Ready for Work and Play, the Booqpad for iPad Air

If your iPad is more than just a toy you’ll want to check out the Booqpad for iPad Air. Among the most flexible cases we have seen, it combines a protective folio with the iPad on one side and a paper tablet on the other. The iPad and protective shell can even be separated and used on their own.

As is often true with booq cases, the packaging immediately lets you know this is a premium product. At the same time they don’t go overboard and waste tons of material or money on something that will be opened and thrown away. It is a good balance, which is an apt description of the way booq seems to approach pretty much everything they do.

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As you can see on the inside portion of the cover of the box, this case is designed to let you use (from top to bottom) the iPad in “movie/viewing mode”, “typing mode”, “note taking mode” and “grab it and go mode”. In other words the Booqpad offers “Versatile protection for iPad Air”. As Booq explains,

Booqpad for iPad Air magnetically combines folio and polycarbonate iPad Air case and comes complete with a removable 50-sheet paper notepad. An insanely versatile design that merges the protection of a snap case with the benefits of a multi-fold folio.

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  • Fits: iPad Air
  • Exterior : 7 × 9.5 × 0.9″
  • Interior: 6.7 × 9.4 × 0.3″
  • Weight: 1.19 lbs
  • Materials: Lining- Nubuck; Exterior- Premium PU
Video Look at the Booqpad for iPad Air


Features of the Booqpad for iPad Air Include:

  • Use it how you want it: View, type, play, work…switch between working and playing modes like no other folio.
  • Noteworthy: Paper pad made from unbleached, acid-free 30% minimum recycled post-consumer content. Ideal for doodling at your next meeting.
  • Ready in a snap: Of course, it comes with a camera hole. Just detach the iPad case from the folio and start snapping pictures.
  • Insanely well made: This level of craftsmanship makes you look good.
  • Mag-neato-gami: Booqpad’s polycarbonate case attaches to its multi-fold folio via an ingenious super-array of magnets, making the two seemingly inseparable parts divorceable. Not sure it will hold? While it will stick to your fridge, we would not recommend skydiving with it.
  • Rules of Attraction: Bring your own Pencil made by 53, and this stylus magnetically attaches to Booqpad.
  • Use protection: To make sure your iPad Air is protected all-around, we have included a screen protector. So even when you remove the iPad from the folio, rest assured that it is protected on all sides.

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The case itself looks like a traditional folio at first glance. It uses a rather large magnetic flap to keep the two sides of the folio closed when not in use. The case is made from what the company refers to as premium polyurethane and Nu Buck. It looks great but has an odd feeling when you first begin to carry it. I have to admit that I initially hated it but over time became used to the feel and came to appreciate the way in which it adds a good bit of tactile grip without looking or feeling too rough.

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Flip the case around to the back and you’ll see that there are actually two different materials in use. There is a hard plastic material which is we will come to see is the protective shell that wraps around the iPad and remains in place regardless of whether the folio is being used or not and there is the expanse of the folio into which this hard protective shell is affixed.

It’s worth noting that the cut out for the camera is only large enough to allow it full function and the whole for the noise canceling microphone is perfectly sized for its purpose and no larger. In both cases I appreciate the choice that was made, because it keeps as much of the iPad protected behind the shell as possible.

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This view lets you see what the case looks like when the folio is spread out.

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A far better understanding of the design offered by this case can be seen when you look at it from the front. On the left is the included pad of writing paper. On the right is the iPad Air. And to its right is the tab of material that keeps everything tightly packed away and protected when not in use. One of the excellent aspects of this case’s design is the fact that the iPad is completely open and accessible when used in this mode but, although it’s hard to see in this picture, it is actually protected by a shell that wraps around the top, sides, bottom and back.

Worth noting as well is the fact that the side holding the paper has a variety of different slots so that you can flip the pad of paper around and have the paper on the right-hand side in the tablet on the left-hand side. The reason for this being so important is that the way it is set up in this picture allows me to write on the paper tablet and have the iPad completely free and accessible. My wrist and hand won’t have to rest on the screen as I’m taking notes. Flip the orientation around and the same will hold true for someone whose right hand is dominant.

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One of the most brilliant aspects of this case is that you can simply lift up on the tablet and pull it off of the folio itself. When you do you have the iPad and shell independent and are able to use the tablet unencumbered. It’s quite apparent that there are a series of circles embedded into the protective shell. These are the magnets that hold the iPad in place and pull it into the precise position necessary for the Booqpad for iPad Air to become a unified folio system once again. I can’t express just how brilliant this design is.

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It’s also worth noting that the case is designed to allow use of the iPad in a variety of different modes. As mentioned in the introduction the packaging of the case indicates the ability to use the iPad in viewing mode, typing mode and more. All of that is accomplished by simply flipping things around this way or that until you find the position that works best for you in any given moment.

Finally, here’s a look at each individual part of this system and the whole system when put back together.

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For anyone who uses the iPad in a business setting this is probably the best case I have yet to see. It doesn’t require you to make a choice between using paper or a tablet but allows you to do both and to use them interchangeably at the same time. Inclusion of a screen protector is a nice added bonus which really speaks to the quality of the products this company offers.

I can see this case being particularly useful for anyone who uses a Livescribe 3 smartpen. As you might recall from our CES visit and follow-up review, the current generation of the Livescribe pen is designed specifically for use with the iPad. It records the notes that you take but uses the iPad to record the audio and will directly sync the notes over to the iPad via Bluetooth 4.0. This folio system allows you to sit in a meeting taking notes on a Livescribe pad of paper and having the iPad right there with you as your taking the notes. It even means you can actively transfer the notes to the tablet as you create them. The only problem with this approach is the fact that Livescribe doesn’t currently offer a pad of paper that is sized for this kind of folio system. Hopefully that will be coming in the future but for now it means needing to remove pages from a notebook and simply sit them on top of the pad that is currently there.

If you use your iPad in a work setting and you sit through countless meetings at which you need to take notes this is absolutely the case for you. It gives you the best of both worlds by serving as a highly protective folio case while allowing you to remove the tablet and use it free of the case in under a second. The magnets are strong enough to hold the iPad securely in place and line it up with the case but not so strong that it’s difficult to remove it when you need to do so. The iPad was initially seen as a consumption device but the various apps have proven that to be absolute nonsense. This is an accessory that is perfectly in keeping with the productivity prowess of Apple’s tablet and that just $60 it’s well worth the expense. Learn more about the Booqpad for iPad Air here. Order yours here through our Amazon Affiliate Store.

MSRP: $60

What I Like: Well-made and highly protective; Ships with both a pad of paper and a screen protector; Allows you to position the iPad on either side of the pad of paper; Allows you to remove the iPad and use it free from the folio when you need to go light and automatically repositions the iPad in the folio when you are done

What Needs Improvement: The material used on the book pad for iPad heirs exterior has a rather odd feeling; Livescribe doesn’t offer the right size paper for use with this folio

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Booqpad for iPad Air

Booqpad for iPad Air

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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.