We have had the Amazon Fire for a few month. While it is no iPad, the Amazon Fire is, when all things are considered, the best price/performance ratio for any Android tablet available. The interface is responsive and the display is very sharp. As we mostly use the Fire for reading, the battery life has been fantastic (over a week before requiring a charge). With the iPad as our default mobile device, we have not taken the Fire outside at all. Consequently, we have not felt a need to get a case for it.
However, quite a few readers were interested in a recommendation and have been inquiring when we would be doing a “Best Of Breed” review of cases for the Amazon Fire. After some research, we came to the conclusion that the offerings from the established case makers (Marware, Incipio, Belkin, Sena, etc.) were so similar that it would be splitting hairs to try to differentiate between them. We really wanted to find a few that stood out from the crowd. With that as our goal, we went back and selected three covers which best fit the selection criteria.
The first case is from Gumdrop. Readers may remember the company from the “Heavy Duty Protection” series for the iPad2. We went back to Gumdrop to see what they had available, and were happy to see that they have sized it for the new Kindle. They are currently the only maker with a ruggedized case for the Amazon Fire. Otterbox has announced a case, but it has yet to ship as of this writing. The Gumdrop case offers the same multiple layers (screen shield, hard shell, rubber cover) of protection (screen, ports, corners) as the iPad version.
The other two covers which made the cut (Cities, Marrakesh)were from a company called LightWedge. We have not heard of them before, but were quite happy that we found them. They have a large offering of covers for all types of eReaders. We were drawn to the LightWedge covers for three reasons: first, they have a large selection of beautiful designs; second, both covers are made from quality materials (smooth leather exterior, suede interior) and have internal pockets for paper and such; and third, their covers are based on size and are not device specific.
Unless there is a compelling reason we prefer covers and cases which are device-agnostic. Device-specific covers have certain advantages, but they become obsolete if the form factor of the device changes (think iPad-to-iPad2). It seems silly to have to replace a perfectly good case or cover with another one almost exactly like it just because we upgraded to a newer version of a device.
We will have the Installation and FirstUse write-ups of these Amazon Fire cases posted soon. We will then spend a month with each of these three covers and report back at the end of the Summer on how we liked them. Look for the InTheWild update before the “Back To School” season. Until then, happy reading!