I’ve always been a big fan of Otterbox Cases. I’ve owned a couple in the past, and they offer incredible protection for electronics and gadgets that are a bit more fragile than we often care to admit, considering how much money we actually pay for them.
I’ve owned more kindles than I care to admit in the past 5 years or so. One of them had its e-reader life ended with a big crack in the screen, leading me to realize just how fragile the screens actually are on these pricey little electronic books!
When I got the newest version of the Kindle Paperwhite (a review to come soon!), I knew I needed to get a good case for it, because I’d really like to own this little device for a long time. So I sought out the Otterbox case for it. The price on Otterbox’s website was a turn-off, however. $69 for a case? That’s half the price of the Kindle itself! Amazon sells it for $59, however, and I was lucky enough to find an Amazon warehouse deal on this case for just $40! Much more reasonable.
So what do I think about this case?
I was very surprised reading over some of the reviews on Amazon — quite a few people seemed to think that this case wasn’t up to par with other Otterbox products. I disagree completely. In fact, this case, in my opinion, is even better made than the defender case for my iPhone 4. The outer slipcover on my iPhone snaps in place well, but it has always been a bit too loose and will often start to peel away from the rest of the case while in my pocket. The outer slipcover on the Paperwhite case, however, stays on the case so well that when I first received it I didn’t even realize it could come off! (In fact, you may want to use a flat edge screwdriver or a pocketknife to peel it away the first time you take it apart to fit your kindle in!) Other reviews stated that it was too hard to take apart and they couldn’t figure out how to get their kindle in it. Well, directions are included — and getting your Kindle in the case should only take about 2 minutes.
The sleep/wake/power button is still easily accessible and easy to press, even with the case on. There is also a small flap that covers the charging port, so the Kindle can still be charged without removing the case.
The case does also include a separate screen protector, but I’ve chosen not to apply it because I don’t want to make the screen glossy — the more matte the screen can remain, the better!
What could Otterbox improve on this case?
If you ever want a very protective case for your device, you will need to expect some bulk. And this case has it, of course. But I feel like it could still have less. The top of the case that snaps on to cover the screen while not in use has a pop-out stand in it. The addition of this mean that the cover protrudes further from the kindle than necessary, and I feel that this case could actually be 1/3 of the size, but still as protective, just by eliminating the stand inside.
The only other thing I think could be improved is to make the removable screen cover a bit more ‘air-tight’. When applied, there is still a sizable gap between the kindle and the top cover down near the charging port. (You can see it in the first picture of this review) This gap could too easily let in dust, dirt, and sand, and I would still be very hesitant to take my Kindle into dusty or sandy conditions with this case (even as protective as it is).
Overall, this case offers the protection I’m looking for to toss my Kindle in my backpack for hiking, biking, and traveling. I’m satisfied with it, but I think the design of the top cover keeps it from being a perfect case.
I rate the Otterbox Defender case for the Kindle Paperwhite 4 out of 4 stars.