Review: Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet is simple, affordable and functional

Posted:
in iPad edited May 2016
Though the Apple Pencil is expertly designed to not roll away on a table, there's still not an ideal place to put it when it's not in use, especially when being used on your lap or while standing. Moxiware's new Apple Pencil Magnet aims to fix that with a simple and affordable accessory, though its aesthetics may not be for everyone.




The Apple Pencil Magnet is priced at $16.95 direct from Moxiware. For this review, AppleInsider purchased the blue version, though it's also available in black, green, yellow, red, and a white version that matches the Pencil's own color.

The concept of the Apple Pencil Magnet is so simple, it's almost a no-brainer: It's a rubberized sleeve with an integrated magnet that allows you to attach the Pencil to the front or back of an iPad Pro. It works as advertised, though there are some small quirks.

Design



The look of the Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet will likely make or break the purchase for most users. I didn't find the baby blue color I picked to be particularly offensive, but one of my coworkers saw it and exclaimed that I had turned the $100 Apple Pencil into something that resembled a cheap Bic pen.

To each their own.




If you're turned off by the color-on-white contrast, as some undoubtedly will be, Moxiware thankfully offers a plain white version that matches the look of the Apple Pencil.

The rubberized sleeve slides onto the Pencil with relative ease. And once it's in place, it won't move without some effort, ensuring it will stay snug on your stylus.

The magnet embedded in the sleeve sticks out on one side, creating a flat edge that protrudes. When the sleeve is on the Pencil, the magnet is located high enough that it won't get in the way of your fingertips while holding the accessory.

The magnet portion will rest in the area between your index finger and your thumb, though we didn't find this to be uncomfortable in any way. And since the magnet is only on one side of the Pencil, you can always rotate it to face outward if it does happen to bother you.




Usage



Considering the design of the iPad Pro was not intended to support the Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet, we were surprised at just how well it actually works.

Ideal placement of the Pencil-plus-magnet is on the right side of the iPad Pro. There, it securely snaps against the front bezel, or even on the edge and rear of the tablet.

The magnetic connection is solid. You won't be concerned about your Pencil going anywhere once it's placed against the iPad Pro.




For someone who might be using the Pencil while working on their feet, particularly with the more portable 9.7-inch iPad Pro, we see the Moxiware Apple Pencil Sleeve being a huge benefit. Rather than having nowhere to put your Pencil, you can simply place it down against the right bezel of the iPad Pro, and the accessory will stay securely in place.

Because the magnets within the iPad Pro also hold the sleeve on the right rear side of the tablet, you can also leave the Pencil attached while the front of the iPad is covered by Apple's Smart Cover. The magnetic strength is so strong that it'll even work through the Smart Cover, with the screen covered, staying atop the cover.

Attaching to the right edge also allows the left edge with Smart Connector to remain open for accessories.

This is not to say that the magnet is perfect. The iPad Pro wasn't designed with this accessory in mind, so placing the Pencil and sleeve against the iPad in different spots provides inconsistent results.




For example, on the right bezel, there are multiple locations where the Pencil securely attaches. Sliding the sleeve and Pencil up and down the right side causes the Pencil to jump, as a result of the various magnet placements within the iPad Pro.

The Pencil also attaches to other areas on the iPad Pro, with varying degrees of magnetic strength. For example, the sleeve has a strong magnetic attachment to the upper left and right corners of the iPad Pro in portrait mode. Weaker magnetic connections can be found on the bottom, to the left and right of the home button.




On the left side of the iPad Pro, where the Smart Connector resides, the magnetic connection is there, but it's frankly too weak to advise placing the Pencil there. This could prove problematic for left-handed iPad Pro users who want to hold the tablet with their right hand (along the right bezel). For them, putting the Pencil down along the upper left or right corners might be better.

And while the magnet works fine with the traditional Smart Cover, the magnetic connection is very weak through the bulkier Smart Keyboard accessory. In this case, you're better off sticking the Pencil to the side of the iPad, rather than atop the cover.

Really, though, these are all minor points to consider. The fact of the matter is the Moxiware Apple Pencil Sleeve works as advertised -- it creates a secure magnetic connection to the right front bezel and side of the iPad Pro, and it's a convenient way to stash your Pencil, especially when you're using it in a place where you can't set it down on a flat surface.

