Review: Poetic Keybook Case, take the Kindle Fire HDX to work

Summary:Amazon has added features to its latest tablet to make it enterprise friendly. This third-party case with a keyboard completes the package.

From the ability to work with VPN, to a full Microsoft Office viewer, Amazon has baked some enterprise goodness into the Kindle Fire HDX. The PDF viewer is particularly well done. The only thing missing from the Kindle Fire HDX for work is a physical QWERTY keyboard.

Amazon doesn't make one, but some third-party case makers are stepping in to fill the void. This portfolio case from Poetic does a decent job of readying the Kindle Fire HDX to do real work, at a very attractive price.

01 Poetic Keycase open
Poetic Bookcase for Kindle Fire HDX Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

The Poetic Keybook Case looks and feels like leather, but it's constructed from a soft, faux leather. The Kindle Fire HDX slides in a holder on one side, and the removable keyboard attaches magnetically on the other. When closed, the portfolio is not much thicker than the tablet alone. It is comfortable to hold in the hand securely.

See related:  Why you should buy a Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (review) | Kindle Fire HDX: Smooth operation, great screen (hands on)  |  Belkin QODE Keyboard Case for Kindle Fire HDX 8.9: Poor design at a price

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Poetic Bookcase for Kindle Fire HDX -- Back stand (Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

The Poetic case has smart cover technology, so opening/closing the case turns the Kindle Fire HDX on/off. The stand on the back of the Keybook props the tablet up securely for using with the keyboard. It is possible to slightly vary the viewing angle of the tablet. The stand folds back to the case for transport and magnets hold it in place.

All ports and controls of the Kindle Fire HDX are easily accessible through cutouts and controls on the case.

The Kindle Fire HDX is easily used as a tablet in the case by folding the keyboard under the tablet. It can be used in either portrait or landscape orientation without hitting the exposed keys by gripping it by the palm rest on the keyboard unit.

The Bluetooth keyboard unit is removable from the case for using away from the screen or for leaving at home. The portfolio can be used without the keyboard, although you lose the smart cover feature as the magnets are in the palm rest of the keyboard.

05-poetic-keycase-keyboard
Poetic Keybook Case Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

The keyboard unit is very thin and light, and while the keys are cramped due to the small size, touch typing is possible. Even with large hands, with just a little practice I have become proficient using this keyboard.

I do wish the keyboard had been extended down further into the palm rest, and another row of keys had been placed at the top of the keyboard. The expected special function keys, Cut/Copy/Paste and media player controls, are on the top row of the keyboard and accessed by hitting them in combination with the Fn key. An extra row of keys would allow them to be on the keyboard without the need for using the Fn key.

The Kindle Fire HDX has features making it a good fit for the workplace, and adding the Poetic Keybook Case with its decent keyboard makes it even better. There aren't many keyboards available for the Kindle, and one bad one, so the Poetic is a welcome option. It is currently available for only $35 from Amazon, making it a good value.

Pros:

  • Professional looking portfolio
  • Decent removable keyboard
  • Good battery life (will run for weeks on a charge via included microUSB cable)
  • Excellent price

Cons:

  • Keyboard a little cramped
  • Limited viewing angles for the tablet due to small stand on the case

After using the Poetic Bookcase for a week I find it a good portfolio case that protects the Kindle Fire HDX. The keyboard makes it possible to get work done without adding much bulk and weight.

I would be happy using only the Poetic case if I wasn't so enamored with the Origami Case from Amazon. The placement of magnets in the Origami make it an excellent stand for the Kindle Fire HDX while being very stable, even in portrait use.

The price of the Poetic Bookcase makes it an outstanding value for Kindle Fire HDX owners. While this review is of the 8.9-inch model, Poetic also has a version for the Kindle Fire HDX 7.

Reviewer's rating: 8.5 out of 10

02 Poetic Keycase side view
Poetic Bookcase Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet

Topics: Mobility, Amazon, Bring Your Own Device, Reviews, Tablets

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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