eReading devices are great traveling companions, because they allow you to carry an entire library of books in a small space. But they also need protection, and while a simple book-style case is sometimes the answer, that may not work for everyone. OtterBox has gained a reputation for extremely tough cases for mobile electronic devices, and today, I’m putting their Commuter Series cases for the NOOK Color to the test.
Two in One
The Commuter Series cases are made up of two layers. The first is a thick silicone layer, and the exterior is made of a tough polycarbonate material. In order to put the case on your device, you must first separate the layers. Then slide the inner layer over your device, being sure to choose the right orientation so the port covers will line up.
When you’re done with that, carefully snap the polycarbonate shell over the inner layer. That process can be slightly difficult, because you have to slip in one side of the device and then work the top, bottom, and opposite edge into place. It won’t take more than a couple of minutes, and when you’re done, you’ll find that almost every bit of the device, aside from the screen, is completely covered.
Ports and Buttons
Since all of the buttons and ports are covered, you’ll have to know exactly where to press, but that’s not a problem thanks to the helpful design elements that point you in the right direction. On the original NOOK, the page forward and back buttons are highlighted with arrows so you’ll know which one to press when you’re ready to navigate through your book. The power button at the top of the case has a raised area to press. The charge/sync port and the headphone jack on the bottom are covered by a flap, while the speakers are left open. The opening is very small, so it seems unlikely that anything would damage the speakers, but the possibility does exist.
The headphone jack and charge/sync port on the NOOK Color are also covered by flaps that are easily pulled aside when you need access. There are also raised areas located just above the power switch on the left side and the volume buttons on the right side. Unfortunately the card slot located under the small flap on the bottom corner of the device is completely covered by the case. That’s not a problem if you’re not intending to switch out your memory card on a regular basis, but that would be a hassle for someone who prefers to load books onto the card instead of plugging in the sync cable.
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