Review: The Moko case for the 2017 Kindle Oasis

Recently, I wrote a post on some of the new third-party covers that are now available for the All-New Kindle Oasis e-reader. Interest in third-party covers surged given the problems with the Amazon-branded covers for the Oasis e-reader. Reviews blasted the Amazon covers saying that they only partially covered the back and attached with weak magnets that frequently fell off. Amazon evidently listened to the bad reviews because their leather and fabric covers are only available used on Amazon.com.

Because I have had bad experiences with them personally, I generally don’t purchase the Amazon-branded covers. But one of the things I discovered about the new Oasis is that the aluminum back is EXTREMELY slippery to read without a cover. Since I did not want to buy one of Amazon’s, I actually had to wait to really use my new Oasis until third-party cases were available.

I bought the MoKo Case for All-New Kindle Oasis (9th Generation, 2017 Release) – Premium Ultra Lightweight Shell Cover with Auto Wake / Sleep for Amazon Kindle Oasis E-reader Case in Black. The MoKo case is a plastic clamshell case with a back shaped like that of the Oasis itself. The e-reader snaps into the case, which completely covering the back. The attached front cover has a soft lining to protect the device screen and also features a magnet for the wake/sleep function.

Here is the front cover of the case:

The back cover:

The cutouts for the power button at top (right) and the charging port at the bottom (left):

The open, empty case showing the soft, microfiber lining:

Here is the open case with the Oasis for reference:

Here is the case with the Oasis correctly inserted into the case:

The case is lightweight enough that it only adds about four and a half ounces to the weight of the e-reader but still provides a lot of protection (and, yes, I’ve dropped it already!).

When I pre-ordered my cover, only black was available. Now the cover also comes in indigo blue as well as several designs: an almond blossom, a floral purple, a tree design and a starry night design (based on the Van Gogh painting). I bought a second cover in the almond blossom which has a lovely teal-aqua colored background.

(Because of the light, in person, this case leans more towards a teal or an aqua rather than the blue showing in the photo.)

I am very pleased with this cover and do not hesitate to recommend it if you are looking for a case for your 2017 Kindle Oasis.. You can see the other colors and designs here.

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3rd Party cover for Kindle Oasis coming in May – without a battery

fintie_oasisWell, that answers at least a part of the question about whether or not Amazon would allow third-party covers for the Kindle Oasis. A non-Amazon cover, the Fintie Kindle Oasis Case, is going to be available in May. Spotted on Amazon, the cover is made by Fintie, a company that makes quite a few covers for Amazon Kindles and Fire tablets. 

Going by the description and the pictures, it seems that the cover does not have the battery and charging capabilities of the OEM Amazon Kindle Oasis cover. While this cover certainly provides more color choices and variety as well as an alternative cover design, especially for vegans who don’t want leather, it will not extend the battery life of the device like the Amazon cover.

From the description:

Protect your New Kindle Oasis with this Fintie Smartshell Case at all times! The Fintie Smartshell Case sports a simple and classy design. The back shell is made from durable polycarbonate material so you do not need to worry about any damages. It offers an easy clip-on application. The cover is designed to fold back, so you can read comfortably with just one hand. Our innovative cover was designed to specifically fit your Kindle Oasis and secures your device without any hinges or straps. Thin, lightweight, and durable, this cover is perfect for taking Kindle Oasis wherever you go.

The cover comes in a variety of colors and designs and has a wake to sleep magnetic clasp built into the cover. The cover is sold and shipped directly from Fintie and will be available May 18, 2016. Cover prices start at $5.99 plus shipping (It’s not Prime Eligible).

What do you think? Are we going to see battery cases from other vendors?

 

Looking for that Merlot cover for the Kindle Oasis? You may be in luck…

merlot oasisI just accidentally stumbled across a listing for the Kindle Oasis with the highly sought after Merlot cover shipping as soon as May 4th. The configuration available  is the 3G plus WiFi model without special offers. Be warned,though –  the price tag for the e-reader and cover is a whopping $379.99! Amazon is also offering a payment plan of five monthly payments of $76 to ease the sting. But, hey, if it is the cover color of your dreams, the May 4th delivery date is much more appealing than some of the June, July and even September dates being discussed on the forums.

Vegans want an alternative to leather Kindle Oasis cover

brown-216001_1280With a $290 price tag, Amazon is definitely marketing the new Kindle Oasis as a luxury item. The cover Amazon has chosen is also what most would consider a luxury item: a finely-crafted leather cover. While it comes in a choice of three colors, leather is the only option.

