By February 11, 2011

mCover Black Leather Folio Cover for Kindle Review

I received a 3rd Generation Amazon Kindle recently as a very generous gift. I have really enjoyed the device so far and I’m going to review it after I spend more time with it, but in the meantime I wanted to talk about covers.

The Kindle is very thin, very portable, and has a nice screen on the front. I was immediately concerned about banging the Kindle up and scratching the screen. I purchased a neoprene “skin” for the Kindle and while that helped with casual contact, there was no additional screen protection.

Now, the problem with full Kindle covers that protect the screen is that they are often very bulky and/or overpriced.

The “official” Kindle cover from Amazon is $30, and they heavily promote the cover with built-in light for $60. Third-party covers can run as much as you’re willing to spend. There are several boutique or “luxury” manufacturers of Kindle covers and the sky is the limit. The Kate Spade leather covers run about $90.

I was looking for something that was fairly thin, covered the screen, and was less than $20 delivered from a vendor I trusted.

Surprisingly there isn’t a lot out there that meets all of these criteria, but the mCover black leather folio cover does the trick for only $13.

mCover is known for making hard shells for portable computers. I hadn’t heard of them until I started doing my research, but apparently they have an iffy reputation for quality and customer service. I was willing to give them a try because I purchased the cover through Amazon and figured they would take care of me if something went sideways.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10100-2/IMG_1391.JPG

Construction and Appearance

The cover looks nice. The majority of the cover is a pebbled leather; the edges are smooth leather.

There is a cloth-covered elastic keeper that holds the cover shut or open. There is a thick groove that holds the keeper in place when you close the cover.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10104-2/IMG_1395.JPG

Some Kindle covers have clips that snap the Kindle into place. Some reviewers dislike this type of retention, as it may mar the Kindle. The mCover leather folio has four soft plastic corners snuggle the Kindle. The corners are just tight enough to hold the Kindle — if you have a neoprene sleeve like I did your Kindle won’t fit. I am not sure if sticker-based skins like the ones made by DecalGirl would make a difference or would be damaged by the retention corners.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10102-2/IMG_1400.JPG
These retention clips are very snug on a bare Kindle. Don’t expect your Kindle to fit if you have a shell of some kind.

According to some earlier reviewers, the mCover had a pocket for business cards. I don’t know if the product changed, or if the reviewers have a different definition of a “business card pocket,” but my mCover just has one large slit-style pocket that runs the length of the cover.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/10108-2/IMG_1396.JPG

This may be handy. I was hoping for a business card-sized holder for my Gibberish calling cards. I leave them on motorcycles or hand them out to people sometimes after I chat with them about something I wrote about here. No big deal, but be advised that there may be different versions of the mCover out there — or at least some confusion about the internal pocket.

Usage

From a protection standpoint, the mCover for the Kindle 3 does everything I wanted it to. It covers the screen and keeps the Kindle safe from casual contact and marring.

One thing I really dislike about it is the groove for the elastic band. It is very deep, and it is difficult to get the elastic keeper band free. I don’t have nails or nimble fingers and it’s hard to find purchase underneath the band to slide it out of the groove. I also tried “rolling” the band out of the groove instead of plucking at it, but that didn’t work at all.

I showed the cover to some of my co-workers who have Kindles (and covers from other manufacturers). Most of the time, their first comment was “I don’t like this band thingy.”

My Kindle is about 0.35″ thick. The mCover, when opened and folded flat against the back of the Kindle, brings the thickness up to 0.85″. It is noticeable, and I was a little bummed out at first. However, in day to day usage I don’t seem to notice. However, it reduces some of the “wow” factor when you hold a naked Kindle for the first time.

Conclusion

The leather folio case from mCover does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It is easy to hold the Kindle with one hand. The cover sits flat when open and tucked underneath the Kindle. It met my objectives: it’s an inexpensive, nice looking cover that protects the screen. I bought it directly from Amazon in case I have problems, and it was eligible for free Super Saver shipping, or free 2nd Day Air shipping if you have Prime like I do.

I wish that the elastic band thing was easier to manipulate, but I may get used to it. Besides, it doesn’t seem like a big enough of a nuisance to justify another $15+ for a difference cover.

Recommended.

Related posts:

Posted in: review, technology

Comments are closed.