Snugg Kindle Fire Cover vs Marware

Personally, I’m not cover-type person. I prefer my electronics bare. Kindle Fire is no exception. I did order Amazon recommended Marware Kindle Fire Cover for review purposes only. If you look at my Kindle Fire Scratch test you should get the idea that it is a strudy device and it fend for itself quite well. Screen protector is a definite waste of money and will only diminish screen quality.

However I’m well aware that there we people unlike me who love to pamper their devices and just must use some cover, skin or a sleeve. It is for such people I write this review.

Disclosure: The Snugg cover I have was sent to me by the manufacturer as a free sample. I hope you trust me to still be objective despite $29.99 incentive from one of the competitors :)

Snugg Kindle Fire Cover

Snugg Kindle Fire Cover

Marware Kindle Fire Cover

Marware Kindle Fire Cover

Since I have both accessories here in front of me, lets compare them.

  • Both covers are made of leather. Marware is smoother, while Snugg is more coarse. Both feel pleasant to the touch. It is a matter of taste and therefore a tie.
  • Snugg uses leather envelope and hidden velcro to hold the device, Marware uses metal braces covered by leather. Although both covers hold Kindle Fire securely, Snugg is much nicer looking. One point to Snugg.
  • Marware uses rubber band to hold the cover closed, while Snugg uses magnets. Both ways seem to have cons and pros. With band you can also hold the cover in the open position and overall more secure. While magnets make the cover easiers to open and involve less parts that can get tangled. I call it a tie.
  • Snugg build quality is flawless (white stitches are clearly visible and perfect), Marware is also quite nice except for the aforementioned metal braces. Therefore one point to Snugg.
  • Both covers sport a rubber band for holding the device more securely. Both allow landscape reading position. However Marware cover requires you to unbuckle the device from two of the hinges to use this position. A minor inconvenience but inconvenience nonetheless. Snugg also advertises comfortable typing position. Although you can put Marware cover into a similar position, it doesn’t hold itself securely in it due to lack of locks. One point to Snugg.
  • Both covers make power button and connectors easily accessible. One of the nefarious hinges on Marware cover obstructs part of the right speaker. While I don’t think it will affect listenting experience (remember we are talking about tiny cheap portable device speakers here that are so close to each other there will be no noticeable stereo effect) it is a design flaw nonetheless. Half point to Snugg.
  • Snugg is available only in Black, while Marware if available in Black, Brown, Charcoal, Green and Pink. Finally a point for Marware.
  • Although Snugg cover covers the top of Kindle Fire and gets really close to screen edges it doesn’t obstruct them. You can still slide out notification and settings bar from the top and button bar from the botton. I played a few rounds of Fruit Ninja and the cover didn’t interfere with the game.
  • Both covers are sold on Amazon.com and are available for Prime free two-day shipping. Marware cover costs 1.5X the price of Snugg ($44.99 vs $29.99)

I guess that by now it would be clear that I’m definitely leaning in favour of Snugg. Don’t trust me? Take a look at reviews on Amazon: although Marware sold much more covers due to being featured on Kindle Fire page, only 35% of their reviews are 5-star. Snugg on the other hand sports 83% 5-star reviews.

Conclusion: if you are unlike me and into covers – try Snugg. To me it definitely seems like a better deal.

Ivy and Bean 1: Bk. 1

Ivy and Bean 1: Bk. 1
Today Amazon makes discount for Ivy and Bean 1: Bk. 1. Yesterday this book costs $4.99. Today price is $0.99. It is good chance to attract your child (from 6 to 9 ages) to reading books.

In the series, Ivy (a quiet, intellectual child) and Bean (a rambunctious child) become fast friends despite their differences and their initial reluctance to like each other. They are both 7 years old in the series, and live on a cul-de-sac in a suburban environment. In this first book in Annie Barrows’ bestselling series, young readers will meet Ivy and Bean–a dynamic duo like no other. The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn’t be friends. But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, Nancy, and has to hide quick Ivy comes to the rescue, proving that sometimes the best of friends are people never meant to like each other. Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this a charming and addictive introduction to Ivy and Bean.

