If you've already distinguished yourself from the mass of 10-inch tableteers and joined the ranks of privileged 7-inch tablet owners, you're one step ahead of the cool curve already. Now take it to the next level with one of these sleek carrying cases that will ensure your digital lifeline is neatly stowed into a convenient and protective pocket or sleeve.
Where better to start than at the store of the 7-inch king itself, the Amazon Kindle Fire? Marware's MicroShell Folio has a sturdy, hard polycarbonate back piece and a soft fabric lid that folds out into a prism stand. An elastic strap holds the parts firmly in place regardless of the orientation.
Buy at Amazon. (opens in new tab)
More protection from the pros here. Everyone knows B&N has always been the classiest of the bookstores (see Borders.com), and this leather cover for the Nook Color or Tablet, with its cleverly jumbled and embossed names of classic literary figures, ensures your elitism won't miss a beat. After all, if your eReader cover is this sophisticated, you couldn't possibly be reading anything but The Brothers Karamazov.
Buy at Barnes and Noble. (opens in new tab)
As sturdy as it may be, a Kindle can only withstand so many face-first encounters with the floor. So if you've got a case of the butterfingers, pick up (gently!) Belkin's Grip Sleeve, a case with a laser-etched silicone exterior so you can hold onto your gadget even when you get a case of the shakes.
Buy at Belkin. (opens in new tab)
Keep your Kindle Fire warm with this Jacket, made with a durable design and a soft grey microsuede interior. The case folds into two standing positions, and retains access to all the device ports. Even with all that folding, the Jacket will endure, with a hard square spine that's built to withstand wear.
Buy at M-Edge.
Get in and get out! Checking a game score or firing an employee via email is quick and hassle-free when you don't have to undo any straps or tear any Velcro. This Kindle Fire sleeve's slip-cover design quickly tucks away your device and gives you immediate access when needed. Not to mention it's available in some very fashionable styles. Houndstooth tablet sleeve? Move aside Banana Republic, Rickshaw will handle this. (Designs run $35, basic colors are $25).
Buy at Rickshaw.
No list of any kind is complete without an item for the tree-hugger. Granted, this huggable has been uprooted, manufactured, polished and solid for capitalist gain, but this Mediterranean bark-based pouch is about as au naturel as tablet cases get. Thanks to the cork's naturally waxy texture, your Kindle Fire will remain safe from, well the fire, as well as rot, gas, and liquid.
Buy at Boxwave. (opens in new tab)
Sure, the brand name may sound like a bag of puppy chow, but this thick, classy zip-up leather Kindle Fire case is sure to boost your executive appeal. While this case may add a little extra girth to your gadget, it's not in vain: a built-in stand and a series of slots for credit cards further proves that this mini-briefcase is only for the successful individual. And with all those eBooks stored on the Fire's hard drive, you can don your best Ron Burgundy mustache and honestly say you "own many leather-bound books."
Buy at eBags. (opens in new tab)
Of course, any good carrying case breakdown isn't complete without a contribution from Timbuk2, one of the leading names in quality baggage. This sleeve for the Fire is attractive, hip and quick. Slide your Kindle right in and right back out, breeze through airport security, and spoil your device with fine weave ballistic fabric on the outside and a memory-foam faux fur interior.
Buy at Timbuk2. (opens in new tab)
Don't have enough money to afford the setback tied in with getting a luxury case that exudes knowledge and power? Neither do we. That's why this $10 sleeve gets the job done while keeping your wallet...not as light as it would've been if you purchased something more expensive. One zip and your eReader/tablet is tucked safely behind a layer of impact foam padding.
Buy at Case Logic. (opens in new tab)
OK admittedly, this diverse bag is big enough to store an iPad, but its clever sleeve-to-tote changeup design and Neoprene skin warrant a spot on this list. Plus there's no extra bulk, as this skin wraps around your device's body to make sure even a smaller tablet won't bounce around in the smaller sleeve.
Buy at Skooba Design.
Case-Mate's Tuxedo is no awkward penguin. In fact, this super-slim premium leather is quite fly. OK, flightless bird jokes aside, this case, which utilizes 'Magic Tape,' a double-sided residue-free adhesive that keeps your Kindle Fire in place, is quite the looker and will certainly be the target of diverted eyes. We recommend the caramel brown exterior.
Buy at Case-Mate. (opens in new tab)