In the interest of time, I'll spare you, dear readers, my usual spiel and say simply this: I like official accessories. In theory, anyway. I like the idea of accessories specifically made for specific devices by the device's original manufacturer. I've been delighted by the Nexus 7 pogo dock, and love the Nexus 10 pogo charger (though it isn't actually official yet).

Then there's the official book cover for the Nexus 10. We first saw this cover when the Nexus 10 was announced, and then it vanished into thin air for nearly six months before making a sudden appearance in the Play Store. Naturally, I had to get one immediately.


So, what is the cover like? Is it worth $30? Those are questions that take a bit longer to answer.

How it Looks

In the interest of finding out whether it was really "hunter's vest" orange, I ordered the "Scarlet" book cover. The short answer is no, though the cover is very bright in certain light. At times it looks absolutely orange. At other times, it looks red. This is due in part to the every day experience of moving between environments lit with different color temperatures, and partly because of the nature of the cover. Though it looks like a simple matte surface in photos, the case is actually textured, and the surface feels a bit like vinyl.

wm_BookCover L-1-2


Right: Texture under a microscope

Inside is a simple cardboard insert, with a nearly undetectable flat magnet toward the top, since the magnetic wake sensor on the Nexus 10 is, for some reason, right next to the front camera. Speaking of, there's an opening over the front camera that allows you to take a photo comfortably when the cover is flipped over the back. Overall, the top portion of the cover is extremely thin, and while not flimsy, it does feel a little cheap. This effect is amplified when the cover hits your hand – or some other object – while closing, making a really unpleasant sound.

BookCover L-4

wm_BookCover L-2

So how about the back? Well, as we've probably all seen, the back looks just like the regular backing of the Nexus 10, but with a nice subtle curve. The curve doesn't tilt the tablet enough to matter, but it does feel excellent to hold.

wm_BookCover L-6 wm_BookCover L-7

By the way, the cover is just a tiny bit smaller than the actual tablet – the Nexus 10's front facing speakers remain unimpeded by the book cover, which is a nice touch.

wm_BookCover L-5

Otherwise, there's not much to see unless you count the two straps that connect the broad part of the cover to the backing. They seem sturdy, and leave room for the powerbutton. Otherwise, they're totally predictable.

wm_BookCover L-1

How it Feels

Before publishing my opinions, I wanted to live with the cover for a brief time. During that time, I found that the case looked and felt extremely stylish. Its utter lack of functionality (besides automatic wake/lock) aside, the case looks magnificent on the device, and looks superbly slender. It pairs wonderfully with a notebook.

wm_BookCover L-1-3

All of that said, the cover makes me slightly nervous. One of the Nexus 10's main selling points, in my opinion, is the luxuriant rubberized backing. Coming from the Dodo Case Durables sleeve, the official Book Cover makes me nervous that the backing might finally get scratched or otherwise marred. Then again, maybe the absolute razor thinness of the cover is worth the risk.

Is it Worth $30?

In short, not really. Basically, the cover looks great, and that's the totality of its value. Its lack of functionality (as a stand, or even staying closed) overshadows its aesthetic appeal by just great enough a margin to make it less valuable than $30 in my book, especially when third-party vendors (Dodo Case, Moko, Poetic, etc) have done such a nice job filling in the gaps. Would it be nice to have a cover that snaps into the back (thus eliminating a ton of bulk) but folds into a stand? No, it would be amazing. Unfortunately, that's not what we have here, and I fear Google missed the boat both on timing and value this time around. If you are still interested in checking it out for yourself, hit the link below.

Nexus 10 Book Cover on Google Play (Dark Grey, Scarlet)

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • Humberto Hernandez

    It is a "dont-buy" seriously, what's google thinking?

    • MasterMuffin

      don't know

    • dgarra

      "We have 50,000 of these things, we've had them since December and know they suck but what do we do?" "Hire a new Chief of Design."

  • Christopher Carroll

    I have the same cover and when I got it a few days ago I was extremely disappointed.Almost mad . The only good thing about this case is the auto on and off feature.

  • dgarra

    I would figure people just bought the $16 generic leather-ish case for this by now.

  • http://profiles.google.com/petetandon Pete Tandon

    yea,...its pretty crappy. I got one too.

  • Mr John

    Do we day "how it looks" or "what it looks like"? I'm learning English :-)

    • http://twitter.com/mydrunkdaniel Daniel Nicholson

      You can use either :)

    • marcusmaximus04

      Those two are both correct, but mean slightly different things. "How it looks" generally would be used to say how good or bad it looks. "What it looks like" would be used to just describe the appearance, usually without goodness or badness.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Do we say "day" or "say" ;-]

  • Bobo

    Nice drawing at the thumbnail! :D

  • anzensepp1987

    It's the same with the official "Travel Case" for the Nexus 7. It is ugly and crappy as hell (and expensive).

  • Matthew Fry

    I waited just long enough to see that the Google official one was terrible and got a poetic slimline. it stands pretty well, as long as you don't touch it. The slightest touch will cause the cover to unravel and the tablet to fall back. The magnet to wake works fine and the magnets holding the cover in place are strong and snap into place. It's relatively slim. It gives you access to the volume buttons (unlike Google's) but folding it back probably covers up the camera. I honestly don't know cause I don't use a 10" screen to take lackluster pictures. Overall, the poetic is a buy. Especially at it's current price of 1/3 of the Google one.

  • CameraMan

    What's with all the fake bokeh!!!!

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      There's not much actual bokeh except in the open shot. As for it being "fake," I assure you these photos are not manipulated. They were simply shot with a very shallow depth of field.

    • Lukas Zachar

      Unsuccessful troll is unsuccessful

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Love the pics, Liam! And finally some use for your new microscope!

    • NathanDrago

      Those shots are actually pretty impressive! Something you don't find in an ordinary website :-)

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

        Comes as a bonus of having a professional photographer as a writer :P

        • TylerChappell

          I would love to know where I might get that microscope

  • http://www.facebook.com/archercc Ryan Stewart

    At this point its too little, too late. Maybe they held them in the hopes they could get something better out in time but failed. The lack of functionality makes it pointless for me at that price. Not a stand, not a magnetic closure, etc means its nearly decorative.

    And this makes me think there is less or no hope of seeing a POGO dock from them if it takes them 6 months to come out with something as simple as this. Ive got the 3rd party cable (which is brilliant) but would like a dock/stand with the function included.

    • http://AndroidPolice.com/ Liam Spradlin

      From your keyboard to Google's ear. Really the ONLY accessory I want for the Nexus 10 is the dock. The rest I've got under control (third party charger, dodocase sleeve)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000209056572 Joris Griffioen

    Hey at least you're allowed to buy a Nexus, here in the Netherlands there is still NO way to get them without paying overpriced importers, traveling yourself or paying insane import duties...

    Have Google ever given any legitimate reasons for not selling the devices? It's especially painful now that they are available just one country over (Belgium) ..