If there is one thing that the Kindle has spawned it is an aftermarket full of choices for things like covers, sleeves, lights, skins and more. There are so many choices available for the Amazon device that, by the way, is available to Australian buyers through the seller’s Global Department, that it can be confusing trying to figure out what to pick up.
Many times we’ve tried to figure out the optimum accessory list for the Kindle and about the only thing that we have ended up with is a royal headache, however, we won’t let Australia down and we’ll try giving you a path through the rather dense jungle of options available.
First, though, we’ll lay down a few caveats:
- The device has to protect your Kindle
- The device has to be affordable, but not really cheap
- The device has to be useful
Now, there, that wasn’t bad, was it. Indeed, it’s a really short list that we developed after looking at more Kindle accessories than we ever wanted to see last year (you won’t believe the number of covers and variants there are available. It really is confusing and it’s easy to spend money on what you suppose is a great item only to find that your Kindle slips out of its protective shell and bounces around your tote or briefcase.
Perhaps the largest number of items available for the Kindle are covers or carriers. Everyone, it seems, has though they have come up with the world’s greatest mousetrap (figuratively speaking, of course, and they expect the marketplace to beat the proverbial path to its door, but don’t listen to the hype. Research the device you are thinking of purchasing. Here’s our thinking on various topics:
There’s an old saying in just about every army that has ever existed on this planet and it goes something like this: “If it moves salute it; if it doesn’t paint it.” Believe it or not, this actually can be applied to the Kindle cover marketplace as almost everyone things they have the best item out there.
Here’s what you should be looking for in a cover. It should be a hard-shelled cover that closes securely like a notebook and it should have a good lock to keep your valuable Kindle inside and safe. Amazon has, by the way, thoughtfully built in two slots in the left-hand side of the Kindle and there are some manufacturers who have thoughtfully provided hooks for those slots and they hold your Kindle quite securely so that even if your briefcase were to pop open on a busy Sydney street, your Kindle would be quite safe (unless a bus rolled over it then, it would be a very flat device).
So, if you are buying a cover, make sure that it closes like a notebook and has a good clasp. Also ensure that it is a clamshell or hard cover design and a soft liner and make sure that the cover has hooks for the slots.
If your hard cover doesn’t have the hooks and, instead, relies on four corner straps for hold-downs, be sure that they straps are made of leather and not an elastic material which can stretch and out of which your Kindle could slip.
Some manufacturers would have you think that sleeves are an okay alternative to a good cover and while sleeves (they are like big envelopes for the Kindle) are a reasonable idea, especially if the price is right, they are also a nightmare if they stretch because your Kindle can slide right out. So, you have to be sure that the material a sleeve is made from is likely to retain its shape for a long time. A sleeve should also be padded and have a good lining so that your Kindle won’t be scratched.
Sleeves present another problem that you seldom think about and that is the fact that there is usually no outlet for the power cord or data cable. This means you have to turn your Kindle upside down if you want to charge it or upload to it. A sleeve, while an alternative here, is not the best idea. The hardened, clamshell notebook style with a good clasp is your ticket here. You can make yours individual by looking at the skins that might be offered to cover your carrier (skins are the sticky-backed covers that can take your very plain carrier and spice it up with flowers or some other pretty device. Make sure that your skin can be removed easily, if you decide to change it and make sure that it is tough enough to stand up to everyday bumps and knocks in your tote or briefcase.
Since your Kindle has sound capability, you will also want to add a good set of earphones to your list of add-nos. If you do, a pair of stereo earbuds will work quite nicely and they will store easily in either a pocket of your cover or in your tote. If you are a Skype user – the Android-based cloud Kindle will have access to this app then you might want to purchase a good set of fold-able earphones that include a microphone and the proper interface jacks.
One key addition to your Kindle that will have your mate or partner thanking you is the addition of a good reading light. Lightweight, the accessory lights slide into the track on the left or right side and provide a nice white light that gives you plenty of light for nighttime reading so you can read your Kindle in bed, if you can’t sleep, or if you have work to do and you won’t bother your mate or partner because you can angle the lamp and its shade for privacy.
A good USB 3.0 cable is a necessity if you upload from a PC. Try to find one that will handle bending and twisting and be sure it has good filtering (those things that look like bumps at either end).
You can find a number of good aftermarket power adapters that will not only charge your Kindle’s battery, but will also allow you to continue to use it. Be sure you obtain one, if you are in the market for one, that can stand up to bending and twisting.