Octovo Light for Kindle – Review
In my two months as a Kindle owner, I found myself regularly visiting the Amazon website, debating on whether or not to purchase one of the available Kindle lights—each time deciding to hold off due to a belief that someone, seeing a potential customer base exceeding 2 million and counting, would surely develop a reading light just for the Kindle.
I almost bit on the recent Kandle, but for reasons covered later in the post, I continued the wait. I redirected my search efforts to upcoming products and learned about the Octovo. They were gracious enough to provide a sample in rapid fashion, and here is the review.
Note about the review
I do not have any of the competing lights, and will, therefore, attempt to compare by addressing the flaws and limitations—as noted within the customer reviews on Amazon—of the currently available reading lights. While not a thoroughly comprehensive comparison review due to my lack of compared models, I do believe the objective details in the table below will support my premise that most Kindle owners will find the Octovo the best light (soon to be) on the market.
The Kindle 2 is an elegant and simplistic-looking device—this prepares the mind, whether reading in public or in the privacy of one’s home. Clamping black plastic on and twisting a flexible arm up and over my Kindle seemed off-putting to me (imagine the snickers from an IPad-wielding patron sharing the dimly lit coffee house).
The Octovo is aesthetically pleasing. The brushed aluminum casing matches the back of the Kindle. The light simply swivels in front, instantly turning on the light. There is no adjusting for proper angle.
Fit and Battery
Unlike the Kandle, the Octovo only fits the Kindle (different models will be sold for the Nook and Sony). The raised rubber holds the Octovo in place as one just slips the light onto the top of the Kindle. Conversely, sliding the Kandle onto the Kindle requires one to “stop short” before reaching the back of the clip, lest one clamps onto the Kindle screen.
Moreover, the Kandle uses 2 CR2032 batteries, which may offer a lighter combined light, but are more expensive, harder to find, and not available as rechargeables (and don’t forget a small-head Philips screwdriver with you on vacation, in case you have to change the batteries). The Octovo uses a single AA battery.
With a regular alkaline battery, the total weight of the Octovo is merely 1.7 ounces (1.9 with NiMH). This is rivaled only by the 1.5 oz Kandle and 1.4 oz M-Edge, but is less than half the total weight of the Mighty Bright and Great Point Light.
The Octovo should also work with cases that allow access to the top of the Kindle—it was a tad snug with my Grantwood zippered case, due to the zipper, but remained secure.
As for the light itself, the design of the Octovo ensures that it will only maneuver to one position—a limiting factor that means that if the product designers got it right, then this would be the simplest light to setup; if not, then it would be a total failure. Well, since this product is specific to the Kindle, they were able to find the proper angle without worry that the customer will position it incorrectly on the Kindle.
And, so, the light illuminates the entire screen with no “hot spot” (from the bulb’s reflection on the screen). Text can be read from top to bottom without tilting the Kindle or readjusting the light. (note: although I was unable to test the light on a Kindle DX, another reviewer has indicated that the bottom of the screen is legible)
The best summary of the Octovo is that the entire process, from attaching to the Kindle, to commencing actual reading, is 1 second. There is no on/off switch, no adjustment of the light, no proper clamping position to fret over.
And that is the best one can expect from an accessory for a device that has made reading such a seamless enterprise.
Availability and Price
The Octovo is scheduled for a late-March arrival at Amazon.com and the Octovo website. The wait may be hard, but will be well worth the patience. The manufacturer is suggesting a list price of $29.99, and while this may seem steep for a reading lamp, it falls in line with the limited other eBook reader lights currently on the market.
|Mighty Bright XtraFlex2||M-Edge e-Luminator2||Great Point Light Flex Neck||Kandle||Octovo|
|weight||3 oz||0.9 oz||4 oz||1.3 oz||0.85 oz|
|Batteries||3 AAA||1 AAA||2 CR2032||2 CR2032||1 AA|
(*rechargeable NiMH batteries)
|4.5 oz*||1.4 oz||4 oz*||1.5 oz||1.9 oz*|
|Battery life (mfg)||40 hours||20 hours||20 hours||25 hours||25 hours|
|# LED lights||2||1||2||2||1|
|Attaches||Spring clip||Only M-Edge cases (not directly to Kindle)||Spring clip||Spring clip||One-size rubber grip|
|Color(s)||Black||White||Black; White||White||Brushed aluminum|
|Website||Mighty Bright||M-Edge||Great Point Light||Ozeri||Octovo (not yet on website)|
|$19.99||$29.99 ($24.99 + $5 shipping)||$19.99||$25.00||$29.99 (mfg. suggested)
No product page
|Most common customer complaints||On/off switch (too easily activated)
blue tinge of light
Large clip size
Weak clamp grip on naked Kindle
|On/off switch (too easily activated)
Less bright than Mighty Bright.
|Inconvenience and expense of batteries with no rechargeable option
On/off switch is a bit flimsy
|Short arm creates a “hot-spot” (where the bulb reflects on the screen)
On/off switch is hard to operate as well as flimsy
Inconvenience and expense of batteries with no rechargeable option
Mini-Philips head screwdriver required to open the battery compartment
Short arm results in noticeable darker bottom screen
Notes from the manufacturer
“The led we used is designed to bring forward the text on the screen for ease of reading,
i.e; there is a contrast between the text and the ‘dead’ gray space on the screen. The light is a soft tone light that allows ease of reading.” The light will also come with a protective pouch.