Conclusion



Priced under $20, the Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet is an easy recommendation for anyone who doesn't mind the aesthetics.

The Apple Pencil is brilliantly designed, including internal weighting that prevents it from rolling away on a desk. But what if you aren't using your iPad near a flat surface?

Sure, you could stow your Pencil by plugging it into the Lightning dock to charge. But if you're on the go, that's an easy way to lose the Pencil cap, or even potentially snap the Lightning connector. The Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet is a much better alternative.




In fact, using Moxiware's product got us wondering why Apple didn't do something similar. Simply sticking your Pencil against the iPad when not in use is convenient and easy.

Apple, of course, already makes accessories that stick to -- and are powered by -- the iPad Pro through its Smart Connector port. It's easy to see how a future Apple Pencil might feature its own Smart Connector attachment, giving users an easy way to stow and charge their stylus on the iPad. It's certainly a much simpler way than the current Lightning connector option.

Regardless, Apple Pencil 1.0 how it is today works extremely well with the Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet. It's an affordable, simple accessory that works as advertised. An easy recommendation.

Score: 4.5 out of 5



Pros

  • Magnetic connection to right side of iPad Pro is strong, safe
  • A convenient way to stow your Apple Pencil while not in use
  • Reasonably priced and easy to use


Cons

  • Magnet placement may not be ideal for every use case
  • Aesthetics critics may not want to conceal the Apple Pencil design


Where to buy



The Moxiware Apple Pencil Magnet is available to purchase direct from Moxiware for $16.95 plus shipping.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 35
    I own one of these, it's basically a fridge magnet with shrink tubing. Over time it stretches and needs to be shrunk again with a hair dryer.
    cornchiprepressthis
  • Reply 2 of 35
    Jryan01Jryan01 Posts: 3member
    Have many of these in our office and they work like a charm. Been using since the launch of the iPad Pro and I'm sure it has saved many pencils from being lost.
    justadcomics
  • Reply 3 of 35
    CelTanCelTan Posts: 36member
    Would be great and would get one, but shipping to europe is more than the actual sleeve...
  • Reply 4 of 35
    Looks sleek .. will try out for sure
  • Reply 5 of 35
    crowleycrowley Posts: 5,606member
    Disappointing that a storage solution wasn't part of the core design of the Pencil.
    edited May 2016 anantksundaramoneof52jdw
  • Reply 6 of 35
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,271member
    I think it's absolutely mysterious that the Apple Pencil doesn't just snap to, and charge from the iPad pro's smart connector. Of course it can't while the cover is connected, but for charging I think it's a very natural place.
    cornchipSpamSandwich
  • Reply 7 of 35
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    palegolas said:
    I think it's absolutely mysterious that the Apple Pencil doesn't just snap to, and charge from the iPad pro's smart connector. Of course it can't while the cover is connected, but for charging I think it's a very natural place.
    Agreed!  That is such a no-brainier I too am baffled by Apple's complete lack of detail in this regard. The  Pencil obviously works great!... but it just seems they could have planned the vacation time of its "now how do we store and charge this thing" team, to happen AFTER its release to the public, rather than come back from vacation, learn of its release THEN play catch up after the fact. 

    TV suffers from the same "should a - could a - would a" problem, regarding ... well the whole device actually.  We beta testers are just NOW testing creating folders to organize all the APPs??  Shouldn't the new UI have matched what the iPhone has done for 5 of the last 7 years??

    I'm just wondering if all of us  consumers are turning into "buy it and shut up" complacent sheep? Rather than expect more bang for our buck?  We're all so grateful to get a thing that the competitor has had for at least a year that we don't demand that missing thing AND something that makes it worth the wait. I feel both TV and Pencil suffers this fate.

    I realize they couldn't make a hole to slide the pencil into the iPad Pro - the Pro is much thinner, but come on - no magnet or charging solution that would protect the investment better?

