Last April, TUAW reviews a very unique iPad Air case - the Booq Booqpad - that melded a magnetically-attached agenda case with a paper notepad. At the time it garnered a 4-star rating thanks to its flexibility and that paper notepad. Today I'm looking at the BooqPad for iPad Air 2 (US$60.00) and we'll see if that changed.
Exterior dimensions: 7 x 9.5 x 0.9 inches (178 x 242 x 24 mm)
Weight: 0.88 lbs (0.4 kg)
Compatible with: iPad Air 2 only
Color: Gray only
Comes with removable/replaceable 50-sheet paper notepad
Like the previous iteration of the Booqpad, the new version consists of a slim folio that, when opened, features a paper notepad on the left side and a magnetically-attached tray for the iPad on the right side. A slender magnetic catch keeps the cover closed while you're in transit. Around the outside of the paper notepad side are slots for business cards, and you can get refills for your notepad in blank, lined, or graph paper formats ($10 for 3 pads).
That catch is different from the one on original iPad Air version of the Booqpad, which was rather wide and could actually hold a Pencil by FiftyThree stylus.
The case also acts as a stand, with the section of the folio that the polycarbonate iPad tray attaches to folding to accommodate a variety of angles. Should you decide that you'd like to use the iPad Air 2 on its own without the folio, just give it a pull and the tray/iPad combo comes out. Just bring that tray back to the folio and hold it near, and it snaps right back into place.
While I still like the idea of the Booqpad, I'm not sure that I'm quite as enthusiastic about it as I was last year after seeing dozens of other iPad case/stands. It definitely fills a specific niche, but it doesn't have the adjustability of some competing folio-type cases.
In addition, Booq used to include a screen protector with each Booqpad. That's no longer the case, which is a little odd - perhaps the company found that nobody was using the screen protectors?
Maybe the idea of having a paper notepad alongside your iPad excites you, and if it does, then the Booqpad is just the case for you. Otherwise, it might be worth your while to just grab any old folio type case and slap in a Post-it(R) 5 x 8 inch notebook pad.
About a year after the first Booqpad arrived on the scene, we're seeing the new model for iPad Air 2. Booqpad is still unique, but we're wondering if that's because no other manufacturer really thinks a combo paper notepad/iPad case is worthwhile. It's a well-done case; it's just that the idea seems a bit less exciting than it did a year ago.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
OK, if you're just dying for a Booqpad, hold onto your hats because we're giving one away. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before January 16, 2015 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Booq Booqpad for iPad Air 2 valued at $60.