I love my Kindle. It’s by far my favourite gadget, and if you forced me to give up all gadget but one, I’d keep my Kindle. My Kindle goes virtually everywhere with me. I’ve even used it in the bath and sitting on the beach, but all of those times I was very aware of how one slip would mean the end of my Kindle. I found a nice big snap-lock bag for it, which protected against splash damage, but one drop and the Kindle is no more.
So what was I to do? Find a waterproof case for it!
I’ve been testing out the Proporta BeachBuoy Waterproof Case for Amazon Kindle for a week, and overall it’s been a good experience.
The case is a Kindle sized pouch with clear sides and waterproof fabric around the edges. At the top is a double snap-lock neck with velcro that you fold over to seal it fully. The first couple of times you need to carefully line up the snap-lock, but it soon becomes second nature. On the outside it clearly states that it’s waterproof guaranteed, which my initial reaction was “they’ll replace my device if it fails?”… but no. Their user guide says they are not liable for any damage that may happen to the case after it leaves their warehouse, and if your gadget is ruined, it’s not their fault. They also expect you to perform a tissue paper test with it first to make sure it’s not damaged and leaking. But they will replace the case itself if it’s faulty!
Before I explain my testing steps, I’ll mention that we have three Kindles. My old Kindle Keyboard (which is actually irrecoverably frozen), my Kindle Touch, and my wife’s Kindle Paperwhite. I tested each in turn to see how well it worked.
Tissue paper test – I put some tissue paper in the case, submerged it in water and left it there for a while. Then I pulled it out and left it to dry. Once dry, I opened it and checked the tissue paper: it was dry.
So far so good!
Kindle Keyboard – It fit into the case perfectly, and although the Kindle itself is broken, I was able to press all of the buttons easily (and heard them click), as well as reach the power button (although it was a bit tricky until you figured it out), etc. When I pulled it out, it was completely dry.
Awesome, it sounds like it’s going to do the job nicely!
Kindle Touch – Here is where things get interesting. Firstly, my Touch has it’s own cover which makes it too thick to fit into the waterproof case. Not a big deal, but the cover I use isn’t designed to remove the Kindle from so it took a bit of effort. Once out of the Kindle cover, it fit perfectly into the waterproof case – although since my case also has a light, I’ll need to invest in other light sources while reading in wet areas. The power button on the bottom was easy enough to click (when you’re familiar with it’s location), likewise the home button under the screen works perfectly. But then I clicked on the screen and watched in horror as about five other places on the screen were clicked too… Oh no, this is bad!
Actually, I’ll admit that I expected this behaviour. The Kindle Touch has an infra-red touch screen, which means it registers clicks no matter what touches the screen. When using a snap-lock bag with it, it was always clicking the screen randomly since the bag was so loose and flexible. I had hoped that this case wouldn’t suffer the same problem since the material is quite rigid, but unfortunately it does. Then I had an idea: I opened up the case and blew a lot of air into it so it was quite full of air before sealing it back up again, and with some careful screen pressing, it worked. I’d managed to put enough air in there that when clicking the screen, all other parts of the case were kept off the Kindle. It wasn’t perfect, and clicking Back was a tricky process some times (due to the very small area where the back area is), but it did work and I was able to read my Kindle Touch.
Cool, it still works, if you’re careful.
Kindle Paperwhite – Like the Kindle Touch, I had to take the Paperwhite out of it’s cover before it would fit into the waterproof case. Once inside, it works flawlessly! The Paperwhite has a capacitive touch screen, like a smartphone, so it only registers clicks made by a finger (or similar capacitive material) – which means the case can touch the screen however it likes, but unless it’s got a finger pressing the case at that exact spot it won’t register it as a click. The power button access is similar to the Touch, which my wife commented was hard to press initially.
This is the sort of Kindle the case was designed for!
I love the concept of the waterproof case, and all things considered I believe they have done a fantastic job building one. It works really well with a Kindle Paperwhite (well, any non-Touch Kindle really), and I’d recommend anyone who owns one and likes to read in wet areas to get this case. It allows full access to all of the controls on the Kindle, including the power button – which other cases annoyingly don’t allow you to access, and keeps your kindle protected at all times.
The fact that it doesn’t work with the Kindle Touch is not a mark against the case, but against that Kindle’s design and is unavoidable with anything over the screen – and as I said, it can be worked around if you’re careful.
If you are interested in getting one in Australia, you can find them at MobileZap.