    I agree this sleeve isn't the best design, but that's my point... why did Apple's design team not figure that out from the get go BEFORE they took their vacations?  I mean seriously I thought of the magnet and changing thing like PALEGOLAS, while I was waiting in line to buy it, while the rep walked by allowing people "hands on testing" waiting their turn to purchase it. Surely I'm not exceptional? Surely others questioned this within seconds of ownership too?  Or at least by the time they had to charge it the first time?  I mean taking that cap off makes me a nervous wreck. I own 12 cats!  Tell me they're NOT looking for that thing when I go to bed!  LOL

    You know what my solution for the "don't loose that damn top" thing is?  When you buy Beats "PowerBeats 2" you get this little tiny carting case. I stick it in that along with the extra pencil ends. Great idea huh?  Yeah well the word spread pretty quickly with the cats. One of my "Einstein" cats saw me do it. He was already trying the pouches zipper before I even left the room. Lol. Seriously! He saw me drop it in and he was on that like white on rice. I came downstairs and there it lie. With all 12 "Children of the corn" cats staring at it, attempting using mind control to get inside. (They could hear the tip rolling around inside the pouch). These cats will definitely eat my face if I die in my sleep... 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 8 of 35
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    my desk has a pen & pencil jar. my backpack has pen slots. my satchel has pen slots. I'm really not understanding all the butthurt about there being no where to store the Pencil. how would I be transporting my pro away from my desk without a bag of some sort? sounds like pointless nitpicking to me. 
    edited May 2016 cornchippscooter63ai46justadcomicsrepressthismelgross
  • Reply 9 of 35
    razormaidrazormaid Posts: 299member
    my desk has a pen & pencil jar. my backpack has pen slots. my satchel has pen slots. I'm really not understanding all the butthurt about there being no where to store the Pencil. how would I be transporting my pro away from my desk without a bag of some sort? sounds like pointless nitpicking to me. 
    I know I shouldn't but if I don't someone else will. LOL 

    "My desk has a pen & pencil jar"
    i SERIOUSLY do NOT recommend anyone shoving their $100 Pencil into a pencil jar. That tip it so delicate I would be scared to death of ruining or damaging it or worse it pull off if it caught onto others things in the jar. 

    "My my backpack has slots"
    So while working your teammates working on the same project says "I'm not sure. Bring it in and let's take a look at it", (meaning your design and your iPad Pro where your design is on). Rather than clipping it magnetically to the side of the iPad and going down a flight of stairs to the third office on the left, you're going to take your backpack so it can house the pencil on the way because you're taking your coffee with you?

    You say we're missing the point, but maybe we're not the ones missing the point? We're just "pointing out" (nice pun huh?) that Apple could have finished the design BEFORE releasing it to the public, rather than try to fix it on Pencil v.2 (which you know they will)

    just sayin'...

    edited May 2016 anantksundaram
  • Reply 10 of 35
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,488member
    Hmm I have a pencil and I bought a cheap case for it from a craft store. That's where I store it when I'm traveling. Also the Pencil does stick to the iPP due to the magnets for the Smart Cover. If I'm spending $99 dollars on something I'm going to make damn sure I take care of it. 

    Here's the thing, not everyone who owns an iPP will also buy the pencil or keyboard. I own the pencil but not the keyboard. Others might be the reverse and still others might not own either accessory. Apple wasn't going to make the device thicker to accommodate a slot for a pencil that not everybody would buy and same thing with the keyboard.
    repressthispscooter63
  • Reply 11 of 35
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 3,488member
    my desk has a pen & pencil jar. my backpack has pen slots. my satchel has pen slots. I'm really not understanding all the butthurt about there being no where to store the Pencil. how would I be transporting my pro away from my desk without a bag of some sort? sounds like pointless nitpicking to me. 
    Yes. I bought cheap pencil case where I store mine when traveling. It also doubles as a place to put my charger and lightening cable as I usually bring those with me when I can. Even the cap that people complain about...when you're charging the pencil stick it on the iPP bezel by the magnets and you won't lose it.

    This reminds me of the Magic Mouse and the tech bubble on Twitter complaining about not being able to use the mouse while charging it. Maybe that's because it's a wireless mouse and wasn't designed to be used while charging?!? Also the mouse supports fast charging so in the time it takes one to get a cup of coffee the mouse would have a full days charge. A 2 hour charge and the mouse lasts a month.

