Apple failed their customers by not designing the tablet with a way to keep the Apple Pencil secured with the tablet. The Apple Pencil works great for taking notes or for artwork on the iPad Pro 12.9-inch or the smaller iPad Pro 9.7-inch, but Apple fumbled the ball by not designing the tablet and Pencil with a way to keep it connected to the tablet. Microsoft put a powerful magnet in their updated version of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Pen and it works well. I lost my first Apple Pencil and had to pick up a second to keep using the greatest feature of the iPad Pro: the excellent inking and drawing capabilities built into the screen.
I started looking for a good way to keep my Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro after losing my first Apple Pencil. I found a few solutions. However, none of them works as well as the magnet that snaps the Microsoft Surface Pen to the side of their Surface Pro 4. These options do come close.
Leuchtturm Black Pen Loop
The Leuchtturn Black Pen Loop ($8.99) will hold the Apple Pencil to the iPad or your iPad cover. It’s a cheap little loop with some adhesive on part of it. Take off the protective back and fasten it to the iPad Pro or iPad Smart Keyboard. It fastens to any iPad Pro cover, such as the ones we recently recommended for the iPad Pro 9.7-inch.
The adhesive keeps the loop in place and the elastic loop holds the Apple Pencil well. It won’t slide out easily unless you pull it out.
Place it carefully, though. I put it in the center of the iPad Pro Apple Smart Keyboard. If you put it in the outside thirds of the Smart Cover or Smart Keyboard, then the loop makes it hard to hold the iPad Pro in stand mode with the case. Also, when I fold the cover over the back of the iPad, it makes the tablet a little wobbly while it’s sitting on a surface. Others prefer it on the edge of the iPad Pro like the screenshot above from Amazon.
Stylus Sling for Apple Pencil
I wasn’t totally satisfied after buying the first option. The Stylus Sling sent to us for review works better. It’s just a piece of elastic sewn as a loop with a pocket on one side. The pocket fits the Apple Pencil perfectly. There’s also a tiny pocket just below the tip of the Apple Pencil for the little Lightning adapter so you won’t lose it. It would be perfect if they also held the extra Apple Pencil tip, too.
Fit the elastic loop over the iPad Pro cover with the Apple Pencil pocket facing out. Its uniform thickness keeps it from making the iPad wobbly when used with the Smart Cover in stand mode.
The company makes one for both sizes of iPad Pro tablets. They cost $24.99. The smaller 9.7-inch version is currently not in stock but will be soon.
SwitchEasy Coverbuddy for iPad Pro
The Coverbuddy from SwitchEasy solves three problems for iPad Pro owners. First, Coverbuddy covers the back of your iPad Pro, both the 12.9 and 9.7 inch models. It even fits with the Apple Smart Keyboard attached. Second, the Coverbuddy includes a holder on the back for the Apple Pencil. The user can remove the holder and replace it with a faceplate that makes the back smooth. Third, with the hard plastic Apple Pencil holder in place, the Coverbuddy cover props up the iPad Pro at a comfortable angle for drawing or taking notes.
If you don’t like the idea of holding the Apple Pencil on the back of the iPad Pro, then grab one of the many cases available now that include Apple Pencil holders. We often recommend Speck Cases and they sell one with an Apple Pencil holder built-in. Itfits the 9.7-inch mode and costs $69.95, but doesn’t support the Apple Smart Keyboard.
Moxiware Pencil Magnet
Moxiware’s Apple Pencil Magnet lets the Apple Pencil attach to the iPad Pro just like the Surface Pen attaches to a Surface Pro 4. This is thanks to a magnetic sleeve. Slide the sleeve over the Apple Pencil and then snap it to the iPad Pro.
The video below shows that it attaches to the top front, the top back and the bottom edge (while in landscape mode with the home button on the right). It will also magnetically attach to the Apple Smart Cover or Keyboard.
The Pencil Magnet comes in 6 colors (black, red, white, blue, green and yellow). It uses a material that’s not as smooth, giving the user better grip.
3 Apple Pencil Boxes or Cases
Some people don’t want their Pencil attached to the iPad Pro because it gets in the way or adds bulk. For those reasons, iPad Pro users often pick up a pencil box or case to hold their Pencils. This makes it a little bulkier and harder to lose and keeps it protected while not in use.
One option includes the Apple Pencil Case Sleeve Pouch, a leather pouch that holds the Apple Pencil. It includes a flap that keeps the Pencil inside. Just throw it into your pocket or computer bag. It costs just $11.99.
A higher quality version of the leather pouch comes from our friends at Waterfield Designs. It’s the Atelier iPad Pencil Case for $29.
If you’re the kind of person who carries more than just an Apple Pencil, then look at the BTSKY Hard Shell Protective Case. It fits the Apple Pencil and more. People who carry around some sketching pencils or art pens for paper drawing as well as their Apple Pencil can use this to hold it all for just $9.99.