Amazon Kindle Lighted and Standard Covers for Kindle Keyboard Review

Reviewed by: Howard Carson, September 2012
Manufactured by: Amazon
Requires: An Amazon Kindle Keyboard ebook reader
MSRP: US$59.99 (lighted version), $19.99 (non-lighted version)

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The Amazon Kindle Keyboard lighted and non-lighted leather covers are protectors for the Kindle Keyboard ebook reader that lock the Kindle into place and permanently protect the screen from a variety of impacts and all sorts of potentially damaging activity. The stiff cover core is clad with an exterior of bonded leather, and the interior lining is a slightly napped synthetic. The closure for the cover is a small diameter, high grade bungee cord that is permanently attached to the cover. The lighted and non-lighted versions of the cover are identical in every way except one - the slide out light in the upper right corner of the cover back on the lighted version. The covers feel sturdy, provides a tactile grip while reading, and when open expose the entire keyboard, screen and page-turn buttons. The covers will lay flat while you're reading, and the front part of the cover can also be folded back if you prefer to read that way.


The Kindle Keyboard Lighted Cover is only slightly larger and only a few grams heavier that the tough, slim, lightweight non-lighted cover. Amazon and whoever designed the cover have done a good job of keeping the design in check. Despite the fact that they're only ebook reader covers, some important features are present.


  • Real leather exterior - Leather that is properly finished for its intended use lasts a very long time, ages well, develops some tactile character, and is easy to clean
  • Sturdy bungee strap - The small diameter, integrated bungee cord used to keep the cover closed is very good quality, and that's one of the differences between a cheap, knock-off imitation of the Amazon cover and the real thing
  • Thin, lightweight stiffeners - An ebook reader cover is not just supposed to look good, it's also supposed to protect the screen and device back from bumps, bangs, sharp objects, abrasions and other damaging things, and that's what this one does
  • Device lock and retention - Your Kindle will lock into position in the cover and not come loose because the small receiver ports on the Kindle itself have tight tolerances and the locking tabs on the interior spine of the cover are strong and accurately positioned
  • Cover lining protection - The interior/Kindle side of the cover cleans up easily and is a slightly napped synthetic of some sort that doesn't readily develop any wear spots and retains the lint and dust which would otherwise end up on the Kindle screen
  • Device-specific cover - There is nothing worse that a general purpose, third-party cover that is slightly too large, or slightly too small, or retains a device a little too tightly or loosely, so the Amazon Kindle covers - designed by Amazon for specific Kindles - all fit your Kindle perfectly and feel right
  • Battery power management - The slide out light will not work unless your Kindle is powered on for reading, so it can't accidentally be left on to drain your Kindle battery; which also means the light shuts off automatically with your Kindle if you fall asleep while reading

I'd like to see Amazon produce Kindle covers with a snap out, 1"-2" (2.5cm-5cm) prop/foot of some sort so that the device doesn't always have to lay flat on a table (e.g., when reading while eating). A lighted cover with that one additional feature would be perfect.


I top up the charge on both of my Kindles once a week, out of habit, but even using the reading light for hours in dark restaurants or in a dimly lit room, at home, or in a hotel, the charge level never drops to anything even close to critical. The coverage of the reading light is not perfectly even across the screen, but after initially noticing the unevenness you'll soon forget about it and just enjoy your reading. Mounting the Kindle in the cover is easy using the sturdy clips built into the cover spine and the matching ports on the left edge of the Kindle. Upper clip first, then push the Kindle firmly onto the lower metal clip until it snaps into place. It's the lower, metal clip which connects electrically to the Kindle battery so that power can be supplied to the slide-out light built into the upper right corner of the cover. If you've ever been sitting in a relatively dark restaurant, eating and reading or drinking coffee and reading at a table near a window in late afternoon or early evening, you'll know what it's like to have to stop reading as daylight fades. But that won't happen with a lighted Kindle cover. The beauty of e-ink ebook reader screens is that they're glare-free and imitate so well the experience of print on paper - the more ambient light, the better the e-ink screen looks. But just a like a real book when natural or interior room light fades, you have to brighten things up again to keep reading.


At a penny under $60, the Kindle Keyboard Lighted Cover seems expensive, but then that's typical of Amazon's general policies surrounding the Kindle: sell all Kindles at the lowest possible prices, and make money instead on ebook sales and accessory sales in much greater volumes because of all the Kindles being purchased so inexpensively. More important though is the excellent utility and excellent construction quality of both the lighted and non-lighted version of this cover. At $20 for the non-lighted version or $60 for the lighted version, you'll get a cover that lasts and lasts and lasts. After two years, my non-lighted version ended up with my oldest son who has been using it steadily for the past four months (and it's still in excellent condition). The lighted version I've been using for the past four months shows every sign of giving very good service as well. Both types of covers do a very good job of physically protecting the Kindle Keyboard. Very good value.

Cons: I have only two very minor comments, both about the lighted version of the cover. First, the lighting arm does not evenly illuminate the screen, although you get used to it very quickly and it does not really impede reading. Second, the slide out light assembly bulks up the upper right corner of the cover back, so it is not as slim as the unlighted version and doesn't lie perfectly flat on its back, something which would be solved with the addition of a built-in, fold-out or snap-out prop in the back of the cover.

Pros: I was using the unlighted version of this cover for almost two years. Despite reading over 45 books on the Kindle during that time (at home and while traveling) the cover is still in excellent condition, and always cleaned up easily after minor spatters and splashes (too much reading while I'm eating lunch or dinner), and did a perfectly good job of protecting my Kindle from hundreds of minor bumps, bangs and abrasions while being carried around in my camera bag or travel carry-on. The lighted and non-lighted versions are identical in quality and durability. The first time you don't have to stop reading because you're outside and the sun has gone down or because you're in a restaurant and the lights have been dimmed for the dinner crowd on a dark winter evening, you'll never do without a lighted ebook reader or Kindle cover again. Highly recommended for all Kindle Keyboard owners.

KSN Product Rating:



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