    There are plenty of legitimate Apple complaints. Theses seem very nitpicky to me.
    repressthisnolamacguy
  • Reply 12 of 35
    paul turnerpaul turner Posts: 203member
    "Aesthetics critics" nice polite way of saying "morons" and other assorted "Assholes"
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 13 of 35
    Eric_WVGGEric_WVGG Posts: 471member
    my desk has a pen & pencil jar. my backpack has pen slots. my satchel has pen slots.
    Mine don't. Do you think everyone has the same crap you do?

    anyway, I have friend with one of these, typically leaves the pencil stuck to the back of his keyboard case. I borrowed it for a figure drawing class one night, worked great. The white color goes dirty after a while but imho it's an authentic, "this is a real organic thing I use every day" kind of patina, and it feels even nicer in hand than the slick shiny pencil material. 
    nhughes
  • Reply 14 of 35
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 897member
    Thanks for the review and comments about the product itself.

    While I don't agree with allegations of design "flaws", the fact is, I am on my second pencil.  Somewhere along the way, I broke my cardinal rule of where it should "live" while offsite (either in my line of sight, or in a specific pocket in my Victorinox tablet case).

    The first will eventually show itself, at which time I'll consider it my backup; in the meantime, I'll see if this $20 piece of insurance helps.

  • Reply 15 of 35
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,282member

    While I don't agree with allegations of design "flaws", the fact is, I am on my second pencil.  Somewhere along the way, I broke my cardinal rule of where it should "live" while offsite (either in my line of sight, or in a specific pocket in my Victorinox tablet case).

    The first will eventually show itself, at which time I'll consider it my backup; in the meantime, I'll see if this $20 piece of insurance helps.

    Exactly. It's too bad we can't all be as "perfect" as some of the others posting comments on this thread.

    The reality is, I wouldn't want my $100 accessory sitting in my pen cup (if I had such an antiquated thing on my desk), or stuck randomly in whatever bag I happened to be carrying. I'd like it attached to the device I use it with. Imagine if you put your Pencil in your briefcase, but later forgot to transfer it to your backpack, only to arrive at your destination without it. Or left it behind in your pencil cup as you gather everything you need to rush off to a presentation. It's not really like a pen, or pencil in that respect, which is easily replaceable at your destination. This is a unique tool incompatible with all but two devices, and then only one at a time. I suppose you could arrive at your destination and borrow a colleagues Pencil, but then it would be a pain to share it back and forth.

    Apple used to think all of these little "nitpicky" details through and offer a complete package, and had a solution for everything. The Pencil seems to exist in a separate world from the only device it was compatible with at release. If all iOS devices gain the ability to use it in the future, then maybe there's a reason for this apparent oversight. Until then, there seem to be a lot of missed opportunities. I'd expect to see some of these details more fully thought through with the next release.
  • Reply 16 of 35
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 749editor
    I own one of these, it's basically a fridge magnet with shrink tubing. Over time it stretches and needs to be shrunk again with a hair dryer.
    I've had mine for a couple of months and haven't seen any signs of stretching thus far. But good to know -- thanks. 
  • Reply 17 of 35
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 18,748member
    Since I prefer not to carry my iPad Pro around just by itself (risk of slipping from my hands, scratching, etc.), I use a simple case, which has a wonderful, somewhat obviously-designed Pencil-holder attached to it. It's a SPARIN wallet case, leather, very slim, with a magnetic clasp. It works well for all my needs, is quite elegant, and cost me all of $15. 

    (I am not touting it in any way, but just trying to be helpful to those whose use needs might be similar to mine).

    Add: I also like the fact that the case-maker's logo shows up nowhere. 
    edited May 2016
  • Reply 18 of 35
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,325member
    One must wonder why the Pencil can't be charged that way through magnetic induction, too.
  • Reply 19 of 35
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,325member
    rogifan_new said:

    iPP

    uPP?

     :D 
  • Reply 20 of 35
    GrimzahnGrimzahn Posts: 64member
    Broght the sleeve some weeks ago. In general a great gadget. However my Apple Pencil isnt staying in the sleeve. The sleeve is to large, thus the pencil moves easily out of the sleeve. 
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