Sunday, December 18, 2011

Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire accessories - external mini speaker + cases, + a general light that's on sale thru' Dec 18. - UPDATED to give KTouch sleeve link

A quick Good-Sale tip before I start here: I've caught just the tail end of a sale by Read n Beam that ends tonight [Dec. 18, 2011]: the 3-LED Hands-Free Travel Reading light for Kindle and power outages etc.

  I wrote a long description of it in an earlier blog article, and I still wear it nightly, as it works for all my Kindles and other devices and when in a darker room.  I'll repeat that it may be better to wear it in reverse-mode for reading on an e-reader.  Normally $20, it's $15 through tonight.  Apologies I didn't see this until last night, but do read the earlier description to see why I use this one for everything.

The two Kindle Fire side-speakers (both are on one short end) are very low-volume in some applications.  When you play the sound through external speakers, there is plenty of output though, in fact, more than with my Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1,

I'd ordered another brand of mini speaker but it was unpleasant sounding (shrill) so I decided to try another vendor's and the Ayl is really a surprise for a tiny one.

  So I put up a videoclip of a few measures of a vocal from an mp3 album (Link for Kindle Edition subscribers to use on a computer: kfire-ayl-acase-video )
  (This is on a table with mounds of paper on it, shoved aside.)

Update - 3/7/12, apparently, the Ayl models are no longer on Amazon, while the images are still on the Amazon servers.
  Maybe try the XMI-x-Mini-II-black, although a disconcerting 10% of 557 reviews mention a short-life battery.

  There's a similar XSKN-x-mini-ii-red speaker which has 181 customer reviews and doesn't get cautions for failing-battery problem.
  Ayl Mini speaker (White)

Ayl Mini speaker (Black)
  Apparently, I'm not alone in liking these.  The white model has 57 customer reviews with 4.8 stars averaged, and the black one has 187 customer reviews with 4.8 stars averaged.

 Note that this little thing comes came with a nice cloth case (sort of velvety) that even has a decent thin liner in it, and the connection cable (longer than with other mini speakers I've tried) has a standard USB connector for charging (you can listen while you're charging it) as well as a 3.5mm plug for a 3.5mm audio socket/stereo headset jack.  No volume control -- your device has to handle that -- and I've used it with 3 tablets, a laptop, and a cell phone.  It gets from 9-12 hrs on a USB charge depending on the volume setting of the device using it.

In the video, I'm using what I've found to be the very lightest Kindle Fire case possible -- some have called it 'flimsy' as a result.  The KFire rests in a shell, and I must say that it's "too snug" in that I have to pry it out of there when I want to use it reliably in portrait/vertical mode in the earlier Poetic case that is 360-degrees slideable for reliable viewing in vertical mode.  But it's so light it's almost no weight at all, and the spine is the thinnest.

  The back is hard plastic that seems almost metallic and the front is faux leather. The elastic wide-band is actually very secure and, outside of having to pry it out, I've enjoyed the fact it doesn't seem to add weight and even seems to make it seem lighter due to perception of what you expect in a case.

  Also it's protective enough - I never worried about it -- remember that the Kindle Fire screen is Corning Gorilla Glass and very difficult to break or scratch, and the front cover with wide elastic band is very secure.

  BUT then I got a Moko case for my Samsung 10-inch tablet (bought refurbished at Amazon's "Woot!") and I prefer the more leathery feel of that case although I think that tablets stand up less securely in those, even horizontally, but then all a tablet does in that case is go to a slightly back-elevated slope at worse.

  I then found out that ACase distributes this case for the Kindle Fire and bought it, as it has thick padding on the front side, that just has a very nice feel and it has deeper grooves for the tablet stand-points.  So though the spine is probably 50% wider and it takes up 50% more room in my purse, I use this more now.  But for absolute slimness and lightness, it's the shell-like, more plastic ACase shown in the videoclip.  It all depends on how much room I have in the purse.
  The quality of the more padded case, also "slim" (but not as much so), is higher, at the cost of weight.  The product page's additional pictures show the padding well.

MOKO case:   And NOW, Moko has made this case for the Kindle Fire also!, at even less cost (but I don't have this particular maker's Kindle Fire version so can't vouch for it).  I'd looked for it at Moko earlier after getting my Samsung case there, but they didn't have it 10 days ago.

I had also sent, early on, for the very popular splash SAFARI slim model, and that one is really well made, unexpectedly so for that price, including the inside materials especially.  Their pictures don't at all do the interior justice.

  But the splash-Safari has the widest spine and is the heaviest of the 3 slim-style cases, so I'm not currently using it -- and it has a frame over the KFire bezel, which means it's harder for me to effectively touch the bottom options when using the free Dolphin browser (which I prefer to Amazon's Silk because the Dolphin browser lets me easily do full-screen for photos and thus uses more of the little 7" device's screen real estate, very important for me).  Others really like the quality of it though, and it has pockets too.

(Link to KZip product page added at 9PM Sunday)
The Kindle Touch is SO light, that I didn't want to spoil it with a normal cover.  I enjoy holding it to read, as is, but then I found another way to prop it up. if I want, with the same nicely made, light sleeve.  Note that this way of holding a Kindle book works well for winter days :-)

  The Kindle Zip sleeve:  Some Kindle reviewers don't like that the small $79 No-Touch Kindle 4 Basic almost swims in it while other reviewers expected it to work for the much taller Kindle Keyboard (K3), for which it was definitely not designed.

  The Kindle Touch, in (3G/Wifi and Wi-Fi only models) fits snugly in my Kindle Zip sleeve, but I have no problem closing the zipper and the package is kept light.  It also looks somewhat less pale than the product images.  It's priced too high though, for those not that keen on getting a light sleeve when at this price.

  The larger photo version of my KTouch sleeve worn like a glove is at PBase.

  I do like it a lot for its space- and weight-saving qualities.

REMINDER: Beam n Read 3-Led light-beamer sale ends tonight.  Again, details from my own perspective here.

(Sorry this took so long -- a lot of things going on during the holidays.)

Kindle Touch 3G   Kindle Touch WiFi   Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. Is there anyway to put an encoded or password protected file on the kindle fire? I use it for some web access to secure sites, and I would like to password control access in case the kindle gets lost and I would like to password protect a "password" file on the kindle fire.

  2. Anonymous, I haven't read anything about password protected files on the Kindle Fire, but I use a password to protect access to the Kindle Fire when I'm out, in case I lose it or someone takes it. I use only 4 characters, but most would have trouble using it tho' professional hackers wouldn't.

  3. How do you set the password on your kindle fire?

  4. Anonymous,
    There are 3 icons at top right. A sort of wheel for Settings is the first one.

    Lightly press it and you'll get a row of options: Choose "More" at the end of the row. Then you'll se the regular full Settings-options.

    Choose #5 Security

    I use only 4 because I want to make it less painful each time I open the KFire. They have you 'Confirm' the password. Make sure you see each character you type in when it initially displays and that it's something you'll always be able to remember (w/o it being obvious to someone sles).

  5. It is not necessary to aim for the wheel, which is a rather small target. You could touch the wheel, the battery or Wi-Fi icons. Any or all of the above will do the trick.

  6. Typo? "(w/o it being obvious to someone sles)."


    1. I'd say so, Marc, 8 months later. Don't know what 'else' it could be! :-) With replies we can't edit after posting. We can delete and redo if we think someone will be confused by it though!


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