Ah the BookBook. Let's get this out of the way immediately: the BookBook isn't for everyone. By our estimations we'd say the BookBook is for the minority. But those that love it will really, really love it. Why? Well, you can likely find out by clicking that thingamy there, below. That one. Yep.

Like any good book (or bad book, for that matter), let's start at the beginning. 

Chapter 1:

Twelve South has a number of BookBooks for a number of Apple products, from the MacBook Pro to iPhone 4/4S, and clearly, judging by the release of more and more of them as time goes by, the product line must be doing well enough to support the project. 

So here's one of their latest, the BookBook for MacBook Air 13.3" (2010, 2011 models). This "vintage"-looking (Twelve South's words) cover definitely appears to have the moves when it comes to aesthetics. I mean, look at it! 

If you're the type to sit in your parlor, pipe in hand, one leg crossed over the other, reading by candlelight, then this is the case for you, - end of story, so to speak.  With the BookBook, what you see is literally what you get. It pulls no punches and doesn't mislead you. Neither does it try to pretend it's a svelte little number that will slip into your itty-bitty purse or man-bag. No, this will do none of these things. What it does do, though, is look like Very much like a book. A really, really big book. With a snuggly soft interior. And a zipper. 

Chapter 2:

Getting your MacBook Air into the BookBook is a simple affair, which we love.. Open the laptop, slide the screen under the two elastic straps and you're done. It might very well be the easiest case to get a laptop into, ever. But the simplicity doesn't mean complete greatness, and this case doesn't inspire a huge amount of confidence in its stability. That's not to say it's entirely unstable, but the palm rest/keyboard area doesn't sit completely flat in the BookBook, and it just all looks and feels a tad unwieldy. That said, the rather nifty thing about the BookBook is that when you close it, it closes your laptop. You open the BookBook, it opens the display up, all in one step, and all by the power of (unsightly) elastic straps!

Speaking of unsightly, unless you do some slicing and dicing of labels, you'll have the Twelve South and BookBook clothes-tag logos on the top and bottom of the case while it's open, which we found a bit (quite a bit) distracting. 

In fact, the whole bookbook affair just seems so wholly against the Apple mantra that it puzzles us. The MacBook air weighs less than a seedless grape and is 0.000000000001 inches thin, so what on earth are you doing stuffing it into this 1.1lb mega-vault?

By our calculations, the BookBook's physical height is approximately 718.3 times that of a 13.3" MacBook Air. It's.... huge!

Chapter 3:

At this point, we'd like to address the really big elephant in the room. And by elephant, we mean zipper. You know, we at bighugenerd don't much care for zippers. They're scary, evil little things that can stab without warning, and once they attack, there's no un-attacking; the damage is done; you have to live with it. Now, assuming you don't like zipper graffiti all over your nice aluminum laptop, you might think this would be a case to avoid.., but you'd be wrong. The BookBook just wants you to be little afraid, is all. Closing the bookbook just involves a slight tugging of the zipper away from your laptop as you close it. Basically, just pull the zipper toward you a tad as you zip it up! This will further ensure you don't do any damage to your precious Air. In our time with the BookBook, our MacBook Airs were thankfully unscathed. Right, we were surprised, too!

Chapter 4:

OK, fine, there's also a smaller pachyderm in the vicinity, and it's a more practical issue. The 2011 MacBook Air (and 2010 MacBook Air, for that matter) can run a tad warm at times. With the Air in a BookBook, this problem is unfortunately exacerbated. That soft, snuggly interior is a heat trap, and because the MacBook Air vents to the rear, that air flow gets restricted by the BookBook's considerable mass. In our testing, we did notice the laptop felt quite a bit warmer to the touch, especially after a YouTube marathon. Is it anything to be particularly concerned about? Probably not. But it's definitely there.

But we love the soft and snugglies!


Like all stories (good or bad), this has come to an end. But let's do a final rambling round-up of what we liked and didn't like about Twelve South's BookBook

So What's to Like?

Easy to open and close, no struggling to squeeze a laptop sleeve around your laptop. Would certainly protect your laptop if you dropped it. You can hide it on a shelf with your encyclopedias so any would-be burglar wouldn't give it a second look (unless it's a learned burglar). It looks like a book, if.... your goal is to make your laptop look like a book?

So What's Not to Like?

Huge, really big, sizable, chunky, other synonyms. MacBook's fans somewhat blocked by a veritable blanket of a case behind it. Not exactly cheap. The elastic is, for lack of a better word ugly and the logos aren't attractive (scissors to the ready!). Unlike other TwelveSouth products like the MagicWand and BackPack, this is decidedly un-Apple-like. Zippers! Oh, and did we mention it's large? Cause it is.


I know it sounds like we hate this book, and we thought we might, but you know, - strangely... it works. There's something just very clever about the whole thing. Beneath the surface, it's a bizarrely comforting thought to know that this product exists. We know a lot of you love it, and we get it, even if we don't quite.... get it. It's not our favorite story, but we understand why people love it.

We award the BookBook a near-Pulitzer-winning four nerds. Hey, we were surprised by the ending, too!

7/28/2013 07:46:29 pm

Thanks for sharing your review on this wonderful notebook. I am going to buy a notebook in near future and I will consider your opinions. I am impressed with this product and will get back to you shortly. Keep posting more updates in your blog.

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10/12/2015 12:24:55 pm

Wow it just looks like a book. I am going to buy a notebook in near future and I will consider your opinions. I am impressed with this product and will get back to you shortly.

2/18/2016 12:26:54 am

I like the product. The fact that it is easy to open and close and that I don't to struggle to squeeze a laptop sleeve around my laptop are reasons enough to make me buy the bookbook. Thanks for sharing.

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