BlackBerry Journal case for the PlayBook is almost perfect. Read the review to see how close it comes!

BlackBerry Journal Case
By Jared DiPane on 24 Mar 2012 01:32 pm EDT

"Style meets functionality and delivers a great case that is not only practical, but also very professional"

In Short:
"If you care about style and protection, check this out"

Should I Buy?
"You don't want your favorite PlayBook looking sloppy, right?"

When it comes to selecting a case for my devices you could say that I am overly picky, and generally it is quite hard to satisfy my needs. Over the years of owning various devices my case collection has grown larger than I will admit to anyone, and most of them have only seen use on a device for a few days at best. When I first got my BlackBerry PlayBook the sleeve that was included in the box was good enough for me, but shortly after the fact that changed. After spending some time and looking at all the various options available for purchase there was one case that stood out and it needed to be tested. The BlackBerry Journal case for the BlackBerry PlayBook appeared to be the perfect case for my needs, so obviously it had to be put through the paces to see if it could hold up. So, is it possible that this is the perfect case? Let's hit the break and give this case a full walkthrough.

BlackBerry Journal CAse

Immediately after the case arrived no time could be wasted, the packaging was ripped open and the case was put right onto the device. First impression was that this could be perfection in a case, but there were a few key points of the case that needed to be inspected a bit further, and the first of them being the power button. We all know that the power button has been a hit or miss thing with the PlayBook, some people think it is a bit difficult to press, and others are not bothered by it. Unfortunately my device did suffer from a slightly low power button and my large fingers did have a bit of trouble reaching it, but luckily the case made that easier. The power and volume buttons are covered by a raised rubber piece which makes pressing them easier for me, and that is a huge plus.

BlackBerry Journal Case

Along the bottom of the device the three ports are all cut out, and easily accessible, something that not every case offers. Some cases make the cut outs a bit too small, and hard to get various chargers and cables in and out, but with this case it is very easy, and the cut outs are well done. 

BlackBerry Journal Case

Overall the fit of the case is very snug to the device, though not too tight where it is extremely difficult to get it in and out. The device "clicks" into the case without excessive force, and if you need to remove it all that needs to be done is start at one corner and work your way around the case and it will come right out. The flap that covers the front is a great addition, and provides awesome protection while the device is not in use, but unfortunately when the device is in use it gets in the way a bit.

BlackBerry Journal Case

The flap would be most ideal if it was notched on the inside so that it could be used to prop the device up while watching movies or reading websites, but that is not how this case is built.

BlackBerry Journal Case

The elastic strap is a great convenience , it helps keep the cover held shut when not in use. While traveling I tend to keep the PlayBook in my backpack, and the comfort of knowing the screen is protected  and the cover is held shut is very soothing.

BlackBerry Journal Case

Sure, the case isn't 100 percent perfect for my uses, but this case is far more useful to me than any other at this current time. Small convenience factors aside, this case is great and provides excellent protection and a very classy style. If you want to carry your PlayBook in style, and wrap it in a well made case, be sure to check out the BlackBerry Journal case for the BlackBerry PlayBook from the Shop CrackBerry Store.

BlackBerry Journal Case for the BlackBerry PlayBook
by BlackBerry

The Good

The Journal case is more than just a pretty solution to a case for the PlayBook. Adding great protection to the screen, and easy access to the ports, this case is sure to please many.

The Bad

Unfortunately the flap that covers the screen can become a bit of a pain at times when it is not in use. There are also no notches like on other flip lid cases that allow it to stand for media consumption or easy web browsing.


While it may not be "perfect" this case is definitely one that will remain on the device for a long time. The added style and protection is definitely a plus, and the professional design is one that many will enjoy.


Three Great Cases Like This One

OtterBox for the BlackBerry PlayBook BlackBerry Leather Holster PlayBook Leather Sleeve
OtterBox for PlayBook
"Better protection, but less stylish."
PlayBook Zip Sleeve
"Cheaper, but more zipping and unzipping."
BlackBerry Soft Shell
"It's real leather, and BlackBerry logo looks awesome."
Jared DiPane Jared DiPane "News Writer for Mobile Nations
Father | Husband | Chipotle Addict"
319 (articles) 6102 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry Journal case for the PlayBook is almost perfect. Read the review to see how close it comes!


I still prefer the convertible case - the only differences are 1/ convertible case has notches for standup display 2/ the journal case has elastic.

#1 is the deciding factor for me.

as for #2 -- I don't find it opens too often but would just use a loop of 1/4-inch elastic from the dollar store. Sew the ends together, slip it under the PlayBook and around the outer cover ("flap").

