BookBook for iPad from TwelveSouth
It's taken me a long time to get around to this particular case, the BookBook for iPad from TwelveSouth. I've known about this case from the time it was launched, and spent many hours looking on TwelveSouth's website, deciding whether it was something I'd enjoy for its price.
I'll be honest: I wasn't sure, so I went with the other cases on my wishlist - a full-grain leather folio from Oberon Design, and a customized Moleskine-style book-case from Treegloo. Each has its merits and drawbacks, and I've already discussed them elsewhere. So what made me come back to the BookBook?
Not an easy answer. I have been using my BookBook for about a month now, which is more than enough time for me to have used the case sufficiently to know it inside out. I think the foremost reason is that it looks really groovy - the juxtaposition of leading-edge tablet technology inside a classically-inspired book-case, handbuilt and distressed to give it that well-loved look. That feature solves a major problem with everyday use cases (EDCs) which will inevitably pick up scratches and blemishes: with a BookBook, these are no longer defects but part of what gives your case its character, each scar with its own story.
For someone who loves the feel of a good hardcover in the hand, BookBook is that cover - load as many e-books as you like onto your device. It is an excellent disguise because at a casual glance, it looks like you're reading an encyclopedia (back in the day when people still printed them) when you're actually playing Stupid Zombies. On closer examination, they'll see it's an iPad. Either way, you score high on the coolness factor.
The device is secured inside the case by two leather corner straps at the bottom, and a horizontal elastic across the top. There is also a two-sided zipper which allows the case to be fastened shut from either end, with the tabs of the zippers designed to look like the ends of bookmark ribbons. Double zippers means you can open as much or as little as you need, e.g. just for access to headphone port or recharging plug.
The leather straps were quite tight when it arrived, but expanded to fit the device over time. The horizontal elastic on top is tight, although one of my concerns is that it may loosen over time. The same goes with the zippers: I'm very careful not to tug too hard or force it if it gets stuck, because this is a frequently moving part and potentially, would be one of the first components to give way.
When the device is in the case, access to the buttons can be partially obstructed by the zipper edge. It just takes a short while to get used to, then you'll know where the controls are without having to look. There is also a leather strap which tucks under the device, which can be used to convert the case into a viewing stand, simply by folding the covers backwards and setting the length of strap under the case to fix the viewing angle.
The inside of the BookBook is lined with an amazingly soft velvet with cushioning, whilst the hardback covers and spine give reinforced protection from concussions and falls. The covers are not perfectly ironing-board flat but rather, have a slight degree of curvature to match the back of the device. TwelveSouth's web explains it thus: "Its spine looks like a book, but its shape is more like a soft leather wallet." Again, I don't regard this as a defect; rather, it's what makes it not perfect that makes it perfect.
Conclusion: I had my doubts initially, especially already owning two great cases at no small expense. But when I finally succumbed and acquired the BookBook and started using it, I realized that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought it would. (Enough to want to contribute a review, and that's saying something.) The BookBook for iPad is a great look to rock, it loves your iPad and protects the device, and it's that perfect design intersection where form meets function.
- Play "Stupid Zombies" in class/meetings without anyone suspecting*
- Protection all round
- Hand-distressed features means if you scrach it for real, nobody knows the difference anyway
- Same design fits iPad 1 or 2
- Horizontal elastic is fugly, and potentially could be a weak link
- Ditto zippers
- No rear camera port, if used with iPad 2
* Speaking from first-hand experience.
Available in Black or Red from:
Amazon.com: Twelve South BookBook for iPad and iPad2 in Classic Black Style: Electronics
BookBook Case for iPad - BookBook Case for iPad - Twelve South