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While I have reviewed several iPad cases since the device’s initial release in 2010, I’ve never used an iPad case long-term. I have reviewed several fantastic, protective cases that I could recommend to iPad users, but I’ve never used an iPad case long-term because it’s simply my preference to use the iPad without a case. Enter Twelve South’s new BookBook iPad case: that preference has changed. The new BookBook is unlike any case, but it protects your iPad and props it up via a book-like accessory. Read on after the break for our full review (plus image gallery):
The new BookBook (hence the name) is an iPad case that turns your Apple slate into book-like form. The case is very light, yet stable and secure for your iPad. Its tough book-cover enclosure will protect from drops and scratches while closed. The iPad is secured into the BookBook via a zipper system that keeps the case shut. The exterior is well-designed, and seriously can get confused for being a closed book. Inside, the case features a soft, suede-like material, and the iPad, itself, sits in a well-crafted leather sleeve. This leather sleeve is snapped into securing buttons so your iPad can’t fall out of the BookBook while in use.
The case offers access to the USB connection port, headphone jack, home button, FaceTime camera, silent/orientation switch, and volume rocker. This is while the BookBook is unzipped. However, the iPad case features a dual-zipper design. With this, the two zippers can be maneuvered so certain ports and components can be accessed while the BookBook is zipped up. This is handy if you want to listen to music via the headphone jack while the iPad is on sleep mode, or if you want to charge your iPad while it is in the BookBook.
Since the BookBook design features the front and back book panels, in addition to the un-snappable leather sleeve, the iPad is easily able to be propped up for both typing and video consumption positions. To prop up for typing, simply unsnap the leather sleeve from the book-cover, and place the leather sleeve over the snapping mechanism. From here, your iPad is securely and comfortably able to be typed on. To prop the iPad up for video watching, simply unsnap the leather insert, and place it on top of the back cover as you fold the back piece forward.
Twelve South’s BookBook iPad case is a beautifully designed and unique approach to iPad protection. It’s also versatile with its ability to easily prop and position the iPad to a user’s liking, and its hard, book-cover like materials also offers substantial protection. Because of its unique, protective, and versatile design, we recommend this case to iPad users. The case comes in either red, brown, or black (we tested the black), and it sells for $79.99. The iPad BookBook supports the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad.
We also took another look at the BookBook for iPhone, an iPhone case that offers similar features to the iPad BookBook, but for the smaller screen. The iPhone version runs for $59.99.
See our full gallery of the iPad BookBook, below, for a closer look.
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The BookBook case would by all accounts be the flagship product of Twelve South. They continually update it, year after year, for nearly all of Apple’s products. This latest iteration has a few design changes that are very much appreciated, as it is modified to work with the new MacBook Pros.What is BookBook?
The BookBook is hard to define. Is it a sleeve? A shell? A case? I’d say something of a mix between all of those. In any case, it offers protection to your MacBook Pro. Not just by dampening the blow if it would fall, but by disguising it as a vintage book in an effort to go unnoticed by would-be thieves.
While it does pull it off quite convincingly, the illusion is somewhat spoiled if you look around the edges and see the zipper. It would fool a passerby or a thief in a hurry, but won’t stand up to much inspection. I’d say the book design is more because it looks cool, than to actually fool anyone.What’s new in Volume 2?
This second generation BookBook has 3 major changes over years past. To start, it is now 42% slimmer, which is in large part due to the svelte size of the new MacBook Pros. The spine also has increased support and is more crush resistant. You tend to grab the spine a lot while carrying it around, or when stuck in a bag. This will help it hold up much better. It’s also got a new design on the spine, so it can stand our from past iterations. Lastly they’ve added a secret document pocket below the machine. You can’t hold a whole lot of papers, but it is perfect for some color swatches, a resume, or a couple documents for a meeting.In use
For starters, I still love the look of the BookBook series. I’ve loved them since I first saw them. I thought they were clever, expertly made, and unique. None of that has changed. But my biggest problems always were the weight and size. It’s one thing when it is an iPad, or even your phone. Size isn’t as crucial. The 15″ MacBook Pro is quite large, and when it is thick too, it’s a bit hard to tote around. With these new MacBooks, it’s significantly easier to carry.
