Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad review: Slim and stylish


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Earlier in the year, we took a hands-on look at one of Twelve South’s latest wallet cases, and our readers’ reaction was mixed, to say the least. While the BookBook stylings aren’t for everyone, the brand’s new SurfacePad for iPhone 12 looks to be a much less polarizing way to store ID cards, cash, and more with your handset. Sporting an ultra-thin design comprised of leather, our latest Tested with 9to5Toys review looks to see just how much more of a people-pleaser the new Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad case can be.

Hands-on with Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad

Entering as Twelve South’s latest wallet case, the new SurfacePad was just recently updated for the iPhone 12, complete with MagSafe support. The slim cover rocks a leather build, as accustomed for many of the brand’s offerings, and arrives with room in the front folio to store two cards.

Standing out from many other wallet folios on the market, the Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad arrives with a slim design, thanks in part to its reliance on the brand’s SurfaceGrip 2.0 pad. Rather than clipping onto the back of your iPhone like other cases, it just sticks on with a reusable adhesive that doesn’t leave any residue behind. That’s on top of still supporting MagSafe charging passthrough and compatibility with other accessories that support the magnetic standard.

Here’s a quick look at the specs:

Feather light and razor thin, SurfacePad for iPhone 12 is a beautifully slim leather cover designed to shield the front and back of your phone from scratches. Inside this Napa leather jacket are two cards slots for all-in-one convenience. And yes, SurfacePad is fully MagSafe compatible! With slots inside the front cover, there’s no need to remove SurfacePad to access your cards or charge your phone.

  • Ultra-slim cover that protects the surface of iPhone  
  • Fully MagSafe compatible with cards attached
  • Crafted from luxuriously soft Napa leather  
  • Two interior pockets for ID / bank cards 

9to5Toys’ Take:

Back when I reviewed the last wallet case from Twelve South, there was quite a bit less than positive feedback surrounding its more stylized design. Right off the bat, we acknowledged that the BookBook design might not be the best fit for all iPhone owners, but it seems our audience likes to keep their handsets as lightweight as possible. So for all of those who found the feature set to be eye-catching but weren’t fans of its bulkier form factor, the new SurfacePad for iPhone 12 should be right up your alley.

Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad

So after taking the case for a spin over the past week or so, I’m quite surprised by how much the wallet form factor has stuck. I’m not typically the biggest fan of how bulky folio cases typically are, but the new Twelve South SurfacePad has provided to tackle the issue of thick form factors. It’s about as thin as I’m sure the brand could manage while still sporting a leather build and MagSafe support, and that definitely pays off.

In terms of meeting the usual expectations, the new Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad for iPhone 12 sports the typical premium materials we’ve found in the past from the brand. The leather build is complemented by some detailed stitching throughout to deliver on what has been the norm for a while. So suffice to say, the quality here is on par with past experiences with the brand.

Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad

When I first got a look at the new Twelve South SurfacePad, I was most curious about how its unique SurfaceGrip 2.0 adhesive pad would handle everyday use. It’s pretty easy to actually line up and get stuck to your device, and even after removing it plenty of times throughout the past few weeks to swap out for other cases, it has still retained the same adhesive strength. So as much as I would have loved to see a version that relies solely on MagSafe for snapping into the back of your iPhone 12, the reliance on SurfaceGrip 2.0 seems like a great solution to keeping everything secure.

All things said and done, the new Twelve South MagSafe SurfacePad has to be my favorite iPhone wallet case out there. I still love how thin it is, and the soft leather has proved to be much more comfortable than other models I’ve used in the past. Some may not be interested in dealing with the way it sticks onto the back of your device, but that’s the only aspect that makes this anything less than a must-have for iPhone 12 owners.

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