The eForcity 360 Rotating Swivel Folio Case for the 9-inch Nook HD+ tablet is a great idea on paper that unfortunately fails to deliver on its defining characteristic. What I would call a “tragic product”, it fails its primary mission but it is very good otherwise. However, there are workarounds and other ways you can put this case to good use, so read on for all the details.
Physical Description of the eForcity 360 Rotating Case for HD+
The case weighs around 9.4oz on its own and 1 lb and 11.5 oz with the tablet inside. The case is 24.5cm by 17cm with thickness ranging from around 3/4″ to 1″. The case is definitely on the thick side, which can be a plus or minus depending on your preferences.
It has an elastic strap that holds the folio closed (it does not stay closed without the elastic strap). It also has a loop for pens or tablet styluses. The loop runs along the landscape side so pen length is not an issue.
It is very easy to put the tablet in the case and very easy to remove it. You don’t need to concentrate or use advanced hand-eye co-ordination. Once in the case, the tablet is fairly secure. You have to try to take it out, it won’t come out on its own.
This is a case specifically designed for the HD+. It does not block the volume and power buttons, does not block the headphone slot, power adapter or microSD card slot. It also has a cutout for the goofy hardware loop and also has a cutout for the speakers. The cutouts are on the sturdier rotating mechanism, but not on the folio front and back covers, so if you use the case with the cover folded over, the speakers are blocked. If you use the tablet with the case extended, then the speakers are not blocked.
The part of the case that rotates is made of sturdier material, so if you prefer cases that offer extra backbone for your tablet, this is a plus for the eForcity 360. The construction of the case is very solid, you have to try really hard to damage it. Maybe not a tank, but definitely tank lite.
The case has some mild chemical smell. I don’t recall how strong it was originally. I’ve had this for over a year.
You can’t fit other tablets in this unless they have the exact same dimensions as the Nook HD+.
The Case Fails To Deliver On Its Defining Feature
The case’s defining feature is the 360 degree rotation mechanism. Most tablet cases in the 9+ inch range are designed to work in landscape orientation, so the main draw of this case is that you can rotate between landscape and portrait mode. The problem is that when you put the tablet in portrait mode, you can’t really get a stable hold on its position, regardless of which one of the three positions you put the tablet it. If Portrait doesn’t work, then what’s the point of having the swivel mechanism. Even in landscape mode, only the middle groove of the three positions is stable and even that, only if you don’t touch it too vigorously. Games with action or any top of the screen touching is mostly ruled out.
Workaround for Portrait Mode
If you want to use the tablet in Portrait mode using the 360 swivel mechanism, one workaround is to rest the case against something very sturdy. For example, if you are at a coffee shop and you have a giant reusable cup filled with ice and liquid, that’s strong enough to hold the tablet in place. There is always the risk of a spill, so don’t do this if you are sitting at a high traffic area or there are kids and pets running around.
Hack: Unusual Hold Could Be Practical
You can take advantage of the rotating nature of this case if you are a fan of unusual tablet holding techniques. Have the folio in landscape orientation and rotate the tablet in portrait orientation. In this fashion, you can hold with each hand on the case’s landscape side, while the tablet is hands-free for you. For example, good for longform reading. This unusual position may be putting some pressure on the swivel mechanism, so pay attention to that.
Plays Well with Tablet Stands: Felix Hands and Amazon Basics TriFold
Even though the Forcity 360 Rotating Swivel Folio is a thick case, because of its swiveling nature it is versatile enough to play well with tablet stands.
With the Felix Hands (review coming soon) tablet stand, you can have the folio in either landscape or portrait orientation. The Felix Hands stretch just long enough in landscape to hold the case’s edges comfortably. These are holding the case’s edges, not the actual tablet. This is a plus in that they are not putting pressure on the actual tablet bezel and give you more room for more tablet gestures with flair 🙂
The Felix Hands also offer a workaround if you want to use the Nook HD+ in Portrait orientation with this case. Put the case in portrait orientation inside the tablet hands. Rotate the HD+ in portrait orientation. This is a very stable hold. And if you move this towards the edge of a tablet you can have the tablet charging at the same time. Doing this not at the edge of the tablet puts pressure on the head of the Nook HD+ charging cable and since this is a proprietary charging cable, you don’t want to risk damaging it and searching the eBays for replacements [good idea to scoop up a second whenever you see one on sale or clearance].
If you prefer a more balanced setup, you can have the case in landscape orientation in the Felix Hands and the HD+ in portrait. However the angles of this setup make charging at the same time not possible.
The very nature of the case design also makes it a good match for this Amazon Basics Tri-Fold Tablet stand. The tablet with the case together are too thick to fit in the grooves, however, the case on its own fits just fine in the grooves. This works in either landscape or portrait orientation – experiment to see which combinations are best for your preferences. This fold-up stand is also sold under many other different brands, eg Arkon.
For more on the case and product pictures and the latest prices check Amazon.com and such. Judging by the pictures of other Nook HD+ cases at amazon.com, it appears that the case may also be sold under other brand names. I only bought this particular model, so I am only guessing based on the product pictures over there.