- Editor's Rating
If anyone knows about the importance of a solid protective case for the Amazon Kindle, it’s yours truly. Having dropped more expensive electronics than most people would feel comfortable admitting, I’m always on the lookout for engineered designs that will render harmless the effects of gravity on fragile devices.
I’m also aware that shock absorption abilities aren’t the be-all end-all of protective cases — there’s also functionality to take into consideration. Therefore I approached the Trident Aegis Kindle 3 case with part trepidation, part optimism. Here’s what I found.
Kindle Cases as Art
As far as Kindle cases are concerned, developers really have their work cut out for them. The Kindle is such a sleekly designed and barebones device to begin with, that dreaming up a protective case for it that’s also aesthetically pleasing requires somewhat of an artistic approach. While I won’t call the Trident Aegis a work of art, it’s certainly a statement on minimalism and effectiveness.
The Trident Aegis back panel is made of polycarbonate, which is a very durable and flexible plastic we all usually take for granted. Where the case’s real protection comes into play, however, is in the inner silicone lining that wraps snugly around the front edges of the Kindle and snaps into place in the polycarbonate spine. Four double layers of silicone on each of the four edges of the Batman-suit skin provide maximum shock protection, and the wrap-around design even limits the potential damage from unlikely face-first drops.
Since much of the Kindle’s functionality — the on/off switch, the page forward/back buttons, the audio volume control, the audio output jack, and the micro-USB cable jack for charging — occurs at its edges, you might expect that the case’s wrap-around design would make using these ports and controls a logistical nightmare. But its design, having torn a page from previously successful smartphone phone covers, makes room for everything: convenient cut-out flaps give you easy access to the desired ports, while also providing dust and debris protection whenever they’re not in use. Even the page buttons are easily operable through the molded silicone, making moving forward or backward through your literary selection simple.
- Aegis calls the exterior edges of its case “anti-skid” which successfully cuts back on the likelihood of sending an otherwise unprotected Kindle sliding off of slick surfaces.
- With the decision to sandwich the inner silicone layer between the Kindle and the outer polycarbonate hard-shell, the design keeps the Kindle’s backing safe from the accumulation of scratches.
- The included 3.5mm audio jack extension adaptor gives you the option of using your Kindle with L-shaped plug headphones, which might otherwise prove a little tough to connect through the added layer of exterior silicone padding.
- In an attempt to come up with a design that matches the Kindle’s sleek exterior, the molded pressure points that sit against the page forward/backward buttons aren’t easily visible.In fact, the black on black arrows are almost invisible. This leads to a bit of a learning curve when first using them.
- The fact that the case’s silicone edges stick to everything limits the risk of damage, but it also acts as one heck of a dust magnet.
- At a retail cost of around $39, one could say that the Trident Aegis is a solid investment that’ll likely prevent someone from having to spring for a new device in the event of an accident.But let’s get real: I’ve seen silicone cases from other manufacturers for as low as $5. If the price was around $20, I’d say it was a no-brainer. But $39 is a little too close to $40, and $40 is a little too close to “way too much” for a Kindle case.
I have no complaints about the Trident Aegis Kindle case’s design or its ability to provide great protection, but with a price tag almost a third of the cost of a new device, leaving the safety of your Kindle to chance by using a much cheaper protective case might not be such a bad alternative.