I have a couple of things in common with the late Douglas Adams. Unfortunately, those couple of things aren’t a talent for fiction and a substantial collection of expensive guitars. No, instead I share his passion for technology and his love of taking very long baths1.
My case was bought from Amazon, but delivered from the supplier in the US. Since then, Amazon UK have started to show it as dispatched by Amazon themselves from the UK (and eligible for Prime).
The case arrived in a cheap fabric case of its own, along with a lanyard, presumably so the Kindle doesn’t float away from you in the middle of reading “Scuba for Dummies”. As I’m just planning on using it in the bath, the fabric bag and the lanyard were put straight into the Big Drawer Of Stuff I’ll Have Forgotten I Ever Owned And Be Slightly Perplexed By In Three Years’ Time5.
As you’d expect from anything with “Trendy Digital” written on it in large, bold, capitalised italics, the case is neither particularly trendy, nor particularly digital. I chose a fetching shade of Standard Plastic Purple.
It’s a simple design. The main body of the case is a flat bag of strong, flexible plastic big enough to let you slide the Kindle 3 in easily. The plastic is apparently UV-stabilised so it should survive strong sunlight well at the beach.
The watertight seal, along the top edge, is made by twin press-to-seal plastic interlocks (you know, like the ones on a Ziploc™ bag, only without the zipper.) You slide the Kindle in, seal both seals, then fold/roll them up and finally close an outer flap tidily over them with a couple of poppers.
This top assembly looked in the pictures like it might make the case a bit top-heavy to hold, but the case overall weighs only 70 grams, so there’s no balance problem.
In my arduous bathtime testing (the work I do for you, dear reader!) the case proved completely watertight6. An unexpected bonus is that the Kindle is light enough that the case floats happily on the surface of the water.
The back of the case is padded with about a 1mm thickness of foamed plastic, though I’m not sure how much of a bonus that is, or why.
The case has a few minuses, but nothing terrible. It’s not particularly comfy to hold — not awful, just less comfy than a caseless Kindle. Also, it’s a little fiddly to work the Kindle on/off slider, but it can be done, and you can generally avoid the need, anyway7. Lastly, I found the case’s screen plastic to be a lot more reflective than the Kindle’s screen, meaning you’ve got to be more careful about viewing angles if there are bright lights around.
On the whole, though, I’m enjoying the case. It’s easy to get the Kindle in and out, it’s a simple design that should be quite robust, it’s light, and it works. For £15.49 it’s good value for money.
I was planning on the waterproofing only being used in dire emergencies, for when I read a passage of HP Lovecraft so shocking I dropped my Kindle in the bath, say.
But as it turns out, there’s something very decadent about finishing a page and then gently splashing your Kindle down to float in your bubble bath, next to your rubber duck, and reaching for your gin and tonic…
NB: Anyone who uses portable electronic equipment in the bath does so at their own risk. And the equipment’s risk, more to the point. Don’t blame me if it all goes horribly wrong, is what I’m saying.
- Adams’ ablutophilia was, of course, channelled into the character of the Captain of Golgafrincham Ark Ship B, whose lifestyle I’d happily emulate, if I could. ↩
- The Kindle has, of course, been compared to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so it seemed fitting to me to pay tribute to Adams by taking very long baths with it. ↩
- Let’s face it, Amazon’s own case prices make anything else seem sensibly priced. Especially after their £30 entry-level leather case ended up crashing the Kindle and being recalled and withdrawn from sale! ↩
- In my experience, you only really know enough to buy the right product when you’ve figured out what’s wrong with the one you’ve just bought. ↩
- Everyone has a drawer like this, right? ↩
- I tested for airtightness out of the bath first, before I risked my Kindle — I’m not that dumb! — and the case passed with flying colours. ↩
- The Kindle only turns itself off after ten minutes of inactivity, so if you turn it on before you pop it in the case, there’s no great rush to get into the bath. ↩