I love the Surface Pro 3. It is a marvel of engineering, and a phenomenal device. The Surface Pro 3 is better than the Surface Pro 2 in just about every way imaginable–including how the Surface Pen stylus is attached. However, the Surface Pro 3 method still leaves a lot to be desired. That’s where the Cleanint Cleanstylus Surface Pro comes in.
With the original Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2, Microsoft designed the stylus to attach magnetically to the charging port on the side of the tablet. That was dumb for two reasons. First, the magnetic connection wasn’t strong enough to ensure you wouldn’t lose the stylus every time you bumped into something. Second, it meant you have nowhere to keep the stylus while the Surface Pro is attached to the power cord.
With the Surface Pro 3, Microsoft made magnetic zones on the side of the tablet that are capable of holding the Surface Pen–although still not strongly enough to do so confidently. The better solution is that it began to offer small, flexible fabric loops that can be attached to the Touch or Type keyboard cover, and then the Surface Pen can be slid into the loop. Voila!
There are–once again–two problems with this approach. First, the Surface Pen comes with the tablet by default, but the Touch or Type keyboard covers are an optional add-on. If you don’t buy a keyboard cover, you still don’t have anywhere to put the Surface Pen. Second, depending on where the loop is placed it is sort of like having a hangnail–you don’t really notice it, but it keeps snagging on everything that gets near it.
Cleanint came up with a better alternative. The Cleanstylus Surface Pro is a plastic unit that clips on to either the upper left or upper right corner of the Surface Pro 3 display. There is a non-adhesive sticky pad on the Cleanstylus Surface Pro that makes sure it stays securely snapped in place, but still allows you to remove it, or switch sides of the Surface Pro 3 without leaving any residue on the tablet.
When clipped on the left, the Surface Pen slides in so that it goes down the left side. When clipped on the right, it slides across the top. Either way, the Surface Pen snaps snugly in place, and you can slide it so that the Surface Pen clip clicks into place and ensures that it won’t fall out. I chose to clip mine to the upper right because the Surface Pen gets in the way of the docking station when clipped to the left side.[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]At $20, the Cleanstylus Surface Pro is a tad expensive, but well worth it[/inlinetweet]. Honestly, this is a necessary attachment that Microsoft should just acquire or license and include by default with the Surface Pro tablets. It’s a much better approach than anything Microsoft has come up with so far.
Do you have a Surface Pro 3? Are you also frustrated with where to attach or carry the Surface Pen? I have a limited number of CleanStylus Surface Pro units to give away for free. All you have to do is comment below to share either what you dislike most about the Microsoft solution for transporting the Surface Pen, or what appeals to you most about the Cleanstylus Surface Pro.
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