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WaterField Designs Atelier iPad Gear Case and iPad Pencil Case review: Expensive things to hold your other expensive things

Séamus Bellamy | July 15, 2016
If you're willing to spend the cash, you can carry your gear with class.

The Atelier is a well-designed accessories case made from premium materials that will likely last for years. But here’s the sticking point: It’ll set you back $69. That’s a lot of money for a glorified pencil-type case. While it might not do it with the same amount of style, a three buck pencil case from your local Walmart or even a zippered compartment in your backpack can fulfill the same role as the Atelier can. And for most folks, that’s good enough. However, if you need to haul your iPad Pro and accessories into an urbane environment, say a boardroom for a meeting, or are comfortable spending money on what is undeniably a luxury item, fill your boots. Try as you might, you won’t find a better made—or better looking—case for your iPad Pro accessories.

Just one thing 

The Atelier iPad Pencil Case is made from the same materials as the Atelier iPad Gear Case is, but sized solely for storing an Apple Pencil. Like the iPad Gear Case, the Pencil Case looks and feels great. And, so that you can always have your Apple Pencil close at hand, it comes with a built-in belt clip, although it works well for fastening the case to your backpack, too.

However, I find it hard to recommend, to anyone. At $30, the Pencil Case costs $39 less than the Gear Case but holds perhaps 70 percent less stuff. It’s designed to be clipped on a belt or slipped into a hip pocket. But when worn on a belt, it looks a bit goofy.

Séamus Bellamy: WaterField Designs Atelier iPad Pencil Case

When stashed in a pocket, the Pencil Case is thick enough that it’ll ruin the lines of your pants, especially if you’re wearing snug-fitting jeans. Speaking of snug, while I loved how secure the Apple Pencil was in the slot provided by the Gear Case, the Pencil Case was all together too tight. I had to really pull on my Apple Pencil, on several occasions to remove it—an issue that has not been resolved with the passage of time or frequent uses. Some people might like this snug fit as it keeps your pricey Apple Pencil in the case and out of harm’s way. But I’m not a fan.

Séamus Bellamy

Bottom line

WaterField Designs’ Atelier Gear Case and Pencil Case are beautiful, bespoke products, that fulfill roles that less expensive, or even free alternatives could sort out nicely. But if you’ve got money to burn and feel the need to add a dash of class to your everyday carry, could be worth your attention.


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