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The Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal Review

Earlier this month, Twelve South unveiled the BookBook Travel Journal for iPad. Soon after, I received one in the mail for review purposes. Here are my thoughts on this accessory.

The Facts

  • Company Name: Twelve South
  • Product Name: The BookBook Travel Journal
  • Price: $99.99 each
  • Size: It measures 8” x 10.3” x 1.9” and weighs 16 ounces
  • Compatibility: The case will hold any iPad and iPad mini models, including the iPad Air.
  • Website:
  • Date Reviewed: Nov. 12, 2013

The Basics

The Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal Review For those who are unfamiliar with Twelve South’s BookBook series, the cases are handmade of genuine, distressed leather. When closed, each looks like a well-worn book that one might find on a library shelf. When the first BookBook arrived for the original iPad, Twelve South noted that the device’s unique style added a layer of “stealthy security.” The design was used again on the BookBook Vol. 2 for the iPad 2, iPad 3, and iPad 4. Similar products also became available for the iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5/5s, and the iPad mini. The iPhone versions include pockets inside for bank and credit cards. Take a look:

Integration with iOS devices

Unlike previous incarnations, the BookBook Travel Journal works with any iPad or iPad mini model, with or without a Smart Cover or shell attached. For this review, I tested the case with an iPad Air, and an iPad with Retina display. Regardless of model, the tablet fits in a side pocket that is easily closed with velcro. The BookBook Travel Journal, unlike other products in the series, also includes space for accessories, such as a power adapter, USB drive, earbuds, and more. A series of pockets, elastic, and adjustable bands help hold these items in place. There is also a small pocket suitable for change, cash, or a few bank cards. Dual zippers safely close the case.


The BookBook Travel Journal comes inside a reusable pouch.

Use and feel

The Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal Review Out of the box, the BookBook Travel Journal already gives off a well-worn, vintage look. In time, scratches and normal wear and tear will only add to this look.

What’s Hot

  • Durability
  • Multiple pockets
  • Snug fit, regardless of iPad model
  • Great company behind it

What’s Not

  • Price
  • A look used once too many times

How Does It Stack Up?

The Twelve South BookBook Travel Journal Review If you're looking for an all-in-one iPad carry solution, the BookBook Travel Journal is one of the best accessories available. However, some may not be able to get past its look. Previous BookBooks were as slim as the iOS devices they helped to protect. The BookBook Travel Journal, by contrast, is deliberately bulky to hold multiple items. Unfortunately, this bulkiness, coupled with its outside design, makes it look like an encyclopedia. When you see a BookBook for iPad, or BookBook for iPhone, one can easily jump to the conclusion that the person is carrying an actual book, or mini-journal. After all, despite the rise of e-books, most of us still carry around those items. Yet, it's very rare to see someone outside of a library carry around an encyclopedia. From a security standpoint, this might not be wise.

Where Can You Get It, And How Much Does It Cost?

The BookBook Travel Journal is $99.99 and is available in brown.

Our Advice

This case is perfect for those who want to carry around an iPad, along with a few accessories. If you can't get past its vintage book design, you should look elsewhere.

The BookBook Travel Journal's Overall Scores:

Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★☆☆ Wow Factor: ★★★☆☆ Build Quality: ★★★★★ Value: ★★★☆☆ Buy Now: You may purchase the BookBook Travel Journal at this link.
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