Updated 2/26/12: Now with hands-on pics and thoughts! The world of book-bindery Kindle Fire cases is slowly heating up as manufacturers ramp up production. Classic favorites DODOcase, and Pad and Quill are met in the ring by a relative newcomer Portenzo. Portenzo isn’t content to just mimic though, oh no. They come out swinging and hope to knock you down with a one-two punch of quality and style, then make sure you won’t be getting up with an uppercut of customizability. Read on for our thoughts on the recently unveiled U.S. made Portenzo Kindle Fire case…
Portenzo starts with natural maple and old fashioned high quality workman ship to bring you a silky smooth and oh-so curved frame that fit the Kindle snug like a bug in a rug. Their proprietary corners are claimed to hold onto the Kindle much longer than the competition and won’t wear out or need replacing like the “others” do. There are cutouts in the wooden frame for easy access to all the ports and buttons.
We’ve contacted Portenzo with the hopes of receiving a sample to test this claim out, so check back for updates. Portenzo was nice enough to send us out a fantastic fire truck red buckram w/ black interior including the optional IntelliStand upgrade (pictured)!
Having handled the “others” I can say for a fact that build quality on the Portenzo is very (very) solid. This isn’t a flimsy all-show-and-no-go case. The IntelliStand option is WELL worth the price of admission, with the two small magnets doing a nice job of keeping the fold out back snug against the wood frame when not in use. Our unit was understandably stiff, and while in stand mode the two small rare-earth magnets were not able to keep it fully kicked back, though we imagine with a break-in period that small issue would go away. The “proprietary” corners that Portenzo claim will not wear out is indeed worthy of that claim. There are 4 rubberized corner pieces with small “teeth” inset into the frame that feel very secure. They claim that even if two were to come out that the Kindle would continue to be held in place.
The whole affair is wrapped in either faux leather or buckram in no less than 9 choices of colors: from green apple to tangerine (fire truck red buckram shown). The inside is bound in Italian cloth in no less than 9 color choices (black shown). Portenzo lets you mix and match to your hearts content for no additional charge! As if that wasn’t enough customization options you can select the color of your elastic band from 8 different colors. The possibilities are mathematically staggering! Finally, there is the option for personal embossing for an additional charge.
Workmanship is top quality, from the precisely folded corners to the embossed logo, the whole case just reeks of quality. All in all, Portenzo comes out in full force and is a solid choice for your Kindle Fire’s protection. They retail for a cool $59.95 and shipping is half that of their competitors. They do custom options and have exotic materials from time to time (stingray skin anyone?) so be sure to check back often or drop them an email! The Portenzo Kindle Fire case can be ordered direct from Portenzo’s website here.