Product Review: KleverCase Cover For Tablets and eReaders
You know the argument by now: eBooks are inherently inferior because they're delivered via a cold tablet device that lacks the material warmth of a physical book. Enter the KleverCase, an aptly named cover for Kindle and iPad Mini devices, which adds some of that warmth back to technology. Every cover is handcrafted at The Manor Bindery, a family business based in New Forest, England, and features either a classic book cover design (Sherlock Holmes or Alice in Wonderland, for instance), or a universal cover without a title or jacket design. Whatever the case may depict on its cover, the craftsmanship here is absolutely stunning, providing both beauty and safety for your tablet.
About KleverCase/The Manor Bindery
The Manor Bindery was founded in 1976 by Philip Bradburn. He initially envisioned the bindery as specializing in restoration work and limited editions, but the business became renowned for its superior manufacturing of false books, which eventually lead to work with the film industry. The idea for the KleverCase came about when Bradburn gave his son-in-law Chris Logan—now director at KleverCase—a Kindle for Christmas. According to KleverCase's "Our Story" page:
The problem Philip the bookbinder (who loves gadgets) faced was when he...realised with sadness that the old books he loves [sic] could be on their last legs/pages.
And so, he had a lightbulb moment and the solution came easily: Make a cover for the gadget that looks exactly like the old books he loves, using the traditional techniques he adores.
Check out the video below to learn more and to see some of the bindery's production techniques (more videos on how to size and fit your KleverCase can be found here).
Numerous Sizes: You can purchase a KleverCase for just about every Kindle generation imaginable, as well as the most current iPad Mini body style. There are also universal sizes for any non-Kindle or Apple devices.
Compact and Lightweight: Despite being constructed from durable and solid materials, the KleverCase adds very little bulk to your device. Moreover, as the case is designed to fit smaller tablet sizes (no Kindle Fire or iPad Air iterations, for example), the overall size isn't much larger than a "book club edition" hardback.
Secure Fit: Once your tablet is placed inside the interior rubber gripping, it will stay there.
Handmade: I mentioned this feature above, but it's worth noting again, particularly when considering how much you pay for a KleverCase (not much). You can feel the care and dedication to quality when you hold the case in your hands.
Sleep/Wake Functionality: When you close the KleverCase cover, it puts your tablet to sleep, so you don't have to manually lock the device before stowing it away in your bag or setting in on a table.
Freestanding: If you want to display your KleverCase when you're not reading, simply prop it upright on your table or mantle. It will stand up on its own.
Personalization Option: You can add a personalized message to the interior cover of any KleverCase, such as "Property of..." or "Happy Birthday." Max character count is 255.
One Year Guarantee: Yep. A whole 365 days of support, should anything be amiss with your case.
90 Day Returns: Another yep. You've got three months to determine whether or not the KleverCase is for you. Most places, you barely get three weeks.
I hesitate to call this a downside, really, but more of a heads up: if you're looking for a more functional stand case for your device, the KleverCase is not for you. Remember that the purpose of this product is to recreate the look and feel of traditional books, and as such it is perfect for people who primarily read on their devices, be it via a dedicated eReading app or a web browser. If you do more than this—watch movies, draw, etc.—you might find the KleverCase a bit awkward.
That being said, the company does have a foldback case that might prove more satisfying for you multi-function users out there.
Pricing and Where to Buy
You can order your KleverCase direct from the company's website. Prices vary according to size, with most starting at about $40 (the foldback cases start at $45). There's a sale going on now, so some cases—in particular the amazing James Bond cases, including my favorite, Thunderball—are half-off. Worldwide shipping from the UK is free, which is awesome.
KleverCases are, of course, also available through Amazon.
Anyone own a KleverCase? What are your thoughts? Have you encountered other products like this? Let us know in the comments section. And of course, if you have a writerly product you'd like to see reviewed here, send an email with a link to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll check it out.
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