One of these items is not a book. But it feels like one. This is the first time I've ever liked a case that made a gadget 3x as thick, and with that extra padding, the iPad feels just right.
At launch, the iPad was noted by many to feel heavier than it looked. It's not that it's actually heavy, though — it's just that it's too heavy for fingers to grab at given a) the narrow bezel b) the thickness of the device. It's akin to holding a sword by the steel rather than the beefier, handle. You could hamfist it, reaching beyond the bezel, but you'd risk finger printing up the screen.
Sure, the Convertible book case is functional in a basic sense—it acts as a stand. And does so better than the finicky Apple case, because it stands up without tipping over in landscape and portrait mode, and is angle adjustable to roughly 45, 60 and 80 degree inclines, as well as the lay-it-flat 20 degree mode that is perfect for typing on.
But back to the subtle benefits of thickness. The case roughly triples the thickness of the ipad, bringing it to about one inch. But that's the magic of it. The convertible book case is true to its name, giving the iPad the right thickness and texture and grip for something that heavy. It helps the iPad approximate the density ratio of a book, giving it the right (or at least familiar) hand feel and volume for something of this weight. It also provides just enough thickness with the cover folded back that one handed reading is possible, because you're using your entire fist, not just fingertips to hold it in portrait mode.
The extra padding also allows me the mental security of being able to safely toss the iPad on beds, couches and sometimes table tops if its not too far of a drop. The case's thickness had me swearing to never travel with it, but I do. Because the extra padding makes it feel as if you can toss the iPad into a bag of sharp angular items without worry. Unless I'm really sore for bag space, this is the case I fly with, and keep the iPad in 95% of the time. The other 5%, its sitting in its dock. At no other point do I use a thinner case, nor do I wish for a thinner case.
It is probably the only time a case has grown the dimensions of the gadget it holds three fold, and does not make me furious. I am confused at this. But mostly pleased. But not with the price, which at $60, is quite a lot.
Score: Direct Hit