Add old-world charm to iPad

There’s no better case for giving your iPad a unique look than the Twelve South BookBook Cover — no one else is going to have a tablet that looks like something Isaac Newton might have carried. Plus, this new addition to the BookBook line has room inside for a click-on keyboard.

I tried out this tablet case to see how well it stands up in ordinary use. And to be sure there’s really room inside for an iPad keyboard.

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Twelve South BookBook Cover review

If you have your iPad in the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio, it’s in a case. But the wrap-around keyboard itself is quite expensive — if you drop it, your iPad could survive but the keyboard might get smashed.

Really, you should have a case that protects both. I’ve used one for years. And the BookBook Cover is a new option with a unique style.

There are versions for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the 11-inch iPad Pro.

Hardware and design

Twelve South case is a simple folio that wraps around your computer and zippers closed. You can unzip it, let the cover lay back , and start typing. Or put the cover off to one side.

I’m testing the version for the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. By my measurements, it’s 12 inches by 9.5 inches by 1.0 inches. It’s that last dimension that’s critical for the BookBook Cover — it means the case is thick enough to hold the tablet and the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio.

That sets it apart from the BookBook Case (which I also reviewed). The Case is designed to hold only the iPad, and also functions as a stand. The new Cover is for people who want room for a keyboard case as well and therefore don’t need a stand.

I did some testing, and Twelve South’s cover can hold the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio. It also had no problems with the Brydge 12.9 Max+. The maker says is can hold up to 11 inches by 8.7 inches by 0.6 inches.

The BookBook Cover for the 11-inch iPad is, of course, smaller. Twelve South says it can hold a computer that’s up to 9.75 inches by 7.25 inches by 0.6 inches. I can’t test this, but the iPad Air 4 and iPad 9 should fit in the case.

There’s a pocket inside to hold papers or perhaps the USB-C charging cable for the iPad Pro. Just be aware that there’s not a lot of extra room inside.

The BookBook Cover has room for not only your iPad but also a keyboard case.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Protection and camouflage

The case protects every side and corner of both tablet and keyboard. The front and back are rigid, as is the spine. The case zippers close so the edges are covered. Just note that Twelve South makes no specific claims about drop protection.

I’d expect the BookBook Cover to save your iPad and click-on keyboard from the usual bumps of blows of ordinary usage. It might even help your device emerge unscathed if you drop it. But it has limits — this isn’t a truly rugged case.

Plus, don’t ignore the benefits of camouflage. “Book disguises your iPad, keeping it hidden from itchy fingers even when it’s in plain sight,” says Twelve South.

It really looks quite a bit like an old book. You could stick it on a shelf around a collection of similar-size books and no one would notice it. More importantly, someone looking for a laptop to steal might not notice it either.

The inside of the case is microsuede so it won’t scratch your devices.


The 12.9-inch version of the BookBook Cover weighs just under a pound. And it makes your tablet/keyboard combo larger in every dimension.

That said, added bulk is downside of any protective case. There are no exceptions. It’s up to you to decide whether the additional protection and style of the case are worth it.

Twelve South BookBook Cover final thoughts

The Twelve South BookBook Cover looks at home on a library.
One of those is not like the others…
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The is the perfect iPad case for bibliophiles. If you miss the days when you carried a book everywhere instead of an iPad, you should order one now.

Beyond the fun design, Twelve South’s iPad-and-keyboard case adds a reasonable amount of protection for your tablet.


The price of the Twelve South BookBook Cover depends on the size. The 12.9-inch version is $79.99, but is currently on sale for $63.99. Or the 11-inch version is ordinarily $69.99, but is on sale for $55.99.

Buy from: Twelve South

The toughest competitor I know of for this cover is the Picasso Lab iPad Pro with Apple Keyboard sleeve. I use one to hold my tablet and Magic keyboard. It costs $85.

You might also consider the SwitchEasy CoverBuddy. This fits around the iPad Pro to add some protection but still allows you to attach the Apple keyboard. It’s $42.99.

Twelve South provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.

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