When I got my new 32GB Nexus 7, I knew I had to get a case for it. It’s so handy to bring around, it was bound to get banged up and knocked around sometime. So I needed a good case to protect my baby from the school of hard knocks.
I set about scouting for cases in the malls. Surprise, there wasn’t much.
I know Nexus 7 use wasn’t as widespread among the populace as the iPad, but there must be some cases for sale somewhere. In my searching, I only found three, none of them much good. There were a couple of cases in the tiangges, both cheap plastic and not very good really (there was one with a big hole in the back), and there was a Case Logic one but it was too elaborate and bulky (and it held the Nexus by straps that slung over the corners of the thing—ugh) and was damned expensive at P2700. I was looking for a slim, compact one, not unlike, well, the Smart Case of Apple for its iPad.
So dejected, I went home and searched online. I finally found one for sale, the Nillkin Leather Case. And much more inexpensive than the Case Logic—by almost half! And surprise surprise: it looked and worked like the Smart Case of Apple!
The case covers the whole device with an open flap on the front that doubles as a sleep switch: the device turns itself on when you open the flap, and puts it to sleep when you close it, via a magnet that you can’t detect. The case doesn’t add much bulk to the device and covers it well, although I could do with some sort of snap to keep the flip cover on; as it it, it flops open occasionally. But I can live with that.
The Nillkin Leather Case completely envelops the Nexus 7, snapping on firmly to it via a solid polyurethane case that’s basically open on the bottom and top, but has cutouts for all the pertinent ports of the thing. There is one large opening near the bottom for the speaker port, another one on the left side for the power button and volume rocker, and there is a small hole for the mic on the top left side and on the lower left side for the secondary mic. The backside is solid and smooth, with a grippy leather-like feel to it.
The case holds on the corners and sides very well, but like I said, the top and bottom of the Nexus is clear, leaving the earphone jack and the charge/sync USB port unimpeded. It comes with a protective film for the front glass, although at first I thought I’d rather keep it off; the hardened Corning Fit glass holds up pretty well to abuse, and besides I’d rather not use something that probably came as an afterthought to the manufacturers. But on second thought, why the hell not? Nillkin seemed like it knew what it was doing. I attached it, and it seemed like it wasn’t even there, which was cool.
The flip cover is attached on the left side with tough stitching, much like a book cover, and the inside is covered by a light gray microfiber material that buffs the glass reasonably clean when the flip cover is closed. It folds to the back naturally when you use the Nexus, and stays out of the way. The flip cover also acts as a tri-fold stand, which you can use one of two ways: as a means to elevate one side as you browse in landscape mode, or to prop up the Nexus at a 45-degree angle for typing, or for watching videos, much like Apple’s case for the iPad. (Although if you use it like this, the inside of the cover becomes the outside, which puts the microfiber material in contact with the grimy surfaces you put the device on, and that will render it just as grimy sooner or later.)
The Nillkin Leather Case makes a great, protective cover/stand for your Nexus 7 at its online price of about US$25, and with the current dearth of accessories for the device, this one’s a great addition.
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