Booqpad combines an iPad mini case and notepad into one

I like being professional. Sure, being a blogger doesn’t mean my job screams business suit, white dress shirt, and dark blue tie. After all, I’m not rolling down the hallways of an IBM clone factory like my father did before me. But, I love him anyway. Being professional does not require the suit, but it can easily be defined by accessories. No, not a pocket square. I mean your gadget accessories.

For my iPhone 5s, when I am trying to look the part, I opt for the Kouros leather sleeve, because it is simple, streamlined, black, and refined. When it comes to my iPad mini, I also prefer those same characteristics. But, often, the mini is more of my work horse, which should get even better with an A7 processor. I may grab my phone in a meeting to check the calendar or a quick notification about the Virginia Tech Hokies, but iPad is the true go-to for more complex tasks. Keeping things at my fingers, the Booqpad mini by Booq even has a spot for handwritten notes…

Design and usability

That’s right, handwritten notes. I can count on one hand (see what I did there?) how many times I use on an annual basis. Typing something into my iPad, even with the larger keyboard, is frustrating. Call me old-school. Even with nice apps like OmniFocus and Evernote, I like to write my notes, circle things, highlight, draw arrows. Stop arguing with me in your head. I know this can all be done through the apps. It just isn’t the same.

Booqpad provides me the notepad/iPad combo in that simple, streamlined, black, and refined way I mentioned previously. Opening up the Booqpad portfolio, a notepad is conveniently located on the right, with my mini harnessed to the left. On the harness, everything is accessible, from the speaker grills to the volume and power buttons. A folding tab reaches over the right side and tucks behind the device to keep it settled during transportation or an aggressive brainstorming meeting. The tab includes a small branded loop, which is designed for a pen clip. A micro suede lining provides a soft backing to prevent scratches and simply feels nice to the touch.

Located behind and around the notepad are four slits for smaller flat items. I like to stuff business cards in there for safe keeping and those BOGO coupons for my favorite lunch place. The inside slit pockets are an offset color, yellow, which I really like in contrast to the gray suede lining and the black exterior.

The notepad is produced from 30% post consumer materials and includes 50 sheets. It is not a standard size as it is a custom built pad. It is ~3.25″ x 6″ and fits nicely inside the given space. Unfortunately, the pad can only be replaced by ordering it from Booq and comes in a 3 pack for $9.95.


Most frustrating, is the customize notepad. As I mentioned several times above, handwritten notes are my thing. In fact, my love of handwritten notes is one of the main reasons I like this case. However, ordering a custom sized pad from Booq every time I run out of paper is a complete pain. A true size small legal pad would be incredibly more useful, while only adding a little on width. Run out, go grab another from the office supply closet or run down to any office supply store. This simple fix is an impossibility with the Booqpad mini and it is a shame. The bigger full size Booq for iPad 2/3/4 does accommodate an exact A5 notepad, but the compatibility option was not transferred to the mini.

Overall, I like the Booqpad. It is nice having the pad conveniently located with my mini, as I take mostly handwritten notes. The design is simple, even has a simple button closure, which is more refined than velcro. Microsuede is a nice touch along with a contrasting color pallet, which varies by choice. Impressively, the folio is designed symmetrically for both right and left handed users. The iPad harness is the same, both top and bottom, and there is a top and bottom pocket for the notepad. Little details like that are impressive.

Rip off a note from the corner of a page and pass it down. When was the last time you slipped a girl your number the real way? Pick up a Booqpad mini starting at $34.50 in black or gray. Thanks to my friends at Booq for sending over a review unit.

What do you guys think? Does anyone care about hand writing notes any more? Like the Booqpad?

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