Necessity is often the mother of invention, and today’s review subject, the Leuchtturm Pen Loop is a fine example of this in practice.
Tablets and 2-in-1 with styli aren’t exactly a new phenomenon, although we can probably credit the current resurgence in stylus-driven computing to 2 main devices: The Surface Pro and the iPad Pro.
And unlike previous devices which feature a stylus that has its own silo to rest in, both these devices (especially the iPad) do not have internal silos. Hence, it soon became clear that an alternative stylus storage solution would be needed, even more so for the more absent minded amongst us.
The Leuchtturm Pen Loop is one of the more… creative… solutions to this problem, as it was initially made quite literally to hold an actual pen for an actual paper notebook.
DESIGN / BUILD QUALITY
The Pen Loop, true to its name, is nothing more than a simple elastic fabric loop that attaches to your device (or case) via adhesive on its pleather base pad, and provides a simple way of keeping your stylus together with the device it’s supposed to work with.
Hence, in terms of design and build quality, there’s nothing really notable to focus on other than the fact that it’s a stick-on elastic loop… or so you would think.
For one thing, the adhesive backing is surprisingly strong (considering it was designed to stick on notebook covers and paper), although this would depend on what and HOW you stick it on. Personally, I found that it sticks quite well on anodized metal and vinyl… and not so much on plastic.
However, weighing it down overnight to make sure the adhesive “cures” right as part of the application process seems to help immensely.
Next, it also feels like they used quality materials for the pleather pad and elastic loop, which is rather reassuring.
Unfortunately, there are also issues, as expected from “adapting” the Pen Loop for stylus holder duties. For one, the Pen Loop isn’t the most solidly built of accessories, being just a loop held by a simple single line stitch to the base pleather pad. If you are too rough with it, the stitch WILL eventually give way.
Finally, the base pad, while durable, has a tendency of curling up near the brand name stamped on it, which – if not corrected before you stick it on – has a tendency to weaken the adhesive bond of the pad to whatever it’s stuck on. Weighing the pad down during initial application does tend to resolve this as well, though.
So, to measure performance of a pen loop, we’ll just look at how good it is at doing it’s job: Holding a stylus securely.
At at that, it does brilliantly. I actually worry more about the adhesive backing failing than the loop losing its secure hold on my Lenovo Active Stylus. Plus, unlike the flimsy thin plastic loops of the typical OEM equivalent, the elastic fabric used for the loops are actually quite hardy.
Rather interesting is the fact that the loop actually “locks” in two positions while holding a stylus. I’m not sure is intentional, but it actually very useful as the most strategic place for me to stick it on the Lenovo Miix 510 is unfortunately right over the active fan’s exhaust port. While plugged in or under high loads, I can easily snap the pen back into the second, more backwards position to allow for better ventilation.
However, like everything made out of elastic fabric material, the loop WILL eventually wear out and become less secure. Though, as mentioned before, I really don’t see that happening any time before the adhesive starts giving way anyway.
At RM24 (about $5) each, the Leuchtturm Pen Loop is rather decently priced considering the premium-looking build and durable elastic loop.
It’s also available is various colours so it isn’t an issue if you like your loops colour coded according to your cover or device.
In retrospect, the Leuchtturm Pen Loops are really only a makeshift solution to the stylus holder issue, as for some devices like the Surface Pro, first party accessories do exist to solve the problem.
Though for certain devices that DO NOT have similar OEM accessories – like my Lenovo Miix 510 or the iPad Pro – the Pen Loops are a godsend.
Nonetheless, if you can get the slightly picky adhesive to stick properly, it could even be a better option compared to the thin plastic OEM loops simply due to the fact that the Leuchtturm’s elastic loop is a whole lot more durable.
Also, that two position thing is genius if they really designed it to work that way.
All in all the Leuchtturm 1917 Pen Loop gets an 8.0 out of 10 from us, with a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED tag on top of that.