Any good tablet purchased with travel in mind deserves a good quality case. So, when I purchased Apple’s 3rd generation iPad I decided on a cheap temporary case until I could find one more suitable to my needs and sense of style. My initial thought was to go with Twelve South’s BookBook for iPad but after seeing it and how it works I realized it wasn’t for me. The mechanics behind setting it in an upright viewing angle was made overly complicated by having the user go through to many maneuvers back and forth on a regular basis. To give you an idea, you had to open the case, unwrap the string from the leather button, flip the case over, pull the string out from behind the iPad (by removing the elastic band holding the iPad then putting the elastic band back afterwards), extending it back to the same leather button to finally wrap it around said button. All these moves just to prop it up like regular monitor.
This then has to be reversed just to close the case or lay it flat. It just seemed rather unintuitive and not a very elegant design to say the least. Check out the official video here for the original BookBook for iPad to see it for yourself. Outside of that the styling was fantastic but I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase it due to the aforementioned reason. So, I continued searching but found nothing much to my liking and although I kept looking back at the BookBook that was all I really did. Well, roughly 3 months later it seems that my patience has paid off. Just recently Twelve South released an updated version of the BookBook for the iPad. As the name implies BookBook Vol 2 for iPad is the next chapter in their series of book-style cases which looks to be much better than the original. How much better is this reimagined version? Let’s take a look.
At first glance the BookBook Vol. 2 looks no different than it’s predecessor. Maintaining the same vintage leather-bound book-style look and feel it remains mostly unchanged in it’s outward appearance. The only exception is that it’s now physically smaller and comes in a new third option with a classic black finish. The aged all black leather look works very well with the BookBook styling and in my opinion looks even classier than the original vintage brown and vibrant red choices. It’s thinner profile seems a little deceiving at first but once opened you realize there’s more than enough room inside for the iPad and even a paper or two folded in half. The minimalist design also makes the BookBook lighter than the previous version adding less weight to the iPad; preventing it from being too big and unwieldily in the hand when carrying around.
Using the new BookBook has quenched any reservations I may have had almost as immediately as I started using it. It is very comfortable in the hands and doesn’t impede the use of the iPad in any way. Propping up the iPad is easier and more intuitive compared to the original design providing a much improved user experience. Unlike the original, folding the case back upon itself provides a better angled position for typing due to its thinner profile. To elevate the iPad further you simply unsnap the iPad from the back, pull out the underlying tab and brace it against the snaps underneath. This is another good typing position not available with the previous version. From there you can stand it up like an easel by unfolding the front cover, lifting the iPad and bracing the cover under the same rear tab. That’s it, no fussing around with strings and having elastic bands to contend with. This design is reminiscent of folding origami figures which makes for easier transitions from one angle to another and back again. A much welcomed change from the past over involved design of the original. As you can see undoing any of these configurations requires no real effort from the user at all. Any one of the three positions should be enough to please the majority of people as each one is very comfortable to use and view the iPad in. The BookBook leaves the iPad controls easily accessible while open, including the dock port, and front and rear cameras. Also, regardless of any of the aforementioned positions the sound remains nice and clear when listening to audio.
Craftsmanship of the BooBook is excellent. I’m not saying this case is perfect because lining up everything can be a bit of a task with materials such as leather and cloth but it is very close. It’s quite obvious the BookBook was manufactured with care. Everything from the leather cover, the accented binder, soft suede inner lining and the vinyl iPad compartment down to the stitching of the zipper, zipper color, the pull tabs on the slides, etc. All of which exudes the quality and care that went into creating and manufacturing this product. Attention to details like these are important because so many products are just thrown together where something as simple as stitching is out of place to the point it looks like it was done by a 2 year old and the item is on the verge of failing apart after just a few months or merely weeks of just average use. Sometimes things go wrong in manufacturing but that is also why there is quality control, so that those items don’t get out to the public or a least it’s kept down to a minimum until rectified. So, it appears the quality standards are kept very high here because there are many areas in the making of this case that could have easily gone wrong but didn’t.
After 2 weeks of solid use I find myself extremely satisfied with the BookBook Vol 2 for iPad. It provides good protection, a sturdy platform to type on and a stable stand for viewing video. It’s well designed, the new mechanics are easy to use, it feels good in the hand by not being overly heavy or bulky and it looks good in any situation. From it’s improved design to the new color choice Twelve South made a smart decision to reengineer the BookBook for iPad. In my opinion it turned out 100% better than the original. So, if you are an owner of a second or third generation iPad then the BookBook Vol 2 for iPad is without a doubt a case you should be looking at unless you absolutely and unequivocally refuse to cover your device.