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BOOKback for iPad and iPhone offers sleek scratch protection

The BOOKback from DODOcase is an adhesive fabric skin for the iPad (original and iPad 2) and iPhone 4. It feels nice (think Moleskine notebook), is easily re-positioned and looks good to boot. I spent two weeks with a BOOKback on my iPhone 4 and 1st-generation iPad. My overall impression is that the BOOKback will appeal to design-conscious iPhone/iPad owners who aren't concerned with impact protection. Here's my review of the BOOKback.

First, some DODOcase love. Last April, I waited in line to buy an original iPad (as many of you are doing today). A DODOcase representative was handing out discount coupons, which I later used to order one. It looked super (here's my original review) and even helped to save my iPad's life after a fall.* I ordered a replacement right away.

While I'm happy to keep my iPad inside a protective case, the iPhone is another story. It's in and out of my pocket frequently, and I find that a case gets in the way. At the same time, I do want some drop protection. The folks at DODOcase must have read my mind, because a BOOKback plus an Apple Bumper is a terrific solution.

Looks

The BOOKback is made of textured material similar to that of the DODOcase and Moleskine. It's got a flat matte finish and features the DODOcase name and logo letter pressed along one side. You can order red or black lettering (the red stands out nicely). It's thicker than some other skins I've used, like Gelakins and iWrap (my review here), but not annoyingly so.

Application

Applying the BOOKback to the iPhone 4 is a breeze. First, peel off the backing to reveal the adhesive. Next, position the skin on the iPhone and slowly lower it in place, squashing bubbles as you go. A generous hole in the upper left-hand corner easily accommodates the camera and flash while forgiving less-than-perfect alignment.

Here's where it gets a bit tricky. Fortunately, you'll benefit from my trial and error. The original iPad's convex back offers a challenge. I found that the slow method that I used with the iPhone was bubble-tastic on the iPad. Once I abandoned the hesitation, however, it went on nicely. The trick with the iPad is to first put the BOOKback into a corner, line up the bottom and then, confidently and with purpose, slide your hand across the length of it. This method resulted in significantly fewer bubbles and no need for re-positioning. Now you know.

Use

In the two weeks that I've had the BOOKbacks applied, neither has acquired a scratch or ding. The iPhone travels everywhere with me, and is often jostled about in the car and my bag. Likewise, the iPad has been pushed around on its back with nothing to show for it.

As I mentioned earlier, these offer minimal drop protection if any. I was unwilling to try it out, as that's not at all what the BOOKback is meant to do. Those with rough-and-tumble jobs (construction workers, landscapers, etc.) should consider something like the heavy-duty Griffin Survivor (our review). Customers after scratch protection and good looks at a reasonable price ought to consider the BOOKback. It's a fine product.

The BOOKback is available now for the iPhone 4 (US$8.95), original iPad ($19.95) and iPad 2 ($19.95).

*Note: The DODOcase is NOT an impact case. My iPad was spared by the case absorbing the impact as well as huge amounts of luck and good fortune.

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