I really like the idea of the document pocket, but I don’t have much a need for it. I don’t carry a lot of paper with me, but I feel like it would be really great impression piece to take to an interview, with resumes tucked inside. Anytime I have paper, I feel like I would also like to have a pen. Unfortunately there is no free space for a pen to reside inside of the BookBook.
To secure the BookBook to your Mac, there are two elastic straps along top. One for each corner. As each MacBook has thinner and thinner bezels, it makes this harder to do. There just isn’t a lot of corner space for those straps to secure against without getting in the way of the display. The farther you push the display back, the tighter the elastic, and the more it is out of your display.Wrap up
Some part of me feels like this is the MacBook that the BookBook was made for. It has a new design that adds more features and is better than ever, the smaller silhouette makes carrying it around more realistic and and it still offers the same great design and protection it has for years. That said, the vintage book aesthetic will probably not be for everyone. I’m sure it won’t fit some personal styles, but for those it does, you can’t go wrong with the BookBook Vol. 2.
If you fall into the category of people that have a new MacBook Pro, and love the vintage style of the BookBook, you can find it on Amazon for $79. If you love the design, but don’t have the new MacBook Pro, don’t worry, they make it for many of your other devices like the iPhone and iPad.
Last Updated: April 21st, 2023
Here at WePC, we’ve had the pleasure of putting several of Thermaltake’s PC cases through their paces over the last couple of weeks – most noticeably the Thermaltake View 71. Thermaltake is really starting to increase the quality of their case lineup, giving consumers a ton of new additions that are seriously worth consideration. With that in mind, today we’ve decided to put one of their smaller cases to the test to see how it stacks up in build quality, thermals, noise levels, and assembly.
The case we’ll be looking at today is the polar opposite of the Thermaltake View 71, literally. Its a 10th of the size, and almost equally as cheap in pricing when compared to the Thermaltake Core V1. This is one of the older Mini-ITX cases still being sold today, however, don’t let that fool you. This case still holds a firm place in today’s market thanks to some interesting design features which we’ll touch upon later.
Before we go into any further detail regarding the Core V1, let’s start off by taking a closer look at the specs and some of the cooling variations that are available.
Large enough to fit full-length GPUs
Decent amount of design features
Every panel is interchangeable
Large 200mm intake fan on the front
Limited internal space
Only two expansion slots
Build quality could be better
Case TypeMini Case
Dimensions (mm)276 x 260 x 316 (L x W x H)
Weight3.2Kg (including box)
Front I/O panelUSB 3.0 x 2, audio x 1, microphone jack x 1
2 x 2.5″
285mm (outer chassis)
What’s In The Box
The Thermaltake Core V1 came in a small brown cardboard box accompanied by two styrofoam protectors. The box had very little to offer, having said that, the case arrived undamaged and that is all that matters. Inside we found the following:
Thermaltake Core V1
So, looking at the design, this case doesn’t really offer much in the ways of aesthetic appeal. I mean, it’s a small cube. Exciting, right? Well, that depends on your personal taste in small form factor cases, I suppose. This one comes to shelves with an all-black theme, with the only distinction being the Thermaltake logo (found on the bottom of the front panel) and the acrylic roof panel. The front does offer a mesh-like finish to allow that huge 200mm fan to draw sufficient airflow, whilst the sides are mainly solid steel with a small area for air-intake at the bottom.
Overall, the design of this case is fairly basic. But, I suppose that’s what you get from a case of this price point. I’d much rather the manufacturer spent their efforts increasing features internally – for an easier build assembly. So, ultimately, it’s not the best-looking case in the world, granted, but it’s certainly not the worst either.
As mentioned above, the front of the Thermaltake Core V1 is classic of the Core series from Thermaltake. The steel mesh that we’ve come to know from this range is made of small holes which helps provide ample airflow to the 200mm fan. The logo can be seen on the front panel at the bottom, and the I/O ports are located on the left-hand side. The top and bottom edges of the front panel have been rounded off in true Core style, giving it a bit of a design feature if nothing else.