Here are some reviews on this book:

“It is hard to find books for younger readers that combine silliness, mischief, friendship, authenticity, and common sense. It’s even harder to find ones that don’t have an undercurrent of hip irony, or, even worse, some odd note of sourness. The Ivy + Bean books manage to hit this sweet spot remarkably well.
Bean is the designated cut-up, but she is usually saved by a good sense of what is fair and allowable. Ivy is supposedely the long suffering “good girl”, but she can get carried away by a mischievous streak, that can surprise Bean and the reader. So, we get a much more balanced team of friends than is usually the case, and a lot more opportunity for each character to be more than just a predictable “type”.
Additionally, secondary characters, (parents, siblings, teachers, schoolmates), are not just stock figures, but develop actual personalities and contribute to the momentum of the various stories. This adds a lot more depth and variety to the books than one would normally expect.
This book worked as an attention-holding “read to” with our five year old, and drfited into a “read with” and then “read alone”. That made it a wonderful transition book to independent reading.
And, remember the bonus – these are nice kids, who can be silly, or grumpy, or careless, but can also be loyal and thoughtful and responsible. Good company, I thought, for my little readers.” —– Pop Bop (Denver, Colorado United States)

“My six-year-old daughter loves to read and has recently started reading chapter books. Once she got over her obsession with the Junie B. Jones series, I managed to get her interested in the Cam Jansen series of books and then I discovered the Ivy and Bean series. My daughter loves the central characters, Bean and her best friend Ivy. The girls are precocious, intelligent, and always up to some adventure (or misadventure, depending on how one looks at it!). These traits appeal to my daughter as she is quite the adventurer herself, and the chapters are relatively short, which makes it easy for her to read independently. The books average about 100-120 pages, and she manages to read up to 40 pages per sitting (around 45 minutes).

What I found to be fascinating was that the plot for each story is so well-written and developed that my daughter could not stop once she started reading! I usually sit with her and supervise her reading, helping out with some difficult words, and she gets so involved with the story that she just keeps on reading. This to me is the mark of a good book, one that entices a young reader to keep reading. The language is not dumbed down, on the contrary, there are some challenging words which I help my daughter with (pronunciation and definition, if necessary).
The black and white illustrations that appear in each chapter add to the appeal of these books. In this first book, Ivy and Bean live on the same street, yet they are not friends. Bean refuses to go over and play with Ivy, thinking Ivy is a strange girl. But when Bean decides to play a trick on her older sister and gets into trouble, Ivy comes to her rescue, and a beautiful friendship forms. The story flows well, and engages a young child’s interest. Highly recommended for readers ages 6-8.” —–Z Hayes (TX, USA)

“I bought this book for my 6 year old daughter and we read it over the next 2 nights. We both loved it. The next night she started it with her mother. After my daughter went to bed, my wife finished the book on her own because she couldn’t wait to finish it. High praise for a children’s book. My daughter cannot wait to get the rest of the series. Frankly, neither can we. There are a few reviewers who have obviously forgotten what having fun as kid was like. A shame for them. Not only did we all laugh out loud at the over the top antics of these two 7 year olds, but I told my mom about the book and now she cannot wait to read about them too. A book that you and your child can laugh about together is a beautiful thing indeed.” —-Jack Smith (W-S, NC uSSa)

These deals as the name implies are updated daily and usually entail Kindle eBook being sold for nominal $0.99. You can keep track of them here: The Kindle Daily Deal. Or you can follow our blog as we’ll keep track of these deals too.

Final Thoughts from DecalGirl

This is our last Friday post in  the series of weekly giveaways sponsored by DecalGirl.com. The winner of prize is Foneb with the following comment “Well same as before: since I’m not…” Our congratulation to him (her). So you have the last opportunity to try to get a new case to your Kindle Fire for free. You need only to leave a comment what you think about Kindle Fire on our site to be in the game. In the next Friday we will announce and send a personal message on email with redemption code in case you win. Remember, it is your last chance.


“And now, the end is near, and so I face the final curtain….”

This is my last post for Blogkindle, and our skin giveaway promotion is coming to an end. I have enjoyed sharing some information about DecalGirl and our products with readers, and I hope you have enjoyed my posts. I’d like to finish up with a re-cap of some of the things I have shared, and tell you a little more about where DecalGirl is going from here.

DecalGirl has been around since 2003, and has grown from a small, two person operation to a business that employs over 30 people. We are located near the small town of Milton in southern Delaware. In this time of economic hardship for many, DecalGirl has bucked the trend of many businesses and is expanding and growing, putting more people to work and contributing to the economy.

