Review: Macally Pencase 2 Silicon Case with Stylus for iPad 2
We could describe Macally's Pencase 2 Silicon Case with Stylus for iPad 2 ($30) as a novelty, but that would be doing it a disservice: apart from its lack of screen protection, this iPad 2 case has more body coverage than almost any other model we have seen so far. That said, Macally is clearly gearing this one towards the kids with its bright yellow-green color and built-in stylus holder, which make it great for coloring or drawing apps. Regardless of the intended market, Pencase 2 is a good option overall, and a very strong value for the price.
While the slime color is not our favorite, the silicone frame is built well. Since the edges are firm, installation is a little bit more difficult than some other similar style cases. What struck us once we did get it on, however, is just how much of the body of the iPad 2 is covered. Both the Sleep/Wake button and volume rocker are protected while the rear camera, side switch, and speaker are left exposed. Pencase 2 also covers the headphone port and Dock Connector with flaps that fold back when you are using the openings. This is the first iPad 2 case we have seen that has such covers built in; the only other models that ship with something similar are from SwitchEasy, and those are removable and easy to lose. If Macally were to include any sort of screen protector, this would certainly be one of the most protective options available for the iPad 2, though the low price enables you to choose a protector of your choice from another company. There is also a distinctive pattern of raised dots on the back, providing an enhanced grip, although there is no stand mechanism.
While most of these features would make for a pretty good case, Macally takes Pencase 2 a step further: integrated into the top of the shell is a stylus holder for an included capacitive pen. The stylus fits securely in its holder, and is a nice addition. About three inches long, it is like many other capacitive styli in that it has a soft, domed rubbery tip. We found it to be quite good; it worked fully with the lightest touch to the screen, and it’s worth noting that a stylus usually costs $15 or so by itself.
While not perfect, Pencase 2 is a good protective option for the iPad 2, and the inclusion of the stylus is a nice bonus. We would like to see Macally expand the color selection of the case, as that would certainly broaden its appeal. The addition of a screen protector would also be appreciated and would make this the most protective case currently available for the iPad 2. As it is, Pencase 2 is a smart option and the included stylus makes it a good value. We recommend it, especially to those for whom the stylus will come in handy.