Twelve South BookBook vol. 2 for iPad Pro review: Go medieval

iPad Pro case gets medieval on your tablet [Review]


Twelve South’s BookBook vol. 2
This is an iPad Pro case, believe it or not.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Twelve South’s BookBook vol. 2 goes beyond just protecting your expensive iPad Pro; it adds old-world charm. This case transforms Apple’s tablet into an elegant leather-bound hardcover book.

We tested the updated version of the BookBook with our 2018 iPad Pro, so don’t miss our hands-on review.

Twelve South BookBook vol. 2 for iPad Pro review

As its name makes clear, the exterior of this iPad Pro case really looks like an ancient tome. Specifically, it appears to be an old encyclopedia volume. You could put it on a shelf in a library an no one would look at it twice. We can easily see the appeal of juxtaposing a high-end computer with an old-fashioned book.

The illusion extends to the materials, as virtually the entire exterior of the BookBook vol. 2 is real leather, with elegant stitching. Most of the surface feels like suede so it’s not slippery — don’t worry about dropping your tablet.

The iPad Pro is covered front and back, and all four sides too, so this case provides a reasonable amount of protection from life’s bumps and blows. It’s not truly ruggedized, though.

Twelve South BookBook vol. 2 for iPad Pro
The BookBook vol. 2 would look at home in a medieval library, but hides an advanced computer.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

There is an opening for the rear-facing camera. This does its job quite well.

Like all cases, the BookBook vol. 2 adds some bulk. The version for the 2018 12.9-inch iPad Pro comes in at just under a pound. The one for the 11-inch iPad Pro is 0.75 pounds. Both are nearly an inch thick with the tablet inside.

BookBook vol. 2 as an iPad stand

This case is held closed with a zipper. Open this and the BookBook vol. 2 becomes a stand for the latest iPad Pro.

An inner plastic shell holds the tablet without covering any of its ports, buttons, or speakers. It’s only attached to the exterior along one side, so using the iPad Pro just requires opening the cover about 60 degrees and propping up the computer.

Twelve South BookBook vol. 2
The BookBook vol. 2 also functions as a stand.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

When set up like this, the screen can be adjusted to lean backward about 10 degrees from vertical, or at most moved a bit farther to roughly 20 degrees from vertical. Not a wide range, but it’s usable.

The tablet stays in place quite well. In our tests of Twelve South’s new offering, repeatedly tapping on the display over a long span of use didn’t knock it out of place.

Flipping the case around allows the iPad Pro to lie flat, and then a short kickstand on the back of the interior shell can be used to prop up one side. This puts the screen at a 17 degree angle, just right for drawing and sketching. In our tests, the computer was held up securely enough that we could rest our hand on the screen while drawing.

Twelve South BookBook vol. 2
No matter what it looks like on the outside, the BookBook vol. 2 is useful iPad stand.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Or you can just lean back and read an ebook with the tablet in portrait mode. Everyone around your would probably just  think you’re researching something up in an encyclopedia.

BookBook vol. 2 and accessories

There’s room inside this case for the Apple Pencil 2. And the inner plastic shell is designed to allow this stylus to connect to the iPad Pro for charging even with the cover zipped closed.

On the inside of the BookBook vol. 2 is a pocket for letter-size papers you want to carry around. Even better, Twelve South points out that a Logitech Keys-To-Go Bluetooth keyboard fits in this pocket, too. We don’t have one available for testing, but we can certainly see the advantage of having an ultra-slim hardware keyboard always with your iPad Pro.

The zipper has two pulls, so you can make a small opening to run just the tablet’s charging cable through.

Twelve South BookBook vol. 2 for iPad Pro final thoughts

Maybe you aren’t comfortable with this high-tech world we have to live in. Or perhaps you just like the contrast of carrying a powerful computer in a leather-bound medieval tome. Either way, the BookBook vol. 2 gives the 2018 iPad Pro a unique look, while also providing some protection. It functions as a multi-angle stand, too.

Twelve South charges $89.99 for the 11-inch version of this case, and $99.99 for the 12.9-inch one. But good iPad cases aren‘t cheap. Consider the OtterBox Symmetry Series 360, which is $10 less and not made of leather.

Buy from: Twelve South

Twelve South provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.


Daily round-ups or a weekly refresher, straight from Cult of Mac to your inbox.

  • The Weekender

    The week's best Apple news, reviews and how-tos from Cult of Mac, every Saturday morning. Our readers say: "Thank you guys for always posting cool stuff" -- Vaughn Nevins. "Very informative" -- Kenly Xavier.