Agree 110%
I actually prefer the convertible case and think it's actually the best case right now for the PB. Classy look and good protection.

I use the convertable case, but wanted the strap like moleskin notebooks. I just swipped one of my wife's big hairbands and tucked it behind the plastic holder. Done - and no sewing together elastic.

I also cut a hole in the side over the buttons because I found them too hard to press through the extra plastic.

There is also a difference in the quality of the materials on the outside of the case.

The journal case is much nicer feeling and looking IMO.

When I first was looking to buy a case for my PlayBook, I found myself to be in a dilemma between choosing the Journal Case vs the Convertible Case.

I originally bought the Journal Case because it felt like it was better manufactured, with higher quality materials and I loveddd that it had a strap - the reason why I didn't buy the Convertible Case was because it didn't have a strap to keep it closed, which pissed me off.

Anyways, after being annoyed that the Journal Case didn't have a stand, I returned it and bought the Convertible Case. I then went to FabricLand and bought the exact same black elastic bad that is on the Journal Case for like 25 cents. Went home, used fabric glue and glued it tightly to the material behind the hardshell case that holds the PlayBook and VOILA! Best of both worlds. I now have a case that can be held shut with an elastic band (exact same as on Journal Case), and my case can stand on its own due to the unique case design of the Convertible Case.

Anyways, I don't know why RIM would but an elastic band on the Convertible Case to begin with.....but w.e. Cost me 25 cents, and took like 5 mins to make my Convertible Case look and work like Journal Case.

Just wanted to share...

The deciding factor for me between the Journal case and the convertible case was the LEATHER quality of the Journal Case and the silver BlackBerry Emblem. When I use my PlayBook its in my hands so I really didn't need a case for standing the PlayBook up.

Chose the journal too, although sometimes it would be nice for it to stand too, but I managed to balance that too. Pity there is no choice of other colours, I've seen a yellow one on the web, not that i would want yellow, but a variety of colours would have been nice :))

I'm in love with my leather envelope case, it gives protection with style when travelling, when in use there is nothing like a naked PlayBook.

I totally agree. I like naked devices, the way they were intended to be. The leather sleeve is my favorite Playbook accessory!

Love the journal case, yes the flap can be annoying, but you can simply bring it all the way back like a paperback book and use the elastic band to hold it.

Also, when holding it in landscape and you have a flat surface to put it on, just turn the PlayBook in case upside down and use the flap as a stand. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't all you need is a bulk item to hold it up like a textbook or your BlackBerry in holster.

Good times.

Yup, fo,ding tbe flap all tbe way back gets it out of the way nicely and the feel of the leather beats the convertible's semileatherpleather, but would it have been too much to make creases to let it have a stand?
Left out of the review is the protective but not bulky "case" that holds it in the cover...much more protective than the nifty Brookstone-style cases that leave its nekid but for the corners.

All that being said, it is the cover that I've kept on tbe longest

Hello Folks, I was in search for the perfect playbook case that would offer a business look and practicality. I was on this site and others reading all the reviews for the different type of cases and came across the Blurex case found on this link: - fantastic buy.

The leather on this is great! Thin profile and feels great when carrying it around. Three ways to position the playbook. All ports are accessible in the case.

I highly recommend this case to anyone.

no silicone cover for the pB means its a no go for me. Drop it and have it land on one of the edges and ur done.

If you want the perfect case, you should try the Incipio Executive Premium Kickstand case in leather (multiple colors) for $34.95. The PB slides in and is held with sturdy clips and none of the ports or buttons are blocked. All are easily accessible. It also has the kickstand so you can prop up the PB for easy viewing and the flap can be folded under the PB when using or for charging. I love this case! You can also use the camera without obstruction while the PB is inside the case. A strap keeps the case closed when carrying or not using the PB as well. If you have not tried it, you should.

There is one more fault... it should have access to the charging port while the case is closed (i.e. a cutout like the one for the camera).

Where can I find/download the wallpaper that You're rocking on the 9930 in the first image??? (I'm using a 9850)

I love the journal case. It looks and feels great and the inner plastic cover provides the best protection possible. I chose this instead of the convertible case because I never really wanted to sit the PB on a table to use it. Until the remote control feature. Now I need the convertable case. The only thing that could be better is the 360 swivel case because when this case is closed you dont have access to the ports.

sent from my olskool os5

So its like the convertible case but you cant use it as a stand like you can the convertible case.

