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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Edit--
11/6 update: My sleeve still shows no durability problems, though at this point it's in light use as I've settled on a primary cover. However, a number of other users have posted issues with the seams coming apart. Some even have arrived new from the factory with this issue. I suggest checking the threads both here in Reviews and in the Accessories forums to find the latest information on quality control and durability around this product.


Subtitle: Chapter 3 in my ongoing quest to find the perfect sleeve

After my last attempt at finding a lightweight alternative to carrying the K2 in it's Oberon cover (Octovo K2 Sleeve review ), Kevin from Trendy Digital contacted me and asked me to give their new Simplicity sleeve a try. It arrived in the mail today, and I thought I'd share a first look at this new product. (Real life photos to follow once I have a chance to upload them.)

Trendy Digital Sleeve (brown)



Appearance:
The first thing I noticed is that this sleeve has a far richer look to it than the Octo I'd previously purchased. Both cases retail for similar prices and are of manmade materials rather than leather; however, the glossy finish & embossed croc pattern of the Simplicity give it an elegant appearance. The case comes in both brown and red at this time; I opted for the brown as the more neutral choice. The color is deep & shaded a bit towards mahogany.



The practical side:
Like most sleeves, the Simplicity is meant to have a slim profile as compared to a cover, and is very light at a mere 3.8 ounces by my scale. With the K2, it weighed in at 14.5 ounces. Compare that to my Oberon + K2, which comes in a whopping 20.4 ounces-1.25 pounds!



The biggest issue I had with the Octo sleeve was usability. Like many Kindleboard members, I've added a DecalGirl skin to my K2, and that may have made the Octo too tight to use. For whatever reason, it was nearly impossible to remove the Kindle from the Octo sleeve easily, and absolutely impossible to do one handed.

The Simplicity was designed with that issue in mind. Kevin assured me that using a skin would not be a problem on this model. While the fit is certainly still a snug one and could have had just a hair more room for ease of use, I've found that Kindle definitely slides in and out more easily with the Simplicity than the Octo. The cutout at the top (beneath the magnetic flap when closed) provides a nice grip on the K2, and grasping the sides of the case with your other hand allows for a quick removal. Ah….but can you do it one handed with the Kindle in an overfilled purse? I've found I can, by using the closure tab for a little leverage! I've tried using my thumb and forefinger holding the Kindle, and using the other fingers against the inside of the tab to push off. The Kindle slides out partway, enough to grab and pull from the case.

Size matters--compare to Oberon K2 cover:



Drop test:
Well, no, I didn't really drop the Kindle. What I did do was close the magnetic strap and while holding the unit upside down by one corner, shook it pretty hard. The Kindle doesn't budge at all, and I can't imagine it falling out of this sleeve. Even holding it by the sides, which does allow the Kindle some movement within the case, did not dislodge the magnetic closure and the Kindle didn't fall out. The corners and side edges have a framework in them you can feel, and should provide adequate protection against most impacts. While flexible, the front and back panels do also have a rigid support within them, and should spread the impact of a fall pretty well to the edges of the Kindle frame, hopefully avoiding most screen damage. I'm fairly confident that this sleeve will be more protective against impact damage than the BorsaBella naked Kindle sleeve I've been using.

6/25 update: The K2 took a fall while in the Simplicity sleeve this afternoon. I was actually moving it from its book-style case into the sleeve for travel, so the sleeve actually wasn't even snapped shut. The fall was about 3-4', onto TILE, and this was the second major fall this Kindle has endured. This time, it landed on a corner, and my heart was in my mouth. Pulled it back out of the sleeve and there was absolutely no damage whatsoever--as I anticipated, the kindle didn't budge from the sleeve. I'm very pleased with the protection provided!

Durability:
This will be added in a week or two (and updated if needed) once some longer-term use has been documented. There are two seams where the faux material has been bonded together, on one side & on the bottom. Wisely, neither seam is on the natural stress point of an edge, and I suspect they'll hold up fine. A quick scratch test with my fingernail produced no mark-I only wish the same was true with my leather sofa!

6/25 update: Still not a scratch on this case. No signs of wear at all. The sleeve has loosened slightly, making the Kindle a little easier to remove, but not enough to be an issue in falls (see above "Drop test" for more details). It's been nice to have a way to carry the Kindle that doesn't have to be put into yet another bag just to protect the finish on the case.

11/6 update: My sleeve still shows no problems, though at this point it's in light use as I've settled on a primary cover. However, a number of other users have posted issues with the seams coming apart. Some even have arrived new from the factory with this issue. I suggest checking the threads both here in Reviews and in the Accessories forums to find the latest information on quality control and durability around this product.

The drawbacks:

If you like real leather, this product doesn't come in a leather version. It would be nice to see a black option, and a non croc option for those who prefer something plainer, but I have to admit it's fabulous to see a product where black wasn't the default color!

The finish does have a slight "sticky" feel to it straight out of the package. A quick swipe with leather cleaner took care of that issue.

Like most manmade faux leathers, this sleeve does have an odor when first manufactured. It was strongest on arrival, but began dissipating within minutes. An hour later, I can only smell it if I put my nose right up to it. I have a similar case for my iPhone that had no odor at all within a week and I expect the same for this one. If you are sensitive to chemicals, you will likely need to air the sleeve out in a well ventilated area for a time.

Again, while it's relatively easy to use-certainly magnitudes better than the Octo-I would have preferred it to be just a slight bit easier to remove from the case. It does require a certain amount of dexterity to remove, as will any case that has semi rigid or rigid sides and a snug fit. I understand though that there's a balance between security and convenience in this instance, and as a manufacturer, I'd also err on the side of safety.

Overall, I think TrendyDigital's new Simplicity sleeve for the K2 is an elegant, inexpensive solution to the dilemma of having a lightweight, protective carrier for the K2 while on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks all!  Images added to first post, hope they're of use.
 

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Beautiful pics - - and an excellent review. Thanks, Victoria! I hope we see more reviews from you.
 

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Thanks for the review-- very nice! I am at the point now where the weight of a cover is just too much for me. When I am not reading the kindle , I am reading light weight paperbacks so a pound feels heavy to me. FYI, I have a blue croc-style octo sleeve . And it does fit fine with a decal girl skin. So maybe just the fake leather octo sleeves are too tight.
 

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I saw this was updated and wanted to revive the review for some new members
 
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