Review: Booq Booqpad for iPad mini
Like its full-sized predecessor, Booq's Booqpad for iPad mini ($40) is one of few folio-style cases to house the tablet on the left or right side, depending on your preference. Our photos show the jute-covered case, while a faux leather version will be launching towards the end of February. Abnormally thick by any standards, Booqpad is designed to appeal to users who value paper notes alongside digital ones; it comes with a 50-sheet notepad tucked inside.
From the outside, the folio-style case is quite handsome. Made from a rough natural fiber, Jute is a premium looking and feeling material, and should have a rather broad appeal. A snap enclosure holds Booqpad shut, at which point it sits about an inch thick. Inside, it gets a little more interesting. At first glance, there’s an iPad pocket, which is pretty standard. Opposite that, a pad of paper is tucked into a slot running horizontally across the inside of the back cover. Perpendicular to that are two business card or credit card slots.
Booqpad can actually be flipped 180° and used in an equal but mirrored way, thanks to the symmetrical design inside the covers. The iPad pocket offers almost full bezel coverage, but has identical scoops along the top and bottom edges, exposing the FaceTime camera and Home Button. It also leaves a lot of the edge exposed, with a pair of simple straps at both the bottom and top that leave the ports and buttons accessible. Clearly, it’s not the most protective design around, but it does enable positional changes that most folio-style cases don’t allow. The notepad can be flipped the same way by using a matching slot at the other end of the case, and a stylus holder in the middle works regardless of the orientation.
While it’s a nice case, Booqpad isn’t for everyone. If you don’t need the notepad, there’s no real reason to consider it, and between the thick folio and notepad, the added thickness will be off-putting to users who love the iPad mini’s slender body. That being said, if it’s important for you to carry around paper along with your iPad mini, Booq’s solution is definitely worth looking into. While it’s not the most protective option, the ability to use it in either orientation is pretty cool, and the fabric coating the exterior is quite nice. If the size isn’t objectionable, Booqpad is a good choice for a segment of users, and worthy of a general recommendation.