Earlier in the summer I wrote a review of the Kobo Aura HD, proclaiming it the ultimate e-reader. Amazon has since responded with a newly upgraded Kindle Paperwhite, but with 212 ppi (compared to the Kobo’s 264 ppi display) and a 6-inch display (the Aura HD’s is 6.8-inches), I’m still firmly in the Aura HD camp. The one downside to this device, however, has been the lack of choice in protective covers. When you sell as many e-readers as Amazon does, there are hundreds of compatible cases and covers to choose from; when you’re on a smaller scale, the e-reader in question is priced as a premium model and has a slightly larger than standard form factor, there simply isn’t the same kind of choice. So when Noreve Saint Tropez offered to send a case for my Kobo Aura HD, you can bet I jumped on it. I can safely say, in my rather expansive collection of e-reader and tablet cases, there isn’t another that can match this one for looks. And it does a pretty good job of protecting the device as well.
As someone who’s worked from home for the past four years, Haute Couture isn’t really in my vocabulary — shorts and teeshirts, yes, French fashion design, less so.
But I have to say, the Kobo Aura HD Tradition Leather case from Noreve Saint Tropez, (the company known for offering Haute Couture for mobile devices) is a pretty nice piece of kit. It arrived in a very elegant red and black box, wrapped within its own protective red cloth bag. Yes, the protective case has its own protective bag. I opened the bag and the smell of leather wafted into the room. Good leather. The case is a made of a very high quality material — not just nice smelling, but soft, supple and perfectly stitched.
The e-reader slides into the case where metal clasps (leather covered, of course) hold it firmly in place. It’s a bit tighter than the usual method and while it holds the e-reader firmly, if you decide to pull it out after, that’s a bit of a chore. All of the ports and switches are unobstructed (including the reset) so there’s no need to remove it unless you want to switch to another case or go commando. The inside cover has a series of vertical ridges which seem out of place until you open it up and hold the e-reader like a paperback. Then those ridges (which now face out) become natural grips for your fingers. It makes the Kobo Aura HD even more comfortable to hold in one hand, while adding very little weight.
I had my doubts about the case closure at first. It’s not magnetic or velcro, but a hard clasp that hooks under the e-reader itself. At first, it tended to pop open, but after a few days, it stayed firmly closed. It’s been solid ever since, so maybe it just needed a bit to work in. I’ve been closely examining the plastics of the Kobo for signs of wear, but the clasp hasn’t scratched it at all, so color me convinced — the clasp is an effective closure method that doesn’t add bulk.
As far as I’m concerned, if you own a Kobo Aura HD, you can’t go wrong with this case. It makes a premium e-reader look even better, it’s comfortable to hold and the device feels much more secure within the leather and metal enclosure.
Noreve Saint Tropez makes a full range of device cases that can be customized and ordered directly from its website (the UK version ships worldwide at no charge). The Kobo Aura HD Tradition Leather case I was sent goes for $86.17 (the fancy stitching upped the price a bit), while other leather cases for the device start at $72.91 and if you’re willing to go with basic looks without customization, I noticed some on Amazon in the $55.99 price range.
Pros: Offers good basic protection for device and display, ports and switches are exposed for easy operation, style and quality are top notch, huge range of customization options when ordered through company website, intelligent design makes the e-reader more comfortable to hold.
Cons: A little tough to get the device in and out of the case (i.e., if you expect to pop the e-reader between multiple cases, this may not be the one for you).
Disclosure: Noreve Saint Tropez provided a case for review purposes.