Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Techy Tuesday: M-Edge eReader Cover and Light

Ok - it's not technology, per se...but it is accessories for my favourite little piece of technology.  Meet the new cover and reading light for my Sony Reader!

A few years ago, I lucked out on Stephen Avenue one noon hour and got $60 in free gift cards to the Sony Store.  With that windfall, I treated myself to something Sony had just released - their lighted cover for the PRS-505.  It was a black cover with a built in reading light.  The light was actually several LED lights built into the edge of a lucite panel that fit over the reader screen.  It worked.  It lit the book enough for reading on the commuter bus at 6am.  The biggest problem I had with it was that I kept opening the cover the wrong way and the lucite would scrape across the screen...causing scratches on the panel AND on the edge of the reader screen.   After using it for a year, I abandoned it and went back to the stock cover the reader came with.

Since then, I've wandered by the M-Edge website a few times.   I've drooled over their super pretty and seemingly functional covers, but have always hesitated to buy one because my covers were in excellent shape still.   Last week, I decided to take the leap.   I am going to be riding the bus again soon and I wanted something that would protect the reader AND allow me to use a booklight without damaging the cover.   After watching the YouTube videos for them and figuring out what would work best for me - I bought myself the Executive Jacket (in a beautiful purple colour) and the e-Luminator booklight.  

M-Edge doesn't have jackets for the PRS-505, specifically, but the PRS-600 is the same dimensions and the website states that the covers will fit a 505.  

As soon as I saw the FedEx website telling me that the cover would arrive yesterday, I was all a-twitter.  In fact, when I went to get the mail and saw the fedex truck turn up our street, I ran all the way home so I wouldn't miss them!  The verdict?  Well - this is one GORGEOUS cover.   And the light's not too shabby either.  Shipping is lightning fast, too, btw.  I ordered it Wednesday night, it shipped Thursday and then arrived early afternoon on Monday after the long weekend.  Had Friday not been Good Friday, I think I would have had it then!

Knowing that you, my bloggy friends, would want to see it all - I took my camera through every step of the unboxing so you can see what you will get!

So - from the moment I took the FedEx wrapping off...
The packing box...

First glimpse

Ohhh - the booklight.  It was at this point, where I noticed it was for the Kindle/Nook.  Further investigation proved it was a one size fits *not quite* all

Gotta get the wrapping off and see this beauty!

When I first shed the plastic wrapping, my breath was taken away by how pretty this cover is.  It is truly a striking accessory.   Slipping my reader into it made me feel like I was showing my love in a way only an ebook reader would understand :P  The cover is leather.  I don't usually buy leather goods unless it is a product that I absolutely demand durability in (shoes, belts...)  - I think my reader cover qualifies...

Ohhhh - pretty!

Understated branding on the back

Inside the cover - room for documents and SD cards

I don't know that I will ever use the pockets in the front of the cover, but it is nice to know that they are there if I ever need them.  After all - my reader only holds a couple hundred books...the day may come that I need to use those SD and Memory Stick slots!

Pocket for the booklight

One of the most clever aspects to the design is how they custom designed a pocket to hold the clip for the book light.  Just slide it in and the light folds down in the spine for storage when the cover is closed.

Inserting the booklight

The booklight, while made by M-Edge to fit their covers, is designed in such a way that it can be used with traditional paper books as well.

Such a clever design - the touch button on top has 3 settings

There is a pen look on the cover, but if the light is being stored in the cover, you wouldn't be able to use it, as it is positioned in the spine of the cover.

One AAA battery is supposed to give 20 hours of light at the medium setting

A battery wasn't included, but we have tons of rechargables so I will always have one at the ready.  I haven't tested the light long enough yet, but the website says that it will power down automatically after an hour of non-use (it will apparently blink first)

The only drawback to the cover is the strap covers part of the on/off switch.  It's still usable but not as much as without.

The cover is listed for the PRS-600, but my PRS-505 fits snugly in those straps.  The thing I think I will like most about this cover (over the Sony stock cover) is that there is no way to open the book backwards or upside down...the book is firmly attached to one side of the cover.  The straps on the top are elasticized - you just set the reader into the static straps on the bottom and then pull the top straps over to secure the reader.

Full access to all ports
The cover is thicker than I am used to but it is not uncomfortable to hold.   If anything, just having the book in my hands makes me want to curl up and read (though that isn't an unusual phenomenon when I am holding my Sony)

The nub on the bottom is the lamp head sticking out because it's a tad too long.

Size comparison to Sony stock cover

Thickness comparison to Sony stock cover
My initial impressions are very favourable.  I love this cover.  I can't wait to start hauling it around and start showing it off.   I am still very happy with how much it cost (the cover was only $35 - MUCH cheaper than Sony's offerings for this model).  The booklight, at $20, was about average for a booklight.   You can purchase this style of cover for any of the ebook readers they list on their site - include for iPad.

So far, highly recommended.  Now that I've held one of their covers in my hands, I am wanting to order some of the other styles as well....lol

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