The back of the chassis definitely offers the most functionality as far as the panels are concerned. All the thumbscrews can be found for each of the side panels at the back of the case. They all feel relatively cheap, but that’s to be expected from a case of this price point. At the top of the back panel, you can clearly see two mounting areas for a couple of 80mm fans. Now, that sounds like a great idea initially, extra airflow. However, in hindsight, unless you get extremely quiet fans, this is only going to add a ton of noise to this case. So, just keep that in mind.
Underneath the fan mounts, you’ll see the cut-out for the I/O shield next to the two expansion slots this case comes equipped with. Moving down, you’ll see the PSU cut-out which does play host to a standard size PSU. A great feature when you consider many of the SFF cases won’t provide this compatibility. Finally, underneath it all is a small tab that can be pulled to remove the PSU dust filter.
Looking at this case from the left-hand side, you’ll be able to see the I/O ports towards the front. This case offers 2 x USB 3.0 ports, a headphone and microphone jack, and standard power/rest buttons as well. One nice design feature of the side panels is that they both come with a large honeycomb mesh section included. This means when you install your GPU, it’ll have sufficient access to air when needed. The opposite side panel is identical to this, except for the I/O ports, and is fully interchangeable if you want to experiment.
The top of this case offers the most stylish look of any of the panels on this case. It comes equipped with a rather large acrylic viewing window – when you consider the entire size of the case that is. This is implemented purely for design reasons and gives you the option of showing off your hardware if you wish to do so. Apart from that, the top really doesn’t have anything to offer. No fans can be mounted here, and there are no stand-out features to note.
So, to the inside. Now, even though this case hasn’t got a great deal of space to work with when compared against a mid-tower case, it’s actually considered fairly roomy when comparing to other small form factor cases.
Starting at the front, to gain access to the 200mm fan and the I/O port connection, you can simply remove the front panel. Do this by sliding the top panel backward slightly, and using the lip to edge the front panel away. Once inside, you’ll have easy access to remove the 200mm fan if you wish to do so. Users have the option of reinstalling a single 120mm fan or 140mm fan in its place. During installation, we found that removing the 200mm fan from the front, gave us a tonne more room to access cabling and such. This is a definite recommendation if you plan on purchasing this case.
Looking at the Core V1 from the left-hand side, with the front panel facing to the right, you can see the internal design of the case pretty well. Thermaltake has created a layered system where the motherboard sits on its side above the PSU. This is a great way of positioning the components as it makes cable management a hell of a lot easier. It also means you won’t be stretching too far for any particular component. You’ll probably notice that the PSU section is extremely tight. Sliding the PSU in is not an option. Having said that, you can simply remove the bottom panel, flip the case upside down and install the PSU that way. Easy.
The back of the case offers little features and no pre-installed exhaust fans. Having said that, it does have room to mount 2 x 80mm fans above the I/O port cut-out. The expansion slots can be accessed by removing the plastic protector that clips into the back of the case. Apart from that, there is very little to report. But that’s to be expected from a mini-ITX case.
The final side of the case is the right side panel. Once the panel has been removed you expose the two hard drive trays which can be removed if you wish. They support both 3.5″ and 2.5″ drives and are attached by a single thumbscrew found on the motherboard tray.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the exterior and interior from a design point of view, let’s take a closer look at some of the more subtle features that may not jump out initially.
Design – Now, even though I may have played down the design earlier, from an aesthetic point-of-view anyway, the Core V1 definitely sits highly when it comes to features from a build assembly aspect. Because this is a small case, and room is fairly limited, it was handy to be able to remove all the panels in order to get at the components and the cabling. As mentioned above, removing the front fan is pretty handy when linking everything up to the PSU.
Furthermore, there is a definite cooling aspect that can be explored when interchanging the side panels. Some people have found moving one of the side panels to the roof makes the airflow more efficient. A great feature in what is considered a very budget case.
