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Booqpad: Combining iPad tech with good old paper

Booq makes some nice products for Apple fans, and one of the more recent announcements from the company was for the Booqpad for iPad Air (US$60 for grey, $95 for black/stone). While it looks like just a plain-Jane folio case for the newest iPad, it actually has some more tricks hidden inside. Let's take a look:

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7 x 9.5 x 0.9 inches (178 x 242 x 24 mm)
  • Weight: 1.19 lbs (.54 kg)
  • Materials: Nubuck lining, polyurethane exterior
  • Paper: 50-sheet A5-format pad

Design Highlights

So what's the difference with the Booqpad compared to all of the bazillions of other folios for iPad Air? For one, when you open it up there's a good old paper notebook on one side of the folio with your iPad Air on the other. This is great for those of us who -- despite years of using our iPads -- still sketch or take notes with pen and paper.

The outside of the Booqpad has a nice soft finish to it, and in either grey or black it's at home in the executive boardroom. The grey version has a wide magnetic latch that keeps everything closed when you're on the move, while the black/stone version appears to have a single snap button.

What's wonderful about this design is that it's completely symmetrical, meaning that it can be set up for right-handed users (iPad on the left, notepad on the right) or left-handed users (notepad on the left, iPad on the right). It's all done with magnets. The tray that holds the iPad can be lifted off of the folio, turned 180°, and then slapped into place. There are slits on the paper side of the Booqpad that can hold the pad in two positions as well.

When in use as a stand, the Booqpad is quite the contortionist! It can be set up to hold your iPad in a number of positions:

Functionality Highlights

I have to admit that I like the Booqpad a lot. It offers solid protection, a flexible stand, and the ability to take notes on paper (or at least make paper airplanes if you're bored in a meeting). There's no cheesy Velcro holding things in place, or complex pivot mechanisms that have a tendency to break or jam. Using strong magnets in strategic positions allows the Booqpad to be set up to be comfortable for you.

Booq provides a screen protector with the Booqpad as well to keep your iPad Air looking new as long as possible. Sure, the Booqpad doesn't have a built-in battery pack or keyboard, nor is it made of exotic materials. But if you're looking for a reasonably-priced, solid iPad Air case that can be used in a number of orientations, you've come to the right place.

Conclusion

Booq hit the sweet spot of iPad case design with the Booqpad. While many iPad Air cases only seem to hit two of the three criteria for a really good case -- those being flexibility, looks, and price -- the Booqpad wins the trifecta.

Rating: 4 stars out of 4 stars possible

Giveaway

Someone out there is going to give our review sample a good home. Here are the rules for the giveaway:

  • 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, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
  • The entry must be made before April 22, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
  • You may enter only once.
  • One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Booqpad for iPad Air valued at US$60.
  • Click Here for complete Official Rules.

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