When I got my Nexus 7 from Google I/O, there were no cases available for it, so I started using an old Kindle Fire case that someone donated to me just to get by. The fit was not right, and the elastic corner straps got in the way of the screen at times. Needless to say, it was barely better than no case at all.
So I started checking Amazon and eBay for possible cases to protect my new toy when I came across this interesting case by rooCASE with a very long name: The rooCASE Multi-Angle (Black) Vegan Leather Folio Case Cover for Google Nexus 7 Tablet. Phew! That’s a mouthful!
What interested me the most was that it had a built-in magnetic flap closure that enabled the Nexus 7′s sleep/wake feature. Oh, and also, it only cost $10. Can’t beat that! So I ordered two, one for me and one for my wife (yes, I got her a Nexus 7 as well).
So how do we like it? Read on after the break!
The Amazon page for this case lists the following features:
- Multi-Angle Vegan Folio Case Cover for Google Nexus 7. (Full Unobstructed Access to Notification Bar and Other Touch Function)
- Environmentally Friendly Vegan Synthetic Leather. Soft Interior Lined with Non-Scratch Material.
- 20 Degree Typing Angle and Adjustable Viewing Stand Between 45-90 Degree.
- Magnetic Flap Closure with Built-in Sleep / Wake Feature.
- Elastic Loop for Stylus or Pen.
- Access to All Ports and Controls.
- A MUST Have for all Google Nexus 7 / Asus MEMO 370T 7-Inch Tablet Owners!!
Ok, the vegan thing is cool, I suppose. It does really feel like leather… or at least pleather… and it’s nice to know that no cows were harmed during the making of my case. The angles the case can be put in are possible due to strategically placed Velcro on the inside corners that stick to the felt-like soft interior.
There is some concern that over time, the soft inside of the case will get ratty and worn from all the Velcro pulls, but so far it seems fine.
By far the best feature for me is the magnetic closure that activates the sleep/wake feature of the tablet. It’s very nice to simply open the case and have the screen turn on, and close the case and have the screen turn off. I don’t have to worry about manually turning it on or off, which is a good thing since the power button is a bit hard to reach in this case (more on that later).
The most interestingly useless feature has to be the stylus loop. Am I really going to use a stylus on this thing? No. No I’m not. Lose the loop.
Technically, all the ports and controls are accessible with the case on, but at varying degrees of accessibility.
There’s a lot to like about this case, especially for less than $10. Here’s my top list.
- Made to fit the Nexus 7 perfectly.
- Magnetic closure (sleep/wake function).
- Multi-angle positioning works great. Perfect for movie watching.
- Vegan faux leather is nice.
- Soft interior is… soft.
- You can charge the tablet while the case is closed.
- The case protects the tablet very well.
Ok, this is where I can talk about what irks me about the rooCASE.
- By far the worst thing is how freakin’ thick it makes the tablet! It probably more than doubles the thickness of the naked tablet. It’s like carrying around a medium-sized novel rather than a thick instruction manual. The pictures on Amazon do not adequately show how thick this case is and I was a bit disappointed when I received it. Check out the picture below to see what I mean.
- Access to the notification shade proves slightly challenging with the case on since it covers the top bezel, which is where I usually start my swipe down from. rooCASE says this is not really an issue since all you have to do is tap and hold the top of the screen and the notification shade will appear. But that requires me to change how I use my device, which is not appreciated. I’ve now learned how to gingerly place my finger at the top of the screen and slide down, but it’s not as smooth as on the naked tablet.
The swipe up gesture from the bottom to launch Google Now is also similarly difficult to do because of the case. But I can let that one slide a bit since all you really have to do to launch Google Now is hold down the home button, then swipe up.
- Access to the power and volume rocker is also a little challenging. I’m not completely blaming the rooCASE for that since the Nexus 7′s design has those buttons slanted a bit toward the back, making them a bit tougher to feel, but the addition of the case does not help things.
Cat hair. I have two cats. They shed. The soft interior of the rooCASE is starting to look like a third cat. Just take a look at this picture.
Overall, the rooCASE is not terrible and does the job it is meant to do: protect the tablet. For only $10, it’s not a huge gamble and will get you by until more options are available. But don’t go expecting the perfect, slim and stylish case you can be proud of. This is a chunky yet serviceable option that won’t break the bank, and if you don’t care about adding a few extra millimeters, your Nexus 7 will be very well protected.
For me, I’ve already ordered a slimmer case. Once that arrives, I guess my rooCASE can be my new kitty. I think I’ll name her “Roo”.
Check out the gallery of pictures below. Hit the source link for the Amazon page.
UPDATE: The slimmer case I ordered is the Slim Fit Leather Case by Supcase, which I haven’t received yet but will certainly review after I spend some time with it.