That creates a dilemma for some, however. Many people who are vegan or vegetarian not only do not eat meat, but also refuse to use animal products for ethical reasons. Most vegans would refuse to have the cover in their homes. And in case you think that is just a few people looking for that option, take a look at the product Q & A forum. At the time of this writing, there are 592 comments on the thread post, most with remarks like these:

This was my first question as well. They have every right to offer leather, but they just eliminated millions of people who won’t buy it, what an idiotic decision when all they had to do was offer a fake leather option.

~

One more ethical vegan who will definitely not buy an e-reader only available with a leather cover.

~

I noticed this too and am very disappointed to see that that there isn’t an option to selected cruelty-free “vegan leather”. As an ethical vegan, I do not buy leather products and therefore will not consider this new Kindle. Amazon, please offer more compassionate choices in the future.

Many are saying that they will Keep using their Paperwhite and Voyage e-readers instead because there are leather alternatives available for those e-readers.

One customer suggested that concerned vegans write customer service to express their concerns and ask for this option.

Sara Farr feels so strongly about it, she took it one step farther and  started a petition on Change.org to try to get Amazon to sell a vegan alternative, or better yet, stop selling the leather altogether. She says:

The new kindle oasis is awesome for book worms, but not if they’re vegan (or a cow for that matter).  The only cover options are leather, which is not kind and limits options for people who don’t want an animal to die for a good story.  I want Amazon to offer a vegan cover option (or even better make all covers vegan!) so we can all enjoy this new technology.

If you also want  a vegan and animal cruelty free alternative, you can sign the petition on  change.org here. You can also contact Amazon customer service or write  kindle-feedback@amazon.com to express your opinion  on the topic.

Thanks to Karen for the tip!

Cases and covers for the new Fire tablets

new fire cases

The new $49.99 7″ Fire tablet was released today, so I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the covers and cases that are available for the new Fire tablets. The new devices are labeled as the 5th generation and the cases for them are also identified as 5th generation – 2015 release.

The bad news is that there aren’t very many yet, especially if you prefer the generally lower-cost option of a third-party case. And, cases that fit the new devices are currently only available from Amazon. That means nothing on eBay or other sites yet. The good news is that is a variety of styles, colors and  price ranges are already listed on the site and for sale .

Here is what’s currently available:

For the 7″ Fire:

Amazon Fire Case (5th Generation – 2015 release), Black – Price is $24.95.  Made by Amazon. This case is polyurethane, has a magnet closure and a built in stand that can be used horizontally or vertically. The case allows access to all ports and buttons. Available in black, blue, green, magenta and tangerine.

NuPro Fire Slim Standing Case (5th Generation – 2015 release) – Price is $19.99. Made by NuPro. This case is polyurethane, has a magnet closure and a built in stand that can only be used in the landscape position. Available in Black, navy, pink, purple, and turquoise.

NuPro Fire Standing Case (5th Generation – 2015 release) – Price is $14.99.  Made by NuPro. This case is polyurethane, has a magnet sleep closure and a built in stand that can only be used in the landscape position. Available in Black, navy, pink, purple, and turquoise.

For the 8″ Fire HD:

Amazon Fire HD 8 Leather Case (5th Generation – 2015 release)– Price is $49.99. Made by Amazon. This case is premium natural leather with a matching microfibre interior, has a magnet sleep closure and a built in stand that can be used horizontally or vertically. The case allows access to all ports and buttons. Available in black and gray.

Amazon Fire HD 8 Case (5th Generation – 2015 release) – Price is $39.99.  Made by Amazon. This case is polyurethane, has a magnet sleep closure and a built in stand that can be used horizontally or vertically.  Available in black, blue, green, magenta and tangerine.

NuPro Fire HD 8 Slim Standing Case (5th Generation – 2015 release) – Price is $24.99. Made by NuPro. This case is polyurethane, has a magnet sleep closure and a built in stand that can only be used in the landscape position. Available in Black, navy, pink, purple, and turquoise.

For the 10″ Fire HD:

Amazon Fire HD 10 Keyboard Case (5th Generation – 2015 release)– Price is $99.99. Made by Amazon. This is a protective case with an integrated, full size keyboard with track pad. The shortcut keys provide  access to e-mail, media controls and volume. Available in black only.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Leather Case (5th Generation – 2015 release) – Price is $64.99. Made by Amazon. This case is premium natural leather with a matching microfibre interior, has a magnet sleep closure and a built in stand that can be used horizontally or vertically.  Available in black and gray.

Amazon Fire HD 10 Case (5th Generation – 2015 release) – Price is $49.99.  Made by Amazon. This case is polyurethane, has a magnet sleep closure and a built in stand that can be used horizontally or vertically.  Available in black, blue, green, magenta and tangerine.