If you have been following this series of posts for the past couple of months, you know that DecalGirl stays on the cutting edge when it comes to producing skins for new products. So we were ready to roll with skins for the new Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch, and in many cases customers were able to get their new reader and their new skins delivered at pretty close to the same time. You will find new art and skins for more devices offered almost every week on our site.

We love to hear from you, too! Tell us how we’re doing. There’s contact information on the website, or you can check us out on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/decalgirl) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/decalgirl).

So where to from here?

As I mentioned last week, our big push for this year and next is licensing. We have licensing deals with the U.S. Army, Mossy Oak, and Moto GP in place, with more companies to come in the near future. So in addition to our large variety of custom artwork, your devices will soon be able to sport skins with logos and images from a number of popular products. We’re also expanding our galleries with the work of more artists. We have added over eight new artists in just the last few months.

On a personal note, here is why I love the fact that I work at DecalGirl. It is a time of globalization, and I know that the internet is accessible to people all over the world. It’s great that businesses can market to and connect with a worldwide audience. But I believe that no matter where your business is located, and no matter who you do business with, you have a responsibility to support your local community. This is what DecalGirl does. Our products are 100% made on site in the United States, from American made materials. As I have said, DecalGirl employs over 30 people. We do not outsource. When you call customer service, you speak to someone who is here on site to help you. If you have a concern or problem when you call, if it cannot be resolved immediately, it will be resolved in a very short amount of time because we don’t have to wait to hear from a customer service representative who is in another location. In addition, DecalGirl contributes to the well being of our state and our country by the taxes paid by our business and the income taxes paid by employees. At a time when many businesses seem to be looking for the cheapest labor, and the cheapest materials, DecalGirl has made a commitment to producing a first class product from top quality materials manufactured by top quality American labor.

Thank you to everyone who has read these posts, visited our site, or participated in the skin giveaway contest. We hope you are enjoying your DecalGirl skins. From all of us at DecalGirl to all Blogkindle readers, wherever you are, best wishes for a peaceful holiday season, and a prosperous 2012!

 

 

Goodbye Kindle 2, Hello Kindle Touch!

Kindle Touch

Kindle Touch

I got tricked by Amazon and thought the release date for the Kindle Touch was November 21 so I had mine sent to my parents’ house since I would be there for the holidays.  I am just now getting to try out my new Kindle first hand, and very pleased with it so far.

As many know, the Kindle Touch was released a week early along with the Kindle Fire.  Both hit the market at rock bottom prices, and well before Black Friday.  That gave developers time to create apps and games for the e-reader and tablet.  Reviews are good for both overall.

The Kindle Touch‘s screen has a glow like quality to it. At first I thought it might glow in the dark, but it doesn’t. It is just the big upgrade in screen quality and e-ink quality between the Kindle 2 and Kindle Touch.  I decided to skip the Kindle 3 generation because when it came out, my Kindle 2 was barely 6 months old.

So far, I’m loving the compact size of the Touch, the crisp screen, and the grip on the back. My Kindle 2 seems incredibly clunky now especially because of the keyboard. The touch screen on the new Kindle works great, and I’m able to turn pages with ease.  I’ve already finished one book, and adjusted the font size to where I could read it without straining my eyes.

I noticed a comment in another post about the Kindle Touch on this blog that made a good point.  The Easy Reach software makes it easy to tap and move to the next page, but it can be a challenge for lefties.  I am left handed, and do see that it is a little more challenging to turn pages.  Amazon could probably add a next page tap on the left side like they did with the buttons in the past.  That is really the only criticism I have so far.

I can hold the whole Kindle in one hand.  It is about 3/4 the size of my Kindle 2.  It is amazing how quickly technology can change in just two short years!

I chose the wi-fi only with special offers version, so I am also getting used to not having 3G available on a whim.  It isn’t too much of a hindrance because I can access a wi-fi hotspot just about anywhere.  Even if I don’t have wi-fi, I can use the USB to connect my Kindle to the computer and download the book files that way.

So, I give the Kindle Touch a thumbs up, and recommend it for anyone looking to upgrade or try a Kindle for the first time.  I am a hard core reader, and I can see the e-reader holding it’s own for the foreseeable future.  E-readers have the look and feel of a regular book.  To me, they don’t fit in the same category as computers, tablets and smartphones.  I don’t find myself looking for a break from my Kindle like I do the other gadgets.