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Apple Pencil

SpiceWare

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I'd planned to pick up an Apple Pencil when I got my iPad Pro, but they didn't have any available and the backorder was for quite a while. I checked their store a couple times in December and January, but never had any luck. I checked online today and they were available in most of the Houston area stores, so I reserved one for in-store-pickup. I then headed out for brunch at Torchy's Tacos, and received "order ready" notification while eating.

Pairing the Pencil was super easy - just plug it into the lightning port:
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And the iPad asks if you wish to pair it:
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The Notification Center gets a battery widget that shows the charge state:
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Though I was very disappointed when I realized it wouldn't show the state of my SteelSeries Nimbus controller, seems like a rather large oversight.

Did a quick sketch (don't laugh Nathan! :lol:) to see how it worked:
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and was most impressed. The was very minimal lag time and the pressure and angle both affected the image as expected. Palm rejection worked well and I liked how the on-screen controls would automatically hide themselves if you started to draw close to them.
blogentry-3056-0-89933000-1454884587_thumb.jpg

The ruler tool made it easy to draw straight lines at any angle, which was shown whenever you used two fingers to rotate it.
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6 Comments


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Doing your own labels now, Darrell? ;)

 

Have you figured out yet, why it costs $100?

 

1) Because Apple.

 

2) Because Wacom wants $80 for this, and Apple's is $20 better.

 

I've used one (our Apple rep came by work with a couple examples to try out), and it's definitely a good stylus. Better than any of the Wacom ones for iPad (and I have several). The big downside with Apple's is that it only works with the iPad Pro. Other styluses work across most iDevices. Because of that, $100 is pretty ridiculous. I could see it for $50-$60.

 

Doesn't matter to me one way or the other - I don't have an iPad Pro. If they make the next iPad Air compatible with it, and knock a few bucks off the price, I might get one. But my iPad still has a couple of good years left in it, I think.

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Have you figured out yet, why it costs $100?

 

 

To add a little to Nathan's response, it's also fairly sophisticated inside compared to those $20 styli you can get everywhere. It has an 32-bit ARM SoC, Bluetooth and battery inside. Presumably they are doing some additional tracking of position in the pencil (it knows the angle you are holding it at, for example) and that's part of the reason they are getting the performance so high compared to the cheaper variety.

 

Does that make it worth $100? For some people, definitely -- it's been a while since I priced out a Cintiq, but the iPad Pro + Pencil is very competitive in that space. And it doesn't need to be tethered to a PC/Mac to use it (again, haven't looked in a while -- there might be something all in one in the Cintiq line these days, I just haven't been shopping for one). I knew a few artists that might've actually killed for something like this. :D

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The Cintiq Companion is an all-in-one tablet/PC. I had one on loan from Wacom for a while last year to test, and it's actually very nice. Unlike the iPad, it will run full production apps. However, you also pay for it in that it's around $1700, and doesn't come in a Mac version (which is just as well, since it relies heavily on multitouch in addition to the stylus, and that's something OS X just can't do).

 

That said, replacement Cintiq pens run about $70 each, and we're constantly replacing broken or missing ones for our full-sized Cintiqs at work.

 

Personally, I'm just not fond of drawing on Cintiqs or iPads in the first place. There's too much of a disconnect between the stylus and what you're actually drawing. That said, the Apple pen is the best of that sort of device that I've used so far because 1) the glass is so thin that the tip of the stylus is almost touching the display pixels and 2) there's very little lag. (Oddly enough, I have no problem using a standard Wacom tablet, which has a complete disconnect between pen and pixel. But I don't actually use it for drawing, just cleanup, painting, etc., of scanned in pencil drawings.)

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