Long story short ,this is not the best case for me.
My husband has the case that allows you to prop it up and i think that is the best case because it has options :)

this was the first of many cases that i have bought for my PB. one thing that he forgot to mention is that you can keep the flap from flapping while open by tucking it in to the elastic band. it doesn't have the notches like the convertible but it can stand up on its own on the right surfaces, just don't bump it LOL.

a good mix of both the Journal and Convertible is:

I love my PlayBook and have had, tried, maybe 20 cases, covers and the like. From the Otterbox to silicone covers. This Journal Cover is nice, but it doesn't allow me to carry anything else with it. I love the Leather Portfolio I got from Brookstone:
They have it still today, I just checked, on closeout for 19.95. They say the orginal price was 79.95 and I would have bought it last April when I got my Playbook if I knew how good it was at that price.
Yes it is about 1.5 times thicker than the reviewed journal case, but it serves my every need as a wallet. enough room for a pen, drivers licence, credit cards, money and notes.
If you are looking for a case to carry your Playbook and not carry a wallet, if you want to keep random notes, reciepts etc. NOTHING IS BETTER than this case.
Check it out while Brookstone still has them @ closeout prices
or better yet from Amazon, no tax, no shipping at

two five star ratings, one of them mine
btw it has a zipper to keep everything covered and just walked two blocks in the pouring rain. blackberry was dry and the genuine leather dried off with a towel in seconds.

Cellcom Empoloyee

The pebbled leather on this case is what first drew my eye to it but the lack of notches turned me off and forced me to go with the convertible case. I wish they would go with the pebbled leather/natural leather on all their cases. It would make them much classier and more "suitable" for business. I hate cheap synthetic materials where you can use quality natural materials that look 100x better. IMO the piel frama cases is one of the nicest for the playbook right now as far as looks go.

I have this same case and love it. It protects my Playbook very well, the ports are easily accessable, the felt like material inside the cover keeps the screen scratchless, the rigid inner case structure protects the the Playbook very well (I accidently sat my laptop on top of the case the other day and it held up), the raised buttons helps me control the volume, and it looks classy and professional.

I got this case when it was first released and it has been my case for work ever since. The look is more sophisticated than the convertible case. It is subtle yet I get a lot of questions from intrigued people asking me what it is. Overall it just looks damn good.

In my opinion both Blackberry cases, journal and convertible, are the best on the marked for the Playbook. When I bought a Playbook for my wife (yes, she got it before me) we got her Targus convertible case, a nice case but a bit bulky one and my wife liked it a lot. After I got my Playbook I came across Blackberry cases in Staples and lucky enough on sale for $19.99. I got me convertible one and made my wife a bit jealous. A couple days ago, in Staples again, I picked up another one as a spare for my wife, this time journal case for $14.99. And she loves it. Both cases don't add up any heaviness, both provide basic protection and both look very professional. Definitely I would recommend it (even for a full price).

The Targus Leather Truss case is very similar, but it has the stand notches and also comes in the pebbled leather finish! Usually runs around $20.

The Journal is probably my favorite. I have an Otterbox and convertible and I probably use the Journal 70% of the time. Especially traveling and at church. Definitely classy looking.

I have been after this for quite sometime now, but since its not available in my local blackberry store (always says out of stock) the shipping cost from crackberry shop are crazy (130% more than the cost of the case)

Good case all around IMO!! I have had it since the PB came out last year.
but the elastic streches out and loses some of it's elasticity over time. This should be corrected by RIM for the future of this case.

I would have thought that they would have flip the case around...meaning that the charger, HDMI and the Mini USB be would be toward the outsideA(where the power and volume controls are). This would facilitate as when in use, you can have the USB, HDMI or the charger plugged in while the Journal case is closed and sitting on a desk or something. I believe that should be reviewed by the creators.

Just my 2 cents!

But still a really good case!


I wanted the blurex case but couldn't get it in the UK, so went for this one, and agree this is stylish and functional. Superb bit of kit and no regrets.

I wanted the blurex case but couldn't get it in the UK, so went for this one, and agree this is stylish and functional. Superb bit of kit and no regrets.

I've had the journal case for awhile. The cover does get in the way, but eventually the leather softens a bit and the flap will fold back flat. Then, the only issue is when you need to charge...I typically set it on the edge of my desk for that.

It IS nice that the headphone jack and volume buttons are uncovered, so I guess six of one...

I also use and quite like the convertible case.. My only issue though with both the convertible and the journal case is the cutout for the headphone jack... If you have a half decent pair of headphones, they just won't plug in correctly because the cutout is too small and deep.

I had to use a knife and increase the size of the slot just so I could use headphones with it..

The PlayBook Bluetooth keyboard from RIM is very similar to this case, except it adds the keyboard. I don't think it has leather.