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Case Mini-Review and Comparison - M-Edge Incline vs. Poetic Slimline vs. Blurex Ultra-Slim
Was lucky enough to receive a Nexus 7 for Christmas this year and absolutely love this tablet. Previously my main tablet was a Motorola Xoom which is still pretty great afaic, but feels like a behemoth compared to the ultra light, slim, Nexus 7. Since recieving it, I've been experimenting with different cases trying to find the one that works best for me. So far I've tried out 3 cases. One of them I've returned, the other 2 I'm keeping and will likely switch between the 2 depending on my needs.
The 3 cases are:
m-edge 'Incline' - $39.99 at Staples
Blurex 'Ultra-Slim' - $19.98 on Amazon
Poetic 'Slimline' - $19.95 on Amazon
This is the most expensive and probably the most well made case of the trio, it is all leather, feels nice to the touch and looks great. However, good looks will only get you so far and the functionality of the case makes this one the big loser.
The 'Incline' is a "slide-in" design, meaning the tablet slides into part of the case to hold it in, the fit is nice however, the leather boarder on the half of the case that holds the tablet is so wide that it obstructs the function of the case. It not only makes it very difficult to select anything on the upper right side of the screen (especially the quick settings), but it also obscures the ambient light sensor.
That said, I did like the various viewing angles the case provided but that just wasn't enough of a reason to keep it. - Back it went.
I was able to put that $40 I got back from Staples into purchasing two more cases from Amazon:
Bought this case after seeing some decent buzz about it on the forums. Like the m-edge, the Blurex is also a slide-in design that offers multiple viewing angles, however, they've taken a much different and in my opinion, a much better approach to the slide-in mechanic. Instead of a thick solid border of leather the tablet slides into a 4-point leather-wrapped claw system, one claw on each of the two right corners and another claw about an inch to the left of each corner. The tablet slides in easily and is held solidly in place. There are two more claws that are integrated into the case for the left side corners that fold up into place when the case is closed.
The Blurex feels like its built pretty well but not as solidly as the m-edge. However, what it lacks in build quality it more than makes up for in design and usability. Some of the outstanding features include: A built-in magnet in the cover that wakes the tablet when you open it and puts it to sleep when you close it (the m-edge is sorely lacking this feature), when closed the cover very securely clips around the side of the case so you'll never have to worry about it accidentally opening, built-in stand with multiple viewing angles, and a built-in hand strap so you don't drop the tablet while holding it (important to note that the strap is kind of geared toward right handed people, as a lefty, my desire would be to put my right hand in the strap but its somewhat awkward with the closing latch in the way), and very easy access to the controls due to the minimalistic claw design.
On the negative side, the Blurex does add some bulk to the tablet, no more than the m-edge, but a lot more than the next case in my review.
The Poetic is the most unique case in the line up. Unlike the slide-in design of the other 2 cases, the Poetic uses a "snap-in" design. To insert the case you place the right side of the tablet into the case and snap the left side of the tablet down into it. Its fairly simple and very secure, so secure that its actually slightly difficult to remove the tablet once its been snapped in. As far as built quality is concerned, Poetic lags behind the m-edge and Blurex cases by a fair leap. Some parts of the case don't quite line up, and there are some definite flaws in the leather that covers the plastic. None of the flaws I've witness effect the functionality of the case at all however, they are mostly aesthetic. That said, there is a lot to like about this case.
First - like the Blurex, the Poetic employs a magnet that activates the Sleep/Awake function of the tablet - its worth noting that I've read reviews that earlier version of this case would activate the sleep/awake function when the cover bent around the back of the tablet, they've obviously fixed that in the latest release of the case since I don't have that problem. The cover is very thin and uses a strip of magnets integrated into the case to hold the cover closed. I was worried that the magnets may not be strong enough to hold under a lot of movement but I after shaking the tablet pretty vigorously the cover remained closed, however when dropped ( on to carpet from 6 inches) the cover did pop open slightly and then close again), so that is definitely something to be concerned about if you tend to drop things. Slimness - I really can't say enough on this point - the case is so slim that it barely increases the dimensions of the tablet and that is really its main selling point for me.
A couple of drawbacks worth noting - the cover of the case does the "roll-up" thing that seems to be a copy of the new apple ipad case, however, there is really only one useful position for standing up the case which only raises it about an inch or so. I've tried to turn it over to make it stand more upright but the tablet is too "top heavy" and has a tendency to fall backwards unless you balance it just right. Also - access to the controls is somewhat obstructed, but isn't too hard to get used to, however, I could see this being a problem for someone with fat fingers. As it is I have to use the side of my finger to get at the buttons which as I said, isn't hard to get used to, but is a little bit annoying. The fact that the cover has the sleep/awake function really makes this not much of an issue since you almost never have to press the unlock button.
Not much to be said about the m-edge - while very well made, its barely usable because of the wide boarder, and its also very expensive. Stay away.
The Blurex is definitely a keeper and if I had to pick just one case it would probably be this one, while more bulky than the Poetic, it offers a lot more protection and viewing angles with its integrated stand while being far more usable than the m-edge.
The Poetic is..slim...very slim, and offers what I'd call "minimal protection" I'm keeping this one too, and will probably use it around the house and the office, but for more extensive traveling, I'm likely to switch to the Blurex for its added protection.
Hope this mini-review helped!
Have a great new year everyone!