Journal for iPad Pro review: An executive look when you want to impress

Twelve South Journal for iPad Pro
(Image: © Twelve South)

Twelve South Journal for iPad Pro

Twelve South's Journal lineup consists of a MacBook case, an iPhone wallet folio, an exquisite organizer called the CaddySack, and today Twelve South is adding a matching iPad Pro case to the lineup, completing the collection. Similar to the BookBook for iPad Pro, the Journal is a zip-up leather case with a hard shell inside and multiple viewing angles. It's available now from Twelve South for the 2018 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro

The Good

  • Professional look
  • Multiple angles
  • Lightweight
  • Extra pocket inside
  • Room for Apple Pencil
  • Journal matching set

The Bad

  • Binding is stiff
  • Standing angle is unstable

This and that

Journal for iPad Pro: The features

Similar to the BookBook, the Journal is a folio-style case with a zipper enclosure. The outer material is a rich cognac brown leather all over and perfectly matches the color scheme of the entire Journal lineup. It has a thick, hand-stitched look around the edge, and the binding is reminiscent of your dad's notebook from when you were a kid (at least, my dad). It's a freshly tanned leather, which softens over time, giving it a nice worn-in look without being too rugged (it doesn't look like Indiana Jones' satchel or anything).

The protective hardshell case connected to the interior lets you snap your iPad Pro into place so it's protected on all corners and the bottom edge. The top edge, where the Apple Pencil sits, is exposed, so you can keep it magnetically attached to your iPad Pro.

With Twelve South's folio design in place, you can lift the hard shell up and position the iPad Pro in a variety of angles. There isn't any groove or lip to force the angle to a specific degree. The edge of the case rests against the suede material and sort of grips to it naturally. To protect against accidental slippage, the zipper edge keeps the case from every dropping closed. You can position your iPad straight up for watching movies or playing games or lay it completely flat. There's also a small flap on the back of the hard shell that makes it possible for you to flip the case over and lay it down at a 15-degree typing angle.

One of my favorite features of the BookBook for iPad Pro, and now Journal for iPad Pro is the extra pocket. It's just big enough to fit a thin Bluetooth keyboard like Logitech's Keys-To-Go or a pad of paper if you'd prefer.

Though there isn't a dedicated Apple Pencil holder, the Journal has a bit of extra space at the top so you can keep it connected to your iPad Pro magnetically.

Same but different

Journal for iPad Pro: What I like

Twelve South Journal for iPad Pro

As I mentioned above, one of my favorite features is the inside pocket. When I take my iPad Pro on the road with me, I always want to have a keyboard nearby, which is why I usually bring one of my keyboard cases. Keyboard cases, however, are a bit on the heavy side. With a slim Bluetooth keyboard slipped into the Journal, you're adding less weight than a keyboard case while still getting the productivity you need.

I've noted before when reviewing Twelve South's leather cases that I'm always surprised at how lightweight they are for leather. The Journal is the same.

I love that the hardshell case inside the Journal doesn't interfere with my Apple Pencil's connection or charging. There is just enough room for the Apple Pencil to sit, magnetized to the iPad Pro without me worrying about losing it.

When you think of matching leather luggage, do you think of a fashionable elite walking down the street with a poodle? Because I do. And that's practically how I feel when I see my Journals all stacked up together. This matching set look has really got me going. I'm much more likely to bring all of my Journal cases with me on the road when I know they'll all match so well.

Too tight

Journal for iPad Pro: What I don't like

Twelve South Journal for iPad Pro

Similar to the BookBook for iPad Pro, the design of the angling doesn't exactly feel stable. My iPad Pro has not yet slipped out of place, but I'm very aware of it and will hold it gingerly on my lap to avoid a fall.

When you want to place your iPad at a 15-degree angle, you're supposed to flip the case over so that it's kind of inside out (the interior is now resting on the table), and then you'd flip up the hard shell back flap to create the new angle. With the Journal, the binding was so stiff that I worried I'd rip the lining by flipping it inside out.

Interestingly, I did discover that I can get the same viewing angle by flipping the hardshell case over the exterior of the case, so I don't have to stretch the binding. It's actually a more stable angle that way, too.


Journal for iPad Pro

Twelve South Journal for iPad Pro

The Journal for iPad Pro is a fantastic leather folio that makes you look like a professional, even if you're playing video games. The hard shell and angling design give you a lot of flexibility without sacrificing additional weight. I love the interior pocket, which is big enough to carry a thin Bluetooth keyboard. The fact that you can now outfit most of your Apple devices in matching cases makes the Journal a great buy for people that want to push their fashion and professionalism to the next level.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).