Review: Speck StyleFolio Pencil for 9.7” iPad Pro
We've seen Speck's StyleFolio a number of times over the past few years, most recently for iPad mini 4. The new StyleFolio Pencil ($60) offers the same basic design as StyleFolio, but with an integrated holder for Apple Pencil tucked away next to the iPad, under the folio cover. The case's "inkwell station" also allows Pencil users to quickly put the pencil in one place while in a drawing position. In addition to a drawing position, StyleFolio Pencil can be set into numerous viewing positions. Currently, the case is only available in the black/slate gray color seen here.
StyleFolio Pencil features a vegan leather folio cover that can snap shut, with four separate ridges on the microfiber back of the cover which can be used to prop up the iPad Pro into different viewing angles. (The last angle is almost useless, however, as the iPad Pro is too heavy to stay in that position.) Two small rubber pieces built into the shell allow the iPad to easily fit into the ridges. Sound is vented out toward the front of the iPad. We like the fit on this version of the case a little better than past StyleFolios we’ve seen.
The Pencil holder/inkwell station is a great feature — it’s a thin rubber addition to the left side of the iPad Pro, offering easy access to Pencil during use. It’s also a legitimate option for longterm storage of a Pencil, if you’re only using this case. The holder does extend the width of the case slightly, but we don’t think it’s a big problem. Shaking the case around enough could jar the Pencil loose, but it shouldn’t pop out during typical iPad use.
Despite an odd-looking rear camera cutout, we think StyleFolio Pencil for the 9.7” iPad Pro has an improved fit compared to past StyleFolio cases. The Pencil holder combo is a great addition, and provides a fine answer to the only real issue with Apple Pencil — “where should I keep this thing?” StyleFolio Pencil is $20 more expensive than StyleFolio, but if you’re a heavy Apple Pencil user, the extra cost is worth it. If you’re more likely to use a Smart Connector keyboard, other cases would be better options.