If a book and a Kindle got into a street fight, the book would kick some e-inked ass. (Especially if it’s a hardcover.)
As capacious and technologically advanced as Amazon’s e-book reader is, it’s gossamer compared to a tightly packed wad of printed paper. Throw a Kindle in your bag unprotected, and you’re liable to crack the screen. Drop it down a flight of stairs, and you’ll be picking up pieces at the next landing. If you take your Kindle in the bathtub, get ready to practice throwing it like a Frisbee; that’s about all a wet one is good for.
Long overdue, the Kindle’s suit of armor has arrived: The M-Edge Guardian. With 17.1 ounces of hard plastic and O-rings, the Guardian lets you tote your Kindle anywhere: the beach, Fallujah, even the bathtub. The heavy-gauge plastic exterior will clamp around your electronic library with four Pelican-case–like clasps.
You access the buttons and keyboard through thin, clear rubber windows. These provide generally decent tactile access: We have no complaints about the side buttons, which you use the most anyway. It’s easy to turn pages or hit the menu button.
The keypad is slightly more problematic, but it’s not as if that thing is a joy to type on when it’s not covered by a polymer layer. The joystick, however, is basically disabled. We never got the hang of using it through the weird rubber appendage that sits over it.
Our first test was to bring the Guardian in the tub. No problem with water (or hardcore nekkidness). When we took it to the beach, not a grain of sand breached its fortified perimeter.
Then we kicked it up a level and threw the Guardian — containing Kindle — into the dishwasher. Do not try this. Even though the case protected our reader admirably and showed no adverse effects, M-Edge doesn’t warranty against the pot-scrubber cycle.
That, and your office probably doesn’t pay for you to put your electronics through the tortures of hell.