By December 28, 2011

MoKo Clear-View Leather Cover Case with Stand for Amazon Kindle Fire Review

One of the things I liked the most about the mCover black leather folio cover for my 3rd generation Kindle was that it camouflaged the device as something fancypants. The black leather case made my Kindle look like a small book, pad of paper, or whatever. I didn’t feel as weird walking in and out of the restroom at work.

When I purchased the Amazon Kindle Fire I wanted a case of similar design. mCover doesn’t make a Kindle Fire case as of this writing, so I had to look elsewhere. Luckily, many case manufacturers were having sales when the Fire released, and I had plenty to choose from.

I bought the MoKo Clear-View leather case. While it wasn’t as attractive or well-built as its mCover cousin, it added some functionality that was interesting to me. Plus, it was pretty cheap at less than $10 delivered via second day air from Amazon Prime.


Construction and features

The Kindle Fire is attached to the MoKo by a very sticky gel pad. I was skeptical at first. I was used to plastic clips, straps, snaps, and other contraptions to hold devices into covers. I was skeptical, especially since I was about to put a $200 device onto it and hope that physics would do its job.


The Kindle Fire, stuck on the MoKo’s sticky pad.

There’s a padded loop on the opposite side of the case interior. I am not sure what this is for. I guess you could put a piece of paper in it sideways. Maybe slide your hand in there if you want to hold it like a food tray. I never used it, and would have preferred just a plain interior.

The MoKo case has a tab sewn into the back that allows the case to double as an easel. This isn’t groundbreaking functionality — plenty of other cases have a similar design — but my old mCover case was “just a case.” I expected to watch video on the Fire, and figured it would be good to prop it up.


The prop-tab in action!

The prop-tab works pretty well, and seemed very sturdy. You can also fold the case cover into a “Z” shape, which puts the Fire at a slightly different angle. However this didn’t seem as stable and I was worried about creases forming over time. Just use the tab in the back.

Lastly, the MoKo Clear-View cover is held shut by an elastic band. It works very well, and is an easier to use version of the band on my mCover case for my third generation Kindle Keyboard:

The MoKo Clear-View cover has a lot of great features, but has one massive weakness. It feels really, really cheap. The case is synthetic, not leather, and while I didn’t expect fine Corinthian leather the material felt bad in my hands. It also had a strong chemical smell that took a long time to go away.

Usage and performance

The MoKo case did a fine job in the short time I used the Kindle Fire before passing it along to Sedagive?. The gel pad worked really well. I was concerned that it would loosen over time, and maybe over a very long period of time it would do so — but the thing held fast. I took my Fire to work and let the monkeys loose on it for feedback. If the Fire was going to peel free and crash to the ground, that was the time.

In my own usage and in watching other people interact with the case, folks either folded the cover all the way back or used the prop-tab. This validated my feelings about the interior loop. No one used it.

I decided to remove the MoKo case for two reasons. One was the cheap feeling. The other was that Sedagive? and others stopped using the cover to protect the screen. They either opted to leave the Kindle Fire in “easel” mode or just folded the front cover to the back. I kept the Fire in a superb RooCase Super Bubble padded case, and the cover-and-case combination seemed like overkill. After talking to Sedagive? about it, I peeled the MoKo cover off. The sticky surface still held on tight after several weeks of use.

Conclusion

I purchased the MoKo Clear-View Cover Case for just under $10 with free two-day shipping from Amazon Prime. I think the cover is a good value for $10. The easel worked very well, and the cover ribbon clasp was easy to use. It is currently selling for about $15. $5 is about the price of a cheap lunch, but all of the sudden the MoKo runs into a price point where you may be able to pick something up with a better feel to it.

However, if you have tactile / style sensibilities this case may not be for you. The cover surface feels cheap, and it looked bad next to the high gloss finish of the Fire. I normally don’t put a ton of value on form over function, but the design was a little too chintzy for even my tastes. It was easy to decide to remove the case, especially when we had the RooCase in the house to protect our Kindle Fire.

If you don’t have another case, feel like you’d use the easel mode to watch videos or listen to music, and you’re on a tight budget, the MoKo Clear-View cover may be for you. It isn’t really a bad cover as much as it’s not a good cover.

Not recommended

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