, just in case I need to read in the dark. It’s well constructed and provides a great level of protection without adding unnecessary bulk. It’s the perfect everyday case for someone who prefers a slip case to a book-style case and likes the convenience of being able to drop it into a larger bag or backpack without any worries about their Kindle being damaged.



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