It looks like Amazon is trying to get rid of their remaining Kindle DX accessories by running a “sale.” In an email advertisement sent out today, the DX cover is shown as originally costing $49.99 with a sale price of $29.99. This might seem like a good deal to those who haven’t been keeping track of Amazon’s DX phase-out. You see, this case has been priced at $29.99 since before their Black Friday sale last year. I would expect a close-out sale of cases, skins, and reading lights to be a bit more beneficial to the buyer who decided to purchase the firmware-orphaned DX (especially those who paid the exorbitant rate of $379 for it just a few months ago).
If you want to buy a Kindle DX leather case, or if you are looking for really good deals from Amazon in general, it would be best to wait for the real Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. They drop all sorts of prices then, and their free apps get pretty good too (last year, Office Pro 6 was their free paid app of the day, normally $14.99). Maybe the remaining stock won’t last till then, but there is a good chance that they will be priced lower if they do. I have noticed that older Kindle accessories always go on sale for at least a few days after Thanksgiving. This is how they got rid of their Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 cases.
Speaking of, if you have ever owned one of these older Kindles, you know that the official Amazon cases were much better in the past. Starting with the Kindle 4 and Touch models, Amazon drastically altered their case design, replacing that beautiful leather folio style with a back plate of form-fitting rubber attached to a thin piece of pleather-covered cardboard. It probably costs them all of $5 to make in China. This is why I refuse to pay $39.99 for an official Paperwhite case, although it looks like the quality has improved from the Kindle Touch.
Over at Amazon reviews, myself and a few others have speculated that Amazon overcharges for their cases in order to make up for the losses they incur by underpricing their devices. A new Kindle Papwerwhite (with special offers) costs just $119 but the case is $39.99? That is exactly one-third of the eReader’s value. Even if the quality wasn’t so obviously cheap, this would be a hefty price to pay.
Kindles 1 through 3 cases used a metal hinge method where you would slide the device into two little hooks on the inside spine of the case. These hooks doubled as power leads if you had the reading light version of the cover. Apparently, too many people had difficulty inserting the device into these hooks (also, the first batch of Kindle 2 cases had to be recalled because the hooks could short out the device and damage the firmware). If you weren’t careful, the hooks would bend and the case would become impossible to put on. I guess I can see why they would want to replace this design, but did they have to scrap the whole folio look altogether?
After writing a lukewarm review of the Kindle Touch and a very negative one of its new case, an Amazon customer service rep called me to get my input. It was nice to see that Amazon wanted to learn from its mistakes (according to the rep, I was not the only one complaining about the change). The addition of a clasp on the Kindle Paperwhite case is most likely a response to the number of people who were angered by the loss of a way to keep their case closed; the old cases used to employ a plastic band to kept the front cover from falling open.
The new Kindle Fire HD cases are equally overpriced, but from the video review I watched yesterday, it looks like they are constructed of high quality materials. Still, there are plenty of third-party alternatives right on Amazon.com, so if you are satisfied with Case Crown or some other case maker, save the extra cash and shop around.