By Dan Moren
June 26, 2017 7:25 AM PT
FRTMA for Apple Pencil Magnetic Sleeve Review: A modest attraction
Warning: This story has not been updated in several years and may contain out-of-date information.
It’s a pretty good state of affairs when the biggest frustration with a product is its name. I don’t entirely understand why the nomenclature of this accessory is quite so…fraught, so I’m simply going to call it the Apple Pencil Magnetic Sleeve and leave it at that.
A couple weeks back, when I first wrote about the Apple Pencil, one of my big complaints was that there’s no built-in way to store it on the iPad—something that still seems like an oversight to me. So I ponied up the $13 for the aforementioned Magnetic Sleeve and have been using it for the last week and a half or so.
It’s not a complicated device: as the name suggests, it’s a soft silicone sleeve that slides onto the Pencil. One side is flattened because it contains a magnet, which can be used to stick to any metal or magnetic surface.1 It’s available in four colors—Ice Sea Blue, Lavender, Red, and Midnight Blue; I opted for the last because it more or less matches my new Smart Cover. The package also comes with a few adhesive metal plates that you can attach to something that’s not magnetic. That’s it.
I find the feel of the sleeve to be pretty comfortable—it reminds me of the silicone grips on many pens, or those rubber things you slid onto your pencils in grade school to make gripping them easier and more comfortable. It doesn’t particularly affect my use of the Pencil and, in fact, probably makes it more comfortable to hold over time.
As for the magnetic aspect, it’s pretty solid. I can attach the Pencil to either my iPad’s Smart Cover or even to the iPad itself. The latter is not as secure: if you start shaking your iPad around, the Pencil’s going to fall off. Attaching it to the Smart Cover (specifically to the edges where the magnets are) is far more robust. Even then, it’s not a crazy strong magnet. If you’re looking for something that you can, say, throw into a bag and have the Pencil stay in place, you might want to look for something that attaches more firmly to the iPad and provides a pocket for the Pencil.
All in all, I think it’s worth the price I paid for it, and the Amazon reviews largely seem to agree. It doesn’t completely solve my storage problems: if I’m putting the iPad in my backpack or another bag, I’m still more likely to put my Pencil in a separate pocket just so it doesn’t get lost or banged around. But for just carrying around the iPad in your hand, the Apple Pencil Magnetic Sleeve at least lets you keep it all together.
- Added benefit: that also means the Pencil can’t roll off your desk anymore. ↩
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The latest novel in his Galactic Cold War series of sci-fi space adventures, The Nova Incident, is available now.]
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