Back in early November Twelve South released a new addition to its BookBook case line called the BookBook Travel Journal for stowing away your iPad, headphones, charger and whatever other accessories you carry. I’ve been trying it out since then, and it’s really an interesting, quality case for bringing along for a commute.

In terms of functionality, you can fit an awful lot into a Travel Journal and comfortably at that.

Between it’s numerous compartments and large book design, the Travel Journal is best described as an encyclopedic suitcase.

Just like your luggage has compartments for specific items, the Travel Journal makes the most of its space with pockets and compartments throughout its layout.

While the Travel Journal is similar in size to a coffee table book, it certainly doesn’t bring along that characteristic in weight. Spec-wise it weighs in at 1 pound, but alone it feels feather light.

I was surprised when I looked up the exact weight actually. The iPad Air also weighs 1 pound, and as light as it is relative to the heavier iPad 2 and even heavier iPad 4, the Travel Journal still feels lighter.

It really only feels as heavy as what you tuck away inside.

Inside there are really two places you can keep your iPad: the inner sleeve on the left or out in the open on the right.

The sleeve is pretty snug so I didn’t find it to play nice with the Smart Cover (it detached pretty easily when inserting or removing), but it was perfect for an iPad without a Smart Cover.

I imagine it would also work well enough with a more secure case, but I don’t own an alternative case to test with. It certainly held even the thicker iPad 4 in well without any issue, and the iPad mini and iPad air slipped in without any trouble.

The right side offers a strap you can use to secure your contents there, but the iPad Air sat securely on its own and fit well with the Smart Cover. The corners sort of wrap around the top and bottom right side of a full size iPad adding to the security.

Of course one of the most obvious characteristics of the BookBook line is the outward appearance of these cases: it looks like an old encyclopedia/religious book.

This offers a similar sense of security as putting a DELL sticker over the Apple logo on your MacBook, only with more taste. Commute via public transportation or feel uncomfortable hauling around expensive tech? The Travel Journal is incognito in that way.

While I’m personally more accustomed to slim and sleek cases like Apple’s Smart Cover (even the Smart Case is a but much for my taste), Twelve South’s BookBook Travel Journal is really a replacement for your backpack. I found it to be a fun and well designed carrying case.

You can find the BookBook Travel Journal by Twelve South for $99 (stock seems to fluctuate so hurry if you’re holiday shopping), and check out the rest of Twelve South’s Mac, iPhone, and iPad accessories if you like their style.

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6 Responses to “Review: BookBook Travel Journal by Twelve South”

  1. Did you just use regular spray paint to color your wall adapter? It looks nice!


  2. I don’t understand the point of making this look like an old book. This could look a lot prettier, with a slim profile, extra padding, maybe a few cool pockets on the outside if they did away with the book look. Who are they fooling? I assume this is for either old people that like to reminisce about old books, or people that want to leave their iPad in plain sight in their car just to test it’s camouflage capabilities.
    Other than that, great review! Did you get to keep the case?


    • Zac Hall says:

      Sent the case to my grandma for her iPad, she adores it, said it makes her feel like she’s carrying a religious book :D

      Blends in on the coffee table well, I think that quality is quite decorative.


    • zoidbert says:

      Yeah, I have their BookBook for the MacBook Pro; it looks great and has a little panache beyond a standard case/sleeve. Not for regular use, though, IMO; the zippers seem to me that they’ll eventually start scratching the finish of the MBP.


  3. I bought this, and while I wish it were big enough to stick my Logitech K811 keyboard, I really enjoy it. It holds my power adapter, cables, square reader, headphones, etc.

    The poster is correct though, the sleeve part for the iPad is a tight fit, I have to put my iPad air with smart case in ‘backwards’ spine first otherwise it just pulls off or goes in crooked.

    It’s about 25% too expensive for what it is (like everything else from TwelveSouth) being made in China the build quality is alright. Again, not spectacular given the price.


  4. Divya Sharma says:

    appearance of the book is amazing