TUAW review and giveaway: Twelve South BookBook for iPad

When fellow TUAW blogger Dave Caolo teased you with the news of Twelve South releasing the US$69.99 BookBook cover for iPad, you knew that a review and giveaway couldn't be far behind. We're happy to say that you'll have a chance to win one of these beautiful iPad covers. But first, let's give the BookBook for iPad a test flight.

It's rather ironic that the sleek glass and aluminum iPad is inspiring a lot of old-school cases. The first out the door was the Dodo Case, a leather-bound tome that resembles a Moleskine in more ways than one. It has a hand-carved bamboo interior shell to hold the iPad in place, and an elastic band holds the cover closed when the iPad is not in use. These $59.95 cases have resulted in a resurgence in the book binding trade in San Francisco, and there's a long waiting list for them. Minneapolis-based Pad&Quill also has a similar case called "The Case, Vol. 1" with a hand-carved birch interior lining.

The Dodo Case has spawned a host of imitators, including a number of blog posts from people who are creating their own Moleskine-type iPad cases by hand. A lot of iPad owners, however, were waiting to see what Twelve South would do for the iPad. This, after all, is the company that started the whole retro case market with the BookBook for MacBook Pro. Well, the wait is over, and now Twelve South is shipping their beautiful distressed leather book binding case for the iPad.


As with all Twelve South products, the BookBook for iPad is nicely packaged. Each BookBook comes in a soft Tyvek-like bag that protects the surface of the case while it's being shipped. Slip the BookBook out of the bag, and there's just a simple paper band covered with marketing info that easily slips off.

The BookBook for iPad is closed with a zipper, which is my only beef with the case. They're nice zippers, alright, and they have leather pulls on them that look like bookmarks, but I just don't like zippers because they add a bit of work to getting to work. In other words, I have to unzip the cover all the way before I can get to my iPad. I'd rather just be able to remove an elastic band (a lá Dodo Case or Moleskine) or open a clasp (The Case, Volume 1) and have immediate access to the device.

Now, about the look of the BookBook case; it is just plain beautiful. The leather exterior is nicely distressed to look like an old book, and is even imprinted with a title (BookBook) and an author or volume number (depending on which color you get). Using the case is a trip for most of your senses -- there's the rich smell of leather, the feel of the binding, and the soft dark brown velour lining inside the case.

If you want to prop your iPad up in movie-viewing mode, there's an old-school solution for that, too. Inside one of the covers is a large leather "button", while on the other side is a leather "string." Flip the cover of your BookBook open, pull the string over to the button and wrap it around the button, and the BookBook stays open and propped up.

The BookBook has a stealth security feature. If you happen to have your iPad lying on a table closed up in a BookBook, chances are that anyone intent on stealing the device would just walk on by. It really doesn't look like an iPad case; it looks like an old art book more than anything.

Twelve South does an amazing job with all of their products, and the BookBook for iPad is no exception. And now you have a chance of winning one of two BookBooks from TUAW and Twelve South. We have one sample of each model (Classic Black or Vibrant Red), and to enter our giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment below with your choice of color. Here are the details:

  • Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.

  • To enter, leave a comment with which of the two BookBook for iPad models (Classic Black or Vibrant Red) you'd like to win.

  • The comment must be left before midnight on Friday, August 27th, 2010, 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.

  • You may enter only once.

  • Two winners will be selected and each will receive a TwelveSouth BookBook for iPad (Value: US$69.99)

  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

Good luck!