Twelve South are well known for the uber-cool, finely crafted Mac accessories and now they've entered the iPhone market with BookBook, a wallet-style case that hopes to provide the perfect mix of looks, protection and function. How does it fare?
Twelve South's packaging has always been gorgeous and the Book Book is no exception. And the case itself -- from the moment you remove it you can just smell the quality of the leather. If you close your eyes, you'd think you were in a fine Italian coat shop or had just cracked the door on a brand new luxury car.
The styling is meant to invoke an ancient tome, weathered and worn from hours of loving reading. It works but is just a tad overdone for me (though I appreciated the fleurs de lis!). My iPad I could see in a tome but for my iPhone I'd love the same quality and fit and finish in a slightly more modern wallet style.
I can see where this design holds appeal, however. If you miss the old address book you kept in your purse or the little black book that held all your phone numbers, if you yearn for the days of notebooks beautifully bound or pocket books from a shop in old Europe, the BookBook is definitely something to check out.
Inside you can store your iPhone 4 snuggly while still keeping access to all the major ports (though you'd have to remove it to change SIM cards while traveling). You've also got three slots for cards so you can keep your license, credit card, debit card and anything else you like handy -- including cash and receipts. (Which is both a good thing, since it will force you to keep an extra close track of your stuff, or a bad thing because if you lose it, you lose everything.)
I tried the BookBook out for just over a week and it performed amazingly well. The stitching is perfect, the edging is clean, the surfaces smooth on the outside and soft on the inside. There is added bulk because of the leather and the cards but nothing over what a wallet by itself would require. (In other words, you might want to stay away from the skinny hipster jeans -- cough, Derek, cough -- if you want to pocket this bad boy.)
The one major annoyance I had is the lack of a camera hole on the back. I take a lot of photographs -- a lot! -- and having to slide it up so the camera could peek over the top quickly grew tiresome. Hopefully they can punch a hole in a future version.
Overall, it's a great wallet style case. If you're de-cluttering and want a really cool looking way to carry everything together in one simple, small package, check out Twelve South's BookBook for iPhone 4 and let me know what you think!