Ever since the first iPad came out, I was on the quest to find the perfect folio case without all the crazy stands, latches, creases, legs, etc. All I wanted was a simple folio case that could hold a notebook, that was low key enough for me to take on my business meetings and not draw too much attention to the fact that I had an iPad in my possession and that I was using it at a meeting. Well it took me a while, but right when I clicked on Booq's Booqpad link, I knew I had to have this case. From pictures it looked like the ideal set up. Find out if it actually is after the break!
Like I mentioned, when the first iPad came out, I had specific requirements that I wanted fulfilled. Surprisingly I could not find what I was looking for. Eventually I withdrew myself from the search and settled upon a switcheasy and sleeve case combination and never tried again. When I got my iPad 2, I decided to give the search another go. At $49.95 the price is not bad - I have had leather folios for around that same price. Surprisingly there are still very few folio cases that meet my requirement...but the Booqpad was the single one that came up in my search. So if you are looking for a case like this for business meetings and professional attire, Booq's Agenda might be the only one out there. Please correct me if I am wrong.
The iPad holder doesn't cover the entirety of the iPad - there are openings for all necessary iPad attributes and you can charge the iPad while in the case.
The case is made of "leather" although I am not sure if it is actually real leather. It is kind of sticky with a strange texture, not the smooth weathered hide that I am used to for some cases. The case is thickly padded with what appears to be foam, and actually appears like it would survive a nice drop if one were to happen. Closed, the case appears to have a very clean and low profile look. There are no buldges or extraneous parts hanging out. The folio is held shut with a sturdy button, that will definitely keep things together. I am loving the fact that the case has no stand function because it keeps the case low key and clean. Of course I am sure some people will disagree with me. From my point of view I will consider this a positive simply because I have been looking for a case without one for a long time. Opening up the folio you will find an area for your iPad and a nice sized writing pad. Booq includes a writing pad that is blank but offers refills of graph paper, and writing paper in 50 pages if you need additional paper. The sleeve to hold the iPad is universal, so you can flip the entire case around and use it as a left hander if needed. Your iPad is held in place by an enlarged flap. Sadly this reviewer has found that this holding method provides for a less than secure hold. The iPad sits where it is supposed to but the fit is loose and the iPad ends up shuffling around where it sits. The whole sleeve function should be tighter fitting. Thumbs down to Booq the iPad fit. On the other side of the case, you will find a number of pockets and and the writing pad. The pockets were a nice touch, and just looking at pictures I was concerned about how the writing pad would sit securely with all the pockets there...but it is just fine. The pockets are lined with a bright golden yellow color, which detracts from the professional look of the case, but it is not noticeable enough to be in your face. The writing pad is nice to jot down quick notes, but I find not something for serious notetaking in class or something. I do know that stationary stores sell better notebooks for that in similar sizes to this case. That might be a better alternative. The pen is held in place in the middle of the folio case. Nothing to write home about here. I wish the holding mechanism had more thought put into it. Even with the pen sitting there, the folio case does have the ability to bend back. I thought that this is a plus, since sometimes you don't want to carry a fully open folio case everywhere. The inside of the case is lined with a leatherish material - but not the treated smooth kind.
Overall I loved the idea of the Booqpad...but I wasn't the biggest fan of the execution. The materials were simply meh to me while the build quality was very nice besides the loose fitting iPad. If I could change a few things it would be 1) the iPad 2 fit, 2) the "leather" material, 3) the foam padding, 4) the pockets, 5) the pen holder. Suffice to say I would change a lot. I would give a thumbs up for trying to Booq, but I am hoping that they will put some more thought into materials and design. However like I said, this is probably the only folio notebook case on the market right now with some writing pad refills...so you might just have to take it for what it's worth.
Booqpad $49.95, Refills 3 pack $9.95