Reviewed: Stylish and practical e-reader cases

At a Glance
  • Caseable Sony Reader case

  • Sony Reader cover with light

  • Kobo Glo Leather SleepCover

  • Barnes & Noble Beatles Dropped T Frame in black

  • Barnes & Noble Jonathan Adler Punctuation cover

  • Amazon Kindle Paperwhite leather cover

  • Lightwedge Verso Prologue

  • Speck Products FitFolio for Nook Touch and Nook Touch with GlowLight

E-readers aren’t exactly easy to break, thanks to their non-glass E Ink screens and generally sturdy construction. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to risk scratching your Kindle Paperwhite by throwing it into your purse or bag unprotected.

We took a look at a couple of e-reader cases for each of the popular e-readers on the market today—the new Amazon Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite, the Barnes & Noble Nook Touch and Touch with GlowLight, the Kobo Glo, and the Sony Reader PRS-T2—to see which cases are worth putting on your device and which ones are…well, not. For cases that claim to fit multiple devices, we tried ‘em to see how the case fit. We have edgy, practical, and fun all here—find the perfect case for your e-reader.

Amazon Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite

Verso Prologue
Designed for: Amazon Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite
Also fits: Sony, Kobo Glo
Price: $39.99, LightWedge

The Verso Prologue is an attractive, book-like cover for your Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite. This cover features a pretty fabric exterior, as well as a pocket on the inside of the front cover for documents and cards.

The Verso Prologue attaches to your Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite using four elastic straps. The straps make it easy to put the Kindle in and to take it out, but are sturdy and tight enough that your Kindle won’t fall out on its own. The case allows you to access the Kindle’s MicroUSB charging port and its power button.

This case says it fits most other e-readers, but our experience was mixed. We had reasonable luck with the Kobo Glo and the Sony Reader. However, the case’s elastic straps at the corners partially block access to the Kobo Glo’s power slider and MicroSD card slot, as well as the Sony Reader’s MicroSD card slot. The company says that this case is also compatible with the Nook Touch and Nook Touch with GlowLight, but we found both of those devices to be too wide for this case.

Kindle Paperwhite leather cover
Designed for: Kindle Paperwhite
Also fits: N/A
Price: $39.99, Amazon

The Kindle Paperwhite leather cover is, according to Amazon, the “lightest and thinnest” cover for the Paperwhite. It certainly felt that way—it was one of the slimmest and lightest covers we tried. This cover comes in several colors, including black, navy, purple, and fuchsia, and has a lightly textured cover and an auto-sleep/wake feature.

This cover snaps easily onto the Paperwhite and lets you access the MicroUSB charging port and the power button. The cover has a magnetic closure, which also wakes up the Paperwhite automatically when you open it (and puts it to sleep when you close it). The cover is not quite as easy to pop off of the Paperwhite, but it is possible, and Amazon includes a flyer that shows you how to flex the case to pop it off.

Barnes & Noble Nook Touch and Touch with GlowLight

Speck FitFolio
Designed for: Nook Touch/Touch with GlowLight
Also fits: N/A
Price: $29.95, Speck

The Speck FitFolio for the Nook Touch and the Nook Touch with GlowLight is a plastic custom-fit cradle with a leatherette cover. Our review model was bright blue, with a plastic molded back and a smooth cover.

The FitFolio snaps easily onto the Nook Touch, and has cut-outs for the power button and the MicroUSB port, but does not allow you to access the MicroSD slot. Because the cover isn’t designed to quickly snap off, this might be an issue if you want to access that slot.

This case looks a little cheap—the leatherette cover, which closes over the Nook’s screen and attaches with an elastic strap, is a little warped out of the box. This warping means that the entire case looks bulky and un-sleek, which is not exactly the look we’re going for.

Jonathan Adler Punctuation cover
Designed for: Nook Touch/Touch with GlowLight
Also fits: N/A
Price: $14.97, Barnes & Noble

The Jonathan Adler Punctuation cover for the Nook Touch and Touch with GlowLight is just one version of the many book-like cases that Barnes & Noble sells in its stores. It’s a nice-looking case—our review model was pink and purple—with a large pocket on the interior cover for documents, as well as a small, clear pocket for a business card or ID.

This case snaps onto the Nook Touch using only the left holes (the Nook has four little holes for a case to snap into), which leaves your Nook flopping sort of awkwardly when you open the case. This design allows you to slide your hand behind the Nook and press the power button—an important button to access, no doubt. The only concern here is that something might get stuck between the Nook and the cover and put unnecessary stress on the plastic hooks. The cover has no clasp or elastic to hold it closed, so this could easily happen if you toss it into your bag.

The case does allow you to access both the MicroUSB charging port and the MicroSD card slot. It also adds about a quarter of an inch to the Nook’s otherwise slim profile, so it’s not for people looking to maintain the device’s sleekness.