All of these say that they cases only fit the new 5th generation Fire tablets.

I will be doing a follow-up post  when more new third-party cases become available. I happen to be a total case junkie, so if you bought one of the new Fires with a case, please leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the case. 🙂

Will a Nook Glowlight case fit the new Kindle Fire 6 inch?

javoedge6vintageI am still sorting through all the info on the new Kindle offerings to evaluate the specs and decide which one(s) I want. Amazon has given us lots of choices and I even got an email first thing this morning reminding me of certified refurbished Kindle Fire offerings.

So far, I  am most interested in  ordered the new Fire HD 6″ tablet. It looks like a great size to fit in a purse for use on the go. My problem is that I don’t like to use devices without covers and I also don’t want to spend nearly $30-$40 for an official Amazon case. I am fussy about cases and didn’t like the Amazon case  I bought for the Fire HD 8.9. I have usually used third-party cases on my Kindles, beginning with my first Oberon case for the Kindle 1. However, this is a non-standard size tablet and it seems there is nothing available to fit, at least, not yet.

Checking the measurements for the new device and looking for a workaround, I took a look at my current case for my NooK Glowlight. Made by Javoedge, the case looks like it might fit, given its size and the way that it is made.

The JAVOedge 6″ Universal eReader Book Case is described as a universal case, designed to fit the Nook Glowlight, Kindle Paperwhite, Kobo glo, Kobo Aura, Kobo Touch, and the Kindle. It comes in a variety of patterns, including one with a metallic finish.

Pros of the case are lightweight, flexibility in sizing due to the loops holding the device in place and the way it is constructed.The price is a distinct advantage as it is $14.99 versus $30-$40 for the Amazon brand case.

There are a couple of downsides to the case. One is the fact that there is no sleepcover function with this case (or not one that works on my Kindle Paperwhite). Another is the quality of the case. It seems like it is essentially covered cardboard, slightly lighter than that of a hardcover book.  And, because it is designed for an e-reader, it does not have the ability to be used as a stand for normal tablet use.

I have not had any problems at all with the one I use for my Nook Glowlight. I have a one with a cute owl pattern. Yes, I am a cover junkie! 🙂

I have no doubt that one the new Kindle Fires start shipping, we will quickly see new covers for the six inch Fire available on the market. While I don’t think that this is a cover I would want to use long-term (it is not, after all, really designed for tablet use), I intend to try it as a short term solution until new covers are available. Note that I do have other devices (Kindles and Nooks) that will fit this cover, so it is not much of a risk for me to try.

This isn’t the first time I have done this. When the original Kindle Fire came out in 2010, I used the faux lether cover that came with my Kindle 1 for the Fire  until I could find something I liked.

Updated: The answer to will the case fit an HD 6 is no. The case is too wide to safely hold the device. I talk about this in my review of the Fire HD 6.

Ten Tips for the New eReader Owner

Please note: This article assumes you have already registered your device to your account and set up your wi-fi connection. Unless otherwise noted, these tips apply to Kindles, NOOK and Kobo readers.

1. Get a Cover

New eReader owners frequently ask, “Do I really need a cover?”

The answer is yes, you do. Really. Or a sleeve. Or a zippered pouch. But you do need something to protect the investment you’ve just made in your eReader. The screens can crack and eReaders do get dropped, stepped on and worse.

As far as covers go, there are lots of choices.  There are covers with lights like the Amazon Lighted Cover.  There are handcrafted leather covers like those from Oberon Design. You can also get sleeves and pouches. Prices range from $10 to $100, depending on size, style and material. Most are in the $30 to $75 range.

You can purchase covers anywhere eReaders are sold (including eBay). Craft sites like Etsy.com offer a variety of unique, handcrafted, one-of-a-kind covers. And if your talents run in that direction, you can find patterns and directions for DIY covers on many eReader message boards and forums.

2. Leave the eReader plugged in

Yes, I know. The ad for your eReader said that you could read for weeks on a single battery charge. And that is absolutely true. But those figures are just for reading. That’s not accounting for downloading and indexing.

Most eReader instructions are pretty clear about letting you know that you should keep the Wi-Fi turned OFF when you’re not downloading if you want to get the maximum battery life.

What they don’t tell you is that when you first start putting books on your device, it starts indexing the books so that they are searchable. This indexing causes a huge drain on the battery.  If you are a frequent book buyer or you are loading your reader up for a trip, you are going to need to recharge more frequently unless you keep it plugged in when not in use. (That applies to sideloading books as well – they still need to index.)

(And FYI, if you have one of the $79 Kindles with Special Offers,  that particular model has a shorter battery life than some of the other Kindle models. Be prepared to charge more frequently.)