Fans – Next up we have the fans. Now, you’re probably thinking to yourself, there’s only room for 3 fans, big deal? Well, it’s more than just that. Even though the front fan is huge and creates a decent amount of airflow, it kind of blocks the way for a larger GPU. So, if you wish to remove it and install a 120mm/140mm in its place, you give yourself a bunch more room for full-length GPUs. This is something you are less likely to see on cases of this price point. You also have the additional rear fans that will certainly provide a better overall cooling solution. So big thumbs up for the fan setup.
So, we finally come to the conclusion of the Core V1 from Thermaltake. This is where we answer some of the big questions surrounding this case, such as; does this case display good value for money? Is this case easy to build in or should I just get a mid-tower? And is this case worth my money?
Well, let’s start at the top. As for value, this case currently retails at around $45 and has been that way since its arrival. Now, when you consider that against some of the other mini-ITX cases out there, I feel this one showcases excellent value for money. It comes with a 200mm pre-installed intake fan, a decent amount of room for building and customization, and design features that allow interchangeable side panels in any orientation. That not only makes this great value for money, but it also makes building in this PC case a very user-friendly thing to do – when comparing to mini-ITX cases of this size anyway.
On the flip side, the Core V1 does have a couple of downsides. It isn’t the smallest case in the world and that might put people off as size is the number one factor in a mini-ITX case. Furthermore, it comes with limited cooling options. If you do plan on building a fairly powerful PC in this case, you might struggle to keep those internal temps low.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a mini-ITX case on a budget, but still want an enjoyable build process and some decent features, I’d highly recommend checking this out for your next project. It might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Zeera continues its streak of producing high-quality accessories for your Apple products. They stole the show earlier this year with the MagSafe Duo alternative, the 3 in 1 MegFold. The MegFold was less than half the price of the MagSafe Duo while also including a third charging pad for your headphones. See our review here.
Zeera has followed up their releases of the MegFold and the VOXN charger with a new iPhone case that has a nice trick up its sleeve.
As I mentioned above, the Zeera case has a few functions that set it apart from your garden-variety iPhone case, but first and foremost, it’s a case.
The case provides all the protection you need while also staying relatively slim and sleek, which is a must for me. It provides all-around protection with a TPU bumper that has a small lip to protect the screen from touching any surface. It then gives you a hard PC back cover, which provides some shatter resistance for the back of these glass phones. They then use aluminum materials for the camera bump and the MagSafe ring. The most expensive part of the iPhone is the camera array, so having a raised lip for added protection made of aluminum is a great plus.Additional features
You might have been able to see from the pictures above that there is a movable ring on the rear of the case. This ring serves a few purposes. Firstly, it added some much-needed magnet strength to the case. This will allow you to use any Magsafe accessory with confidence. Then you have the stand feature of the case. My biggest worry with this was that the hinge would lose its strength after constantly moving the case from normal to stand mode. But after two weeks of real testing, the hinge is just as strong as it was on day one.
But as you can see, there is a small area for you to be able to pull the stand out. It can be used to prop your phone up in portrait mode to watch some YouTube Shorts or place it in landscape mode to watch videos. It is extremely sturdy and passes all my tests. This stand can also be used as a ring loop to help with holding the larger iPhone Pro Max models.Pricing and availability
The Zeera MagSafe Kickstand Case is currently available on Zeera’s website for a discounted price of $26.99. Another great point that Zeera made with this case is the variety and availability of these cases. It is available for every iPhone from the iPhone 12 and newer. So if you have one of those iPhone 12s that have lackluster magnets for MagSafe, this case will be extremely useful for that! Pair this case with their MegFold, and you have a nice traveling package for your iPhone.Wrap-up
If you are looking for a protective case that looks good, feels soft to the touch, and gives you some added functionality like a built-in stand, then this is the way to go. I plan on using this on my iPhone 13 Pro Max until the iPhone 15 releases, and then let’s hope Zeera has iPhone 15 cases on the ready!