Beatles Dropped T Frame in black
Designed for: Nook Touch/Touch with GlowLight
Price: $9.95, Barnes & Noble

On the other hand, if you are looking to maintain the sleekness of your device, the Beatles-themed silicone frame from Barnes & Noble will definitely do just that. This silicone sleeve is made of super-soft, super-stretchy silicone and slides easily over your Nook Touch. It comes in other colors (without the Beatles logo), including lime green, hot pink, and turquoise.

This cover is designed to protect your Nook Touch from bumps and scratches in your bag—not from two-story drops onto cement. It’s easy to put on and take off, and it has cut-outs for the MicroUSB charging port and the MicroSD card slot. It also has a soft molded button cover that goes over the power button on the back (it’s easy to press the button through the thin silicone).

Although this case is pretty sexy, there are a couple of downsides. It doesn’t cover the screen, which is the most important part of the device, and it’s also very soft and thin. In fact, it’s so soft and thin that I’m worried it might be easily torn by a sharp object, such as a pen or a paperclip, when it’s floating around in a purse or a bag.

Kobo Glo

Kobo Glo Leather SleepCover
Designed for: Kobo Glo
Also fits: N/A
Price: $49.99, Kobo

The Kobo Glo Leather SleepCover is very, very well designed. This cover, which comes in black and brown leather, is specially designed for the Kobo Glo, and has a magnet in the cover that can turn your device on when you open it (and turn your device off when you close it). The outside is made from smooth leather, with soft felt on the inside.

This cover snaps onto the Kobo Glo using four little clips. It’s easy to pop in, but not quite as easy to pop out. However, it does allow you to access the MicroUSB charging port, MicroSD slot, the power slider, and the light button, so perhaps you won’t need to snap it out quite as often. The cover closes with a magnetic buckle, and sits flush against the e-reader when closed to maintain the sleekness of the device.

The SleepCover works well and looks great—very polished, professional, and sturdy. Kobo also makes a non-leather SleepCover, which comes in purple, black, gray, and pink, and costs $39.99. The non-leather SleepCover closes with an elastic band, instead of a magnetic buckle.

Sony Reader PRS-T2

Sony Reader cover with light
Designed for: Sony Reader PRS-T2
Also fits: N/A
Price: $49.99, Sony

Sony’s official lighted case for its PRS-T2 e-reader presents a solution to Sony’s biggest disadvantage in the e-reader market today: reading at night. This case, which comes in red and black, has a smooth leatherette cover and an internal cradle designed specifically for the Reader.

It’s easy to snap the Reader into this cover, and the cover is even designed to flex so that it’s also easy to snap the Reader out of the cover. The cover allows you to access the power button and the MicroUSB charging port, but not the MicroSD card slot (which is located on the back). However, since it’s easy to snap out, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

The case has a pop-up light on a thin, flexible arm. The light is powered by one AAA battery (included), and turns on automatically when you pop it out. There are the obvious problems of reading with a separate light (rather than reading on a front-lit e-reader), such as the fact that the screen is not evenly lit. However, this is a nice choice for travelers, since AAA batteries are easy to pick up on the go, unlike wall sockets for charging dead e-readers.

The Sony Reader cover with light is a very nice cover. It’s well-made, extremely lightweight (even with the AAA battery installed), and it helps Sony make up for the Reader’s biggest weakness—lack of light.

Caseable Sony Reader case
Designed for: Sony Reader PRS-T2
Also fits: Kobo Glo, Amazon Kindle
Price: $44.90, Caseable

Caseable’s Sony Reader case is a book-style cover with tons of different looks to choose from. This fabric case is fairly basic, but it’s also sturdy and well-made, and it fits multiple e-readers (though Caseable does make cases specifically for other e-readers). The case is made of sturdy material with neoprene padding, a full-bleed color print on the outside, and has a small pocket inside the front cover for documents or cards. Our review model was the “Here I Am” print.

This case has four small, tight elastic straps to hold the Reader in place, as well as a large elastic strap to hold the cover closed. It’s easy to put in and take out, but the straps feel sturdy enough that you won’t have to worry about your Reader accidentally falling out. The case allows you to access the MicroUSB charging port, but the straps partially block the power button. This isn’t too much of an issue, however, since you can press the power button through the elastic. You will have to take the Reader out of this case to access the MicroSD card slot.

This case also fits other e-readers, including the Kindle and the KoboGlo. However, it does partially block the power slider on the KoboGlo, as well as the MicroSD card slot. Luckily, Caseable makes cases designed specifically for the KoboGlo.

Caseable’s Reader cover is sturdy and well-built, and feels like it will protect your Reader well. Plus, you can also design your own cover, using your own colors, images, and text, on Caseable’s website.

This story, "Reviewed: Stylish and practical e-reader cases" was originally published by TechHive.

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance
  • Caseable Sony Reader case

  • Sony Reader cover with light

  • Kobo Glo Leather SleepCover

  • Barnes & Noble Beatles Dropped T Frame in black

  • Barnes & Noble Jonathan Adler Punctuation cover

  • Amazon Kindle Paperwhite leather cover

  • Lightwedge Verso Prologue

  • Speck Products FitFolio for Nook Touch and Nook Touch with GlowLight

Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.