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November 19, 2015

Hands-On With the iPad Pro Apple Pencil

by John_A

The Apple Pencil has technically been available for purchase since last week, but supplies of the iPad Pro accessory have been tight. Orders placed on launch day, November 11, are just starting to arrive to customers this week, and retail stores only began receiving reliable shipments starting yesterday.

We picked up an Apple Pencil yesterday afternoon and did a hands-on video to give MacRumors readers a look at the highly sought iPad Pro accessory.

The Apple Pencil is an accessory that’s unique to the iPad Pro and was built from the ground up alongside the tablet. It’s aimed at creative professionals who need a more precise tool for sketching, drawing, writing, and other tasks where accuracy is imperative.

Pressure and positioning sensors built into the Apple Pencil let it detect a range of forces, enabling pressure sensitive writing and drawing. When used with the iPad Pro, the tablet scans the signal coming from the device more than 240 times per second, resulting in the low latency levels seen in the video.

Tilt sensors in the tip of the Apple Pencil determine the orientation and the angle of the hand holding it, so it’s possible to do things like shading by using the side of the tip. Apple has designed the Apple Pencil to work alongside a finger, so it can be used simultaneously with touch gestures. It also has palm rejection technology, so you can rest your hand on the iPad Pro screen when drawing or writing.

There’s a Lightning connector at the bottom of the Apple Pencil that’s used for charging. It has a 12 hour battery life but can also charge enough for a half hour of use in 15 seconds, so it will never be non-functional in a pinch.

The Apple Pencil can be purchased from the online Apple Store for $99. Orders placed now won’t arrive until December, so customers seeking an Apple Pencil may have better luck in retail Apple Stores.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro
Tag: Apple Pencil
Buyer’s Guide: iPad Pro (Buy Now)

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