[Review] *Update 28DEC12* Extremely Thin Smart Cover like Apple "aka Ebay case"
** Updated GPS issue at the bottom**
This is going to be a quick review of the "Google Nexus 7 Slim Magnetic PU Leather Smart Cover Case Stand w/ Stylus- Black" Case from Ebay. Link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Google-Nexus...ht_2989wt_1271
. I bought this case from ebay last week for $11.95 with free 3 day shipping. The shipping was extremely fast and it arrived in 2 days.
I have received a few PM's asking about the quality of the case so this review will address a few of the questions from others. If you would like any more information please ask below and I will answer them as quickly as I can.
Build Quality: The snap on backing is hard plastic with no internal padding. In every day use your hand does not come in contact with this hard material because of the wrapped cover. I would compare it in feel to the silver bezel surrounding the Nexus 7 screen. The flap is a type of plastic (NOT PU LEATHER) on the outside with a softer felt on the inside. It reminds me of a picnic table cover you would use in the summer with the waterproof plastic top and thin soft touch backing. The flap is held onto the casing with clear glue and you do not see unless you pry is back and start looking for it. While it does not feel overly expensive in the hand it does not feel cheap either. It does not compare to my wife's apple smart cover which was $50, but at a little over $10 I do not expect it to.
Folding: The case folded in the closed position makes the device exactly as thick as my tpu case. (A good way to tell it has limited protection capability.) Additionally the only part of the case still exposed after the backing is snapped on is the silver bezel, a known weak part on the Nexus. The flap covers it up... but that will only help to keep the bezel from getting scratched. When folded closed the volume and on/off screen are covered. This is not an issue because of the "smart cover" feature. I also want to note that when the case is folded and you are using it to watch movies it is extremely stable. you can push on it and it will not fall over.
The cover has 2 sets of weak magnets. One set is used for the smart cover (yes it works) and the other is on the edge that holds it closed. When you roll the cover up to make a stand the magnet meet much like an apple smart cover to keep it from unfolding. When the cover is folded back on itself it does not shut off the screen as seen on the initial moko/blurex cases.
Improvements: The one note I have for the magnets is that they are weak. I am sure this was to ensure that the cover does not turn off the device when folded back. The problem is that until my case gets broken in.... The magnets have a hard time keeping the case in the folded position as a stand. It stays closed very well when pressure is on the case or after you push down on the creases. I posted a pic of it working. Where it is weak is after you open the case and fold the cover into the triangle... just prior to setting it down it will sometimes unfold itself unless I hold it. It has been improving over the last 2 days as the plastic gets more broken in.
Would I recommend? The answer is based on price. At around $10 it is a great case. Very thin and works well as advertised. I keep my flight publications on it and keep it in my pocket 24/7 and for this application it works great. I am glad I got it. As the price starts to climb around $15+ I do not think the quality justifies that kind of money. Reading other forums it looks like the Poetic Portfolio has started shipping and it looks like a good option for $20. At $11.95 I am glad I bought this one. I use this case as my daily however I still think I will get nicer one in a few months. I have a Moko slim leather case, moko tpu case and this one and out of all of them I like this the best for traveling.
** Update **
I use my Nexus 7 for aviation maps when I fly. I have a bluetooth GPS I normally use as well as an s-style tpu case that I put it in. A few days ago I unexpectedly went flying and could not change cases or get my GPS. My Nexus was having a fit trying to get satellites. It would find them only if it had direct exposure to the sky. As I am sure you know this is not a normal characteristic, normally in my tpu case it is spot on. I did not think to much of it (I was preoccupied).
Two days later I received a PM from Amt0571 asking if I ever noticed the case interferes with the use of Google Sky. I installed the application and Amt0571was spot on. I am making a loose correlation that the case was also weakening my GPS signal. Not failing it but under harder condition like tracking am aircraft at 170 MPH inside a metal fuselage it weakens it just enough for it to get lost. Thanks Amt0571 for bringing that to everyone's attention.
The case still works great, just keep this in mind for specific applications. I would still trust it for driving.
I am sorry to say that I woke up today to a stress crack on my case. I know many of out have posted this throughout the thread however up until today this case has been perfect. I have used this case as my daily since I bought it. I removed the case on the weekends. I have not decided if I am going to buy a new one. I do LOVE this case I just want to check out my other options. I will post what case I decide to go with.
Hope this helps. I will post pics in a few from my phone.