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Beware the Kindle Leather Covers from Amazon
When I bought my wife a Kindle, I also purchased one of the Amazon Kindle Leather Covers specifically for the device. She attached the Kindle into the case per the instructions and two days later, her screen cracked from the inside. Amazon quickly replaced the Kindle. When the new one arrived, we attached it into the Kindle Sleeve case and it cracked as well.
Checking online, we discovered that the cases that Amazon sold specifically for their Kindle product caused pressure on the screens, even though the attachments were clearly marked on the Kindle itself, and the case is what caused the screen to crack. By this time, we were on our third Kindle and returned the case for a full refund as well.
When looking at these cases, beware those with the custom hinges that lock the Kindle into place. The reason for the cracks is that the cover is meant to be opened from the front, but if it is accidentally opened from the back, it cracks the device. Being careful with the product will protect it, but a case made for a specific product and sold by the company who promotes it should be safer.
The Kindle case we purchased was the Kindle Leather Cover, which runs $19.99 through Amazon.com as of April 2011, a nice price but not worth the trouble of having to replace your Kindle in case of incidental cracks.
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Nylon Sleeves to case the Kindle
To replace the Amazon Kindle Leather Cover, my wife purchased a Nylon Kindle Sleeve to house her Kindle. This Amazon Kindle case has been perfect and she has used it exclusively since December 2009. The sleeve is soft yet sturdy and the Velcro holding it in is solid. When dropped, the sleeve has enough cushion to protect the Kindle and the Velcro has never come open to allow the Kindle to slide out of the case.
Amazon.com sells the Timbuk2 Nylon Kindle Sleeve for $29.99 as of April 2011 and, while it is slightly more than the attachable leather cases, the protection for the Kindle is better. The sleeves come in a solid black color or a three tiered color scheme of black, grey and green.
Other companies that sell Kindle sleeves on Amazon.com include BUILT, Belkin, M-Edge and OCTOVO. Prices for these vary but are comparable to the Timbuk2 sleeve, ranging from $24.95 to $29.99 as of April 2011.
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Options outside of Amazon.com
When I purchased my Kindle, I found it at a Target instead of through Amazon.com. Since I wanted to protect it right out of the box, I wanted to find a Kindle case that I could use immediately instead of waiting for Amazon to ship it to me.
Target had a number of options to choose from, but I was leery about the M-Edge Executive Jacket for the Kindle. This case is much like the Kindle leather covers in that it is attached to the case. The case is available in black, red and purple and costs $39.99 as of April 2011. Amazon.com has the same jackets for the same price and offers more colors, including blue, green, pink and mocha. While I avoided this because of my fears, the comments on Amazon show far fewer problems and none of the screen-cracking dangers of the Kindle cover.
For $29.99 as of April 2011, I purchased a Belkin Pleated Kindle Sleeve at Target to house my Kindle. While not as sturdy as the Nylon Sleeve my wife purchased, the Belkin sleeve has served me well. It is lightweight and easy to transport. I have dropped my Kindle on one occasion while in the sleeve and it suffered no damage. Amazon also sells the same Belkin sleeve for the same price as Target and it remains a low priced alternative for someone looking for a nice Amazon Kindle case.
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Article Reference: Author's own experience.
Image References: Images of products acquired from Amazon.com