Rutledge Edition Book Book for MacBook case review

If you're looking for a unique carrying case for your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro, take a look at Twelve South's Rutledge Book Book, because it's gonna be pretty hard to beat. When it's zipped up it makes it look like your laptop is an antique book.

Accessory maker Twelve South has a knack for making great peripherals for Mac and iOS device owners like stands to prop up your iPad and a gadget that turns your MacBook's power adapter into a USB charger too. Their industrial design is unique but usually very complementary to Apple's own.

Every so often, though, Twelve South gets a bit cheeky, and something like the Book Book is the result. It's a whimsical design that actually has some practical applications. I'll get to that in a moment.

Book Book cases have been around for a while. Twelve South makes them to fit the iPad, iPhone and MacBook laptops. Just like other Book Book models, the Rutledge edition sports two hardback covers separated by a rigid spine, with soft padding inside to protect the MacBook from getting scratched. There are also two soft elastic bands that can loop over the MacBook's screen, so your laptop will open when you open the Book Book.

What makes the Rutledge edition special is the finish. Instead of the flat finish on previous Book Book models, the Rutledge edition incorporates multiple layers of color that are then removed to create an antique looking finish. There are also some decorative embellishments in gold leaf that add to the antique look.

It's a really beautiful effect that makes the case look like something you might find in a rare book store rather than a computer shop. It's a conversation piece. When I'd pull it out at the coffee shop and start working, I got some looks and occasionally someone would ask about it — a few people thought it was a custom case I'd made myself by sacrificing an old book.

Ever since Twelve South introduced the first Book Book, they've gotten testimonials from customers who say that they had their homes broken into, but the gadgets in the Book Book case were overlooked because the thieves mistook them for old books. Obviously there's no guarantee the same will happen to you, but camouflage has its benefits.

Rutledge Book Book open

But despite its antique look, the Rutledge Book Book is well crafted and provides good protection for the MacBook. The soft interior padding provides a bit of shock resistance and treats the exterior of your MacBook with kid gloves. A double zipper with leather pulls keeps the MacBook closed; if you want to charge up your MacBook while the lid's closed, it's easy to run the power cable out between the pulls.

Twelve South makes the Rutledge edition Book Book in sizes to fit all current and some past MacBook models - the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and MacBook Pro with Retina display.

I got the largest Book Book they made, for my 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro. I have to admit that I occasionally felt like a wizard hauling around a magic spell book: It's pretty big. The Rutledge Book Book for the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro measures 14.9 x 10.5 x 1.25 inches. As a sleeve it's a bit bulkier than some of the more form-fitting models I've seen, made of softer materials like neoprene. But it's a lot prettier too.


  • Disguises your MacBook
  • Soft interior padding protects from bumps and scratches
  • Elastics open your MacBook's lid when you open the case


  • Model for 15-inch rMBP is a bit unwieldy
  • Not as compact as other MacBook sleeve cases

The bottom line

Whether you bring the Book Book to the library or the coffee shop, you're bound to get noticed with the Book Book. It's a unique sleeve case for MacBooks that has tons of personality, and looks gorgeous to boot.

$99.99 - Buy now

Peter Cohen