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Booq Folio for iPad 2: Leather luxury, Smart Cover functionality

Booq makes incredibly nice accessories for Apple products -- we've reviewed some like the Booq Boa Push bag and talked about others like the Booqpad Agenda before. Now the new Booq Folio for iPad 2 (US$39.95) has arrived, and it appears to be a real value. Read on for a review of this new leather iPad 2 folio.

Design

Most folio cases have a similar design -- they look like a leather notebook and have a way of holding the iPad or iPad 2 in the right side. You open the cover of the notebook, and there's your nicely protected iPad. The Booq Folio is no exception to this design meme, except it's a bit more stylish than some of the folios I've reviewed.

The Folio cradles your iPad 2 in leather in one of four finishes: Arctic Ice (white), Blue Storm (dark blue), Lava Rock (black), and Red Tide (red). The front of the case is emblazoned with a silver button embossed with the Booq logo, and there's horizontal stitching across the front that provides a nice visual counterpoint.

That cover is also useful, as it has magnets in all the right places to act as a Smart Cover surrogate. The Booq Folio offers much more protection than Apple's leather Smart Covers, which sell for much, much more -- $69.95.

Functionality

The Booq Folio works very well. It's quite easy to slide an iPad 2 into and out of the case, and the magnets function as advertised for turning your device on and off. The leather that holds the iPad 2 in place is nicely done -- some folio cases I've reviewed before have had crooked or bulging leather straps, while the Booq Folio has flat and precise leather pieces to cradle the iPad 2.

Since this is an iPad 2 case, there is a hole in the back for the camera to peek out of. The straps give plenty of access to all of the buttons and ports on the iPad 2, but without sacrificing protection of your device.

One other feature that I like is that the case has two long rubber strips on the "open" side of the case that allow you to flip the case over and use it as a stand for watching movies on your iPad 2.

Conclusion

Booq makes very nice products, and the Folio for iPad 2 is no exception. If you're thinking about buying an Apple Smart Cover, think again -- for less than a dollar more than the Apple cover, you can get a nice leather folio instead. This would make a perfect Christmas present for the iPad 2 owner on your list, so keep it in mind while you're doing your holiday shopping.