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Friday’s best deals include $199 off iPad Pro, Anker’s latest iPhone-matching power banks, and Lutron HomeKit lighting. Head below for all that and more.Save big on iPad Pro
Amazon is taking $199 off various iPad Pro models. Both 11- and 12.9-inch listings are being discounted, returning prices to our December mentions and the lowest we’ve tracked in months. Cellular and Wi-Fi models are available in both instances.
Put your savings to good use and grab the second-generation Apple Pencil. It takes your iPad Pro experience to the next level with “precision, responsiveness, and natural fluidity of a traditional writing instrument and the versatility to become so much more.”Anker’s new iPhone-matching power banks
Anker is rolling into the weekend with a fresh Amazon sale, headlined by its iPhone color-matching 10000mAh USB-C PD Battery for $31. That’s down from the usual $42 price tag and the second-best offer we’ve tracked all-time.HomeKit lighting, dimmers, more on sale
Home Depot is taking up to 20% off select dimmers and switches. The deals start at $30. One standout for us is the Lutron Caseta Smart Lighting Starter Kit for $120. That’s down from its regular $190 price tag and $5 less than our previous mention. Lutron’s Smart Dimmers are compatible with all of the popular voice services, including HomeKit, Alexa and more. This is an easy way to introduce smart home control and also enable scheduling of lights around your home. In fact, Lutron promises setup in “as little as 15 minutes.” More deals can be found here.LG 55-inch 4K AirPlay 2 UHDTV touts HomeKit
Amazon currently offers the LG Nano 8 Series 55-inch 4K AirPlay 2 UHDTV for $597.Typically selling for $800, today’s offer is good for a 25% discount, matches the Amazon all-time low, and is only the third time we’ve seen this model on sale. Centered around a 55-inch 4K NanoCell panel, this UHDTV comes equipped with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos for “ultra-vivid picture” and “cinema-quality sound.” AirPlay 2 and HomeKit control offer integration with your iPhone and other Apple devices, while voice control via Alexa and Assistant enters the mix, as well. Built-in smart capabilities offer easy access to popular streaming services, and to help with that, you’ll also enjoy 6-months of complementary access to Disney+. Find four HDMI ports as well as two USB slots.Logitech MX Master 3 sees rare discount
Staples currently offers the Logitech MX Master 3 Advanced Wireless Mouse for $76. Normally selling for $100, like you’ll find at Amazon, today’s offer is good for a $24 discount and is within cents of our previous mention for the all-time low. Logitech’s MX Master series is one of the most renowned mice for Mac on the market, and its latest version continues to build that legacy with “ultrafast” magspeed scrolling, app-specific customizations, Flow cross-computer control, and much more. With a USB-C port for refueling, Logitech also claims you’ll get 70 days of battery life per charge. Learn more about how it performs in our hands-on review.Best trade-in deals
9to5Mac also keeps tabs on all the best trade-in deals on iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, and more every month. Be sure to check out this month’s best trade-in deals when you decide it’s time to upgrade your device. Or simply head over to our trade-in partner directly if you want to recycle, trade, or sell your used devices for cash and support 9to5Mac along the way! Use code 9to5mac for an extra $15 on all trades.
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The best running watches you can buy
Strava on the RunIQ is pretty glitchy
The biggest performance strain I experienced presented itself when I launched the integrated Strava app, which is completely confined to the watch, though you can sync this data with the Strava app on your phone. For the most part, Strava offers the functionality and metrics you’re likely to use while on a run. While I would say that the app works pretty flawlessly while using it, backing out to the home screen while the app is paused caused the device to freeze up, and then start opening other apps and features at random. I had to just let the watch die before I could use it again at this point, as it was launching and closing Strava over and over again without me pressing anything. While this could just be some random bug that I encountered in the semi-custom software that New Balance has running on top of Android Wear, I think the 512MB of RAM in tandem with the Atom Z34XX SoC on board the device is not quite enough to store all the services that are accessed when using the application.
