Guardian waterproof/floating case for Kindle

Update: This is a picture of my kindle in a hot tub.  I used it over several days and left it floating once for quite a while.  No water in the case.  The power button issue discussed below is a very big and very real pain.  But if you want a floating/waterproof kindle case, this is it.

I have been looking forward to the release of this case since it was originally previewed (at CES in January.)  I was not all that patient in my waiting.  I almost bought several other cases during the long wait (it was promised spring 2010 and it made it, but barely.)

I ordered it within an hour of its release and received it quickly after.  If it had been released only two days earlier I would have had it to take on a four day canoe trip.  I brought my kindle on the trip anyway, but would have much preferred to have the guardian case.

After playing with it for two days I am in general pleased.  As promised it is waterproof and it floats.  I have a hot tub and our family usually spends at least one week at the beach each year.  I have a membership to our community pool, but do not anticipate reading much there as I will have my two nieces with me the majority of the time.

I like the case and am glad I got it, but there are several negatives about it that you might want to know.

First, and by far biggest, is that there is no way to turn on the kindle without opening the case.  The makers wrote a response to complaints on the Kindleboards that essentially said, they tried but could not figure out a way to access the power button and stay waterproof.  M-edge asked people to petition Amazon to either make an option to not turn on the screen saver, or better yet have a keyboard short cut that would turn on the kindle.  The K1 has an option to do this, but the K2 does not.  I have to say, the fact that I will have to open up the case to turn the kindle on every time I do not change the page for 5 minutes is a major disappointment.  I knew this when I ordered, but I am still disappointed.  (One way to help with this is make the font slightly bigger and you will change the page more often.)

The second disappointment is that the 5 way controller does not work easily.  It takes a good bit of force to make it move.  The positive of this is that it does not overshoot your spot very often.  But the negative is that if you do not have fairly strong hand I am not sure you will be able to actually use the 5 way controller well.  Part of this is a kindle problem.  While I think the 5 way controller is better than the option on the K1, it is still not perfect and I frequently have a hard time making it go where I want on the first try.  The guardian case just makes that worse.

The third issue is the weight.  It actually weighs almost twice as much as kindle itself (17.1 oz for case and 10.2 oz for kindle).  The case and the kindle weights more than an ipad, which I find too heavy to read for long periods of time comfortably.  I have not had time to read for long periods of time yet, so maybe that will not be an issue.  But it is heavy.

The good part is that the page turn buttons and the keyboard work well.  I have not had a problem with either of these.

I have not used the case that much as this point.  I am going away for a long weekend with a cabin that has a bed side hot tub and also plan on going tubing down the Chattahoochee.  I will report back if my review changes at all.  I will also take some “action shot” pictures so you can see how it works.

Final grade: B-
Cost: $79.99 (pretty costly for a case)
Pros: It is actually waterproof and it does float, very sturdy case
Cons: Have to open the case to turn on the kindle, 5 way controller is very hard to move, high cost

Here is the official video

This case is no longer for sale and I have upgrade to a third generation kindle after breaking the previous one.  But two small pieces of foam under the k3 hold it in place and allow it to be used quite well.

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