Vinyl Skins for Your Kindle Paperwhite - dummies

Vinyl Skins for Your Kindle Paperwhite

By Leslie H. Nicoll, Harvey Chute

One of the major complaints of the Kindle Paperwhite was that it looked old-fashioned and bulky. The solution? Vinyl skins, which are like a second skin and have been produced for all versions of Kindle e-readers. Because they’re vinyl, skins adhere to the device without glue or adhesive. Skin makers have responded to the demand with an astonishing array of designs.

Some Kindle Paperwhite owners have reported that the black bezel shows fingerprints and smudges much more readily than earlier models. A skin is the ideal solution for this issue.

The skin comes in two pieces for the front (with a cutout for the screen) and the back. To apply the skin, peel the vinyl from the backing sheet, place it on the Kindle Paperwhite in the correct place, and smooth out any air bubbles. That’s it!

Keep in mind the following hints to make skin application as effortless as possible:

  • Take your time. Give yourself a few minutes to apply a skin. Don’t try to do it when you are in a hurry.

  • Use a clean and well lit work surface.

  • Wash your hands. You don’t want to leave smudges or fingerprints on the skin. Also, the oil from your skin may make the vinyl not adhere as well.

  • Clean the Kindle Paperwhite surface before applying the skin. Don’t use solvents or cleaners on the device. Just rub the front bezel and back clean with a soft cloth.

  • Adhere the back piece first. The large back piece is easier to work with than the front. After you get the knack of placing a skin, adhere the front piece on the bezel surrounding the screen.

    People with small, delicate hands usually have an easier time applying a skin. If that’s not you, consider asking someone with smaller hands for help.

If you buy a skin from DecalGirl, the piece for the back of the Kindle Paperwhite is a perfect fit for the inside of the Amazon cover. This might be a colorful option to dress up the inside front cover if you don’t plan on taking your Kindle Paperwhite out of its Amazon case.

The skin can be removed easily for repositioning while you’re applying it but becomes semi-permanent after it’s on for a few hours. That is, the skin, especially the corners, stays well adhered to the Kindle Paperwhite. If you decide to change the skin, you can pull it off easily after you work an edge free, but it’s likely to stretch out of shape.

Although some people have been able to reuse a skin after an initial application, plan on using it only once.

Some people have had success reshaping a skin that has been removed from a Kindle Paperwhite using a hair dryer on the warm setting.

The following are some advantages of a vinyl skin:

  • Decoration: For a small investment of approximately $9–$30, you can change the look of your Kindle Paperwhite as the spirit moves you.

  • Free of dirt and finger smudges: If the skin gets dirty, you can easily take it off and replace it. Cleaning the Kindle Paperwhite case is a little trickier because you don’t want cleaning solution to accidentally seep into the screen around the bezel.

A number of skin manufacturers exist, and many sell their products on Amazon. The following are three of the most popular retailers of vinyl skins with designs for the Kindle Paperwhite:

  • DecalGirl: One of the first out of the gate with skins for the original Kindle, released in 2007, DecalGirl sells its skins on Amazon and on its website. Choose from hundreds of designs in a matte or shiny finish or design your own for a reasonable price.

  • GelaSkins: Another popular manufacturer with skins sold through Amazon and its website, GelaSkins features one-of-a-kind designs from up-and-coming as well as established artists. The company also allows you to use your own photos or art to create custom skins.

  • iStyles: Based in Singapore, this company creates vinyl skins for many devices. You can pay in U.S. dollars, euros, British pounds, or Singapore dollars and have your skin shipped worldwide. Skin prices are comparable to those of U.S. manufacturers and shipping costs are reasonable.

Skins aren’t just for the Kindle family of e-readers. All the manufacturers listed here make skins for a variety of devices, including laptops, smartphones, and gaming consoles.