The Strava app in particular launches the watch’s on-board GPS, heart rate sensor, and pedometer all at the same time. Intel’s Atom Z34XX chip is made to be able to handle all of these sensors on the fly, though it is seldom that devices utilizing the SoC will use all these services at one time, and may take some more tweaking or require more voltage in order to perform the necessary calculations. I can’t say that the performance issues I experienced were all due to Intel or the New Balance team, but I can say that this thing needs just a bit more power in order to utilize all its sensors to the required level.
The only other major performance issue I encountered had to do with the speed at which the watch mirrored notifications. I’ve owned a 1st Generation Moto 360 since it launched way back in 2014, and I’ll sometimes feel the watch buzz with a notification before I even see my phone light up. The RunIQ did not offer quite the same experience in my testing. Often it would be one to two full seconds after my phone received the notification that the watch would alert me of the same thing. While this is not a huge issue for a lot of users, seeing the information on my phone’s lock screen before my watch received the same message created a redundancy which was more annoying than anything. I have to assume this issue is due to whatever Bluetooth module the company has opted to use in the device, but one can never be too sure with these things. Just know that in my personal experience, this issue did exist, so if instant notification mirroring is a make-or-break feature for you, you may want to look elsewhere.
LG Watch Sport and Watch Style review
Which smartwatches will get updated to Android Wear 2.0?
Requiring the Strava and New Balance apps for your phone did leave me a little frustrated, though. New Balance markets this watch as if you don’t need your phone at all, but that’s really not the case. While you can’t exactly view all of your intricate metrics about your run on a small screen like this, it still felt like I was tracking a lot of this information for no reason if I didn’t have the Strava mobile app. I would have liked if you could at least view historical data about your runs on the watch, but it seems that they only optimized it to be able to view what is going on in the moment.
The in-app music browser worked well for switching songs and adjusting the volume, but the tracks listed stopped reflecting what was actually playing past the first song. I first noticed this when Maneater by Hall and Oates started playing and I wanted to turn it up. I tried skipping back and forth between different music and jumping in and out of the music browser, but the watch never updated with the current song. This was also probably a minor bug and will hopefully be fixed in the future.
New Balance does offer an app for your smartphone, the MyNB app, which allows you to sync a lot of the data from the watch to your device. The app will ask all about you: what sports you are into, your gender, birthday, and even what kind of clothes you wear. I found this a bit invasive, as they are obviously trying to figure out how to best market your apparel, but you can skip this step entirely, so don’t fret too much if you would prefer not to answer these questions.
From here, you can read a huge amount of content related to running and fitness, and can spend “New Balance points” on new clothes and shoes. The navigation in the app is actually pretty great, and uses smooth animations to get you where you need to go. While it’s obvious that this was originally designed as a shopping app, the company has gone ahead and slid RunIQ integration right into it, which in my opinion is probably better than making a whole separate app to bog down the Play Store.
The app will prompt you to connect your Strava account to the watch, and for some reason is required to get Strava working on the watch itself. The app will get a lot of documentation detailing how to use the watch, and you can also modify things like the color theme and distance information shown on the face of the watch on the fly, though that is essentially all it does for you besides being a New Balance shopping app.
Should you buy one (or both)?
The New Balance RunIQ comes in at $299.99 USD, which is a bit of a steep price to pay for something that doesn’t necessarily offer a ton more features over something older like the Moto 360 Sport. This watch really does feel premium, however. Even if the lugs on the side of the watch don’t function like that on a traditional sports watch, they still give off that “premium” look that have demanded such an inflated cost from traditional watches over the years. The extremely adjustable and customizable band also gives you the option of letting the world know you’re a fitness junkie or looking a bit more professional.
There are some caveats that keep me from recommending this thing whole-heatedly, though. The biggest one being that it’s feature with the biggest focus feels a bit lacking. For a fitness watch that is marketed as completely separate from your smartphone, it should not require a device application to actually record and view historical data. It would be nice to be able to view and compare your old runs on the watch itself, as though the Strava and MyNB smartphone apps are extremely well made, they should not be required for someone that doesn’t want to have their phone on them all the time.
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