- Designed for right- and left-handed users; notepads are cool; business card slots
- No back camera hole; frame construction around the actual iPad mini is poor
The Booqpad mini is an extremely useful case for people who want a built-in notepad.
Booq’s $40 Booqpad mini case for the iPad mini is, in one word, surprising. It’s a folio-style case that comes in two color options—black on gray and solid gray—and features something avant-garde: a 50-page notepad.
That’s right, the Booqpad mini is bringing writing, drawing, and doodling back, old-school style.
I took a look at the gray Booqpad mini, which features an exterior made of jute—a rough, natural fiber that still manages to look relatively professional. Inside, the Booqpad mini has a jute frame for your iPad mini; just slide your mini in and secure it with the built-in tab. The frame allows access to all ports and buttons, and is symmetrical—the indentation for the power button also serves as an indentation for the forward-facing camera—which means you can put the mini in either way. This makes it particularly useful for both left-handed and right-handed users, since you can position the Booqpad’s notepad to be on the left or right side of the iPad mini.
The notepad is made from 30 percent post-consumer materials. It is blank and unlined, but you can purchase extra notepads (blank or college-ruled) at $10 for a 3-pack. The Booqpad mini also features two slots for storing credit cards, business cards, cash, or other small, flat objects. There’s also a pen or stylus holder, next to the frame.
What’s nice about the Booqpad mini is that it’s oddly useful—you’d be shocked at how nice it is to have a notepad next to your iPad mini. However, it suffers from a couple of flaws. First of all, the case is symmetrical, which is great for left- and right-handed users. However, because the case is symmetrical, there’s no back camera hole. I get it—maybe having two holes would’ve messed up the sexiness of the case. But this means that you have to take the mini out of the case in order to take any pictures, and the case isn’t a snap to take off: The flap that holds the mini in place is pretty stiff.
Also, the construction of the frame is of poor quality. The frame doesn’t perfectly line up with the edges of the mini, though it does do a good job of keeping the mini in place. Finally, the case doesn’t support the mini’s automatic Sleep/Wake feature, despite being a folio-style case.
That said, the Booqpad mini is still an extremely useful case for people who want a built-in notepad. But do you really want to spend $40 on a case that doesn’t even have a camera hole? That’s up to you.