3. Re-read a favorite for your first book

Imagine that someone handed you a book. You are reading along, totally engrossed in the story, until it is time to turn the page– but you don’t know how to do that. Purchasing a beloved favorite as your first book gives you a comfortable book that allows you to concentrate on learning to work the device. For example, the first book I bought for my very first Kindle was Anne McCaffrey’s The Dragonriders of Pern. 

That technique can help when learning a new model of the Kindle as well. When I first got the new Kindle Touch, it was so different from the older Kindle models, it took me a bit to figure out how to use the device. I was used to buttons, and when I was trying to use the swipe technique to tun the page and wound up advancing 10 pages. My husband, who had never used a regular Kindle, had no problems at all with the Touch. So, sometimes, even an experienced user needs to spend some time with a new reader.

4. Send it to the cloud

You do not have to wait for your Kindle, Nook or Kobo to arrive to buy books. You can purchase and send books to the cloud before your device even arrives.  On the Nook and the Kobo, the books go to your online library and then you download to the device (or app) or your choice.

On the Kindle, purchases made before your eReader arrives will be in your archive and then appear on your device once you register it. If you have more than one Kindle, you must choose which one you’d like to send the book to when you purchase the book.

But what if you want to keep your Kindle home page uncluttered? There is a way that you can send them to the cloud and not have them taking up memory on your device. Here’s how to use the feature:

  • On the right side of the screen, choose Transfer via Computer from the drop down box.
  • Click Buy Now with 1-Click.
  • If you have more than one Kindle, a screen will ask you what Kindle you plan to transfer the book to. Since you aren’t actually going to transfer the book, it doesn’t matter what you choose. Click continue.
  • A thank you screen appears:

If a dialog box opens prompting you to save, click cancel. Otherwise, click the continue shopping in the Kindle store link.

5. Try a sample

Buying digital books is a bit different than going to a bookstore. Since you can’t thumb through the book, instead, you have the opportunity to download a sample of the book to your device. The Send a Sample dialog box is on the right side of the purchase screen, underneath the purchase box.

Samples vary in length up to about 10% of the length of the book, so shorter books have shorter samples. Most are usually about a chapter or so. This gives you the opportunity to try the book before you buy it. If you like it, you can buy the book from within the sample.

6. Gift cards and budgets

One thing that eReaders do is make it easy to buy books! If you want to keep yourself on track with a budget, try this tip: Purchase a gift card for yourself and redeem it. Then, when you make purchases,  your account  balance is used first. This allows you to set (and hopefully stick to) a budget for book buying.

7. Returning a book

Understand each vendor’s eReader return policy: Barnes and Noble’s website gives a 14-day window for returning an eReader. Amazon and Kobo have a 30 day return period on devices purchased from them. For all vendors, check with customer service for restrictions and any applicable re-stocking fees. Ereaders purchased at local stores are subject to store return policies.

Returning ebooks: I could not find a stated ebook return policy on either Kobo.com or Barnesandnoble.com. Amazon gives readers 7 days to return an ebook,  although I have seen anecdotal evidence that customers who constantly abuse this feature have been contacted by Amazon about their behavior.

8. Need a little help?

Your eReader manual, customer support and the company’s website should answer many of questions about your new eReader.

Each eReader also has books available for purchase that can further your understanding of you device. For example, for the Kobo, there is the Kobo Touch Survival Guide (ironically available also in a Kindle version  as well as one for the NOOK,) There are guides for NOOKs and for the Kindles.

9. Find a community

If you want to learn more about your device or simply to discuss ideas with other users, there are a number of forums dedicated to eReaders. Here are just a few:

Most boards have a section for people with other brands of readers. The boards are also a good source of information when looking for accessories.

Mobileread forums are intended for users of many different types of device and the discussion covers  a wide variety of subjects. It is a great resource for recommendations and help on ebook format conversion and other advanced topics

10. Check out the freebies and bargains

I have written pieces on where to find legal free books for eReaders. You can read that article here.

If you are looking specifically for free books for one of the Kindles, Amazon does a list of the top 100 paid books and the top 100 free books here.

Another good source for Kindle books is Amazon’s Kindle message forum. Since Amazon created its Kindle Owners Lending Library for Prime members, there has been an average of 250 to 400 free books offered per day. Look for a discussion in the Kindle forum marked FREE BOOKS and the date (like this example).  There, you will find links to various free titles. And remember to always check the price before you purchase some books are free only for a very limited time!

Amazon also offers a Kindle Daily Deal, where one book is featured at a discount price for that day only.

You can more resources for new ereaders and tablets on the New e-reader? Start Here page.