Hands-On With the iPad Pro Apple Pencil

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.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

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
Related Forums: iPad, iPad Accessories

Top Rated Comments

HiRez Avatar
108 months ago
100 dollars....hahahahaha...to this day that joke still kills me. What a terrible product.
If you're a professional artist it's not at all stupid, nor expensive. People pay thousands of dollars for Wacom Cintiqs, which are basically big iPads with pressure-sensitive styli.

That's like saying a monitor calibration device is "terrible". If you don't know what to do with it, it's a stupid purchase. If you know how to use it and have a need for it, it's not.
Score: 64 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adamneer Avatar
108 months ago
100 dollars....hahahahaha...to this day that joke still kills me. What a terrible product.
The Wacom Classic Pen that I use costs around $70, is made of cheap rubberized plastic, has no internal battery and uses replaceable "nibs" that wear down very quickly, requiring constant replacement. It only works with 2 models of Wacom products, which at minimum cost $250 for a small slab of plastic with 8 buttons, no screen, and a usable surface about as big as the iPad mini. The drivers for these Wacom products are so poorly maintained, that for over 2 years now, scrollbars in photoshop and keyframes in After Effects get "stuck" to the cursor, require multiple clicks and redos on a consistent basis. Wacom recently introduced an accessory remote with 17 blank, user defineable buttons, for the low price of $100. What you see as overpriced, I see as Wacom finally having some competition to drive their miserable prices down and their poor quality up.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
6836838 Avatar
108 months ago
Question: Has anyone ACTUALLY tried to use the Apple Pencil AT ALL with an iPad OTHER THAN the iPad Pro?
Why would anyone do that? Has anyone tried using a car on a canal?
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rdlink Avatar
108 months ago
Please don't compare it to Wacom. Wacom's sensitivity is million times better, and it has pen incline detection, which really makes it a professional product. And Wacom pens start from $30, up to $70 for advanced models. Apple pencil is a toy
So would you be willing to submit your extensive evaluation of the Apple Pencil for all of us to read/watch? Since you've obviously used it extensively in order to come to this conclusion.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
santaliqueur Avatar
108 months ago
Question: Has anyone ACTUALLY tried to use the Apple Pencil AT ALL with an iPad OTHER THAN the iPad Pro?
I have. It randomly capitalizes my words whilst typing.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DCYorke Avatar
108 months ago
It is available from Apple right now.
I don't think that means what you think it means.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Beyond iPhone 13 Better Blue Face ID Single Camera Hole

Six Reasons to Wait for Next Year's iPhone 17

Thursday February 22, 2024 4:20 am PST by
Apple's iPhone development roadmap runs several years into the future and the company is continually working with suppliers on several successive iPhone models concurrently, which is why we sometimes get rumored feature leaks so far ahead of launch. The iPhone 17 series is no different, and already we have some idea of what to expect from Apple's 2025 smartphone lineup. If you plan to skip...
iPhone Notch

Apple Explored These Notch and Dynamic Island Designs for iPhones

Friday February 23, 2024 2:05 pm PST by
With the iPhone 14 Pro models in 2022, Apple introduced the Dynamic Island, which can morph and expand to display system alerts, sports scores, and a variety of other information. The feature makes the space surrounding the front camera and Face ID sensors useful compared to the notch on older iPhone models. Apple explored a variety of ideas for the iPhone's notch area over the years before...
General Apps Messages

Apple Announces 'Groundbreaking' New Security Protocol for iMessage

Wednesday February 21, 2024 6:00 am PST by
Apple today announced a new post-quantum cryptographic protocol for iMessage called PQ3. Apple says this "groundbreaking" and "state-of-the-art" protocol provides "extensive defenses against even highly sophisticated quantum attacks." Apple believes the PQ3 protocol's protections "surpass those in all other widely deployed messaging apps," according to its blog post:Today we are announcing...
Next Generation CarPlay Porsche 1

Apple Launching Next-Generation CarPlay This Year With These New Features

Wednesday February 21, 2024 2:03 pm PST by
Apple recently updated its website to confirm that the first vehicle models with next-generation CarPlay support will debut "in 2024." This wording is shown on Apple's regional websites for the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. The iOS 17.4 beta includes code-level references to eight new CarPlay apps:Auto Settings: This app will let you manage paired iPhones...
cracked glass vision pro

Handful of Apple Vision Pro Units Develop Identical Crack in Cover Glass

Friday February 23, 2024 4:46 am PST by
A small number of Apple Vision Pro owners have claimed that their headsets developed a hairline crack down the middle of the front cover glass, despite having never been dropped or mishandled. Photo of hairline crack in Vision Pro front glass (credit: Reddit user Inphenite) The first report was posted in the subreddit /r/VisionPro about 18 days ago, and several more have appeared in the last...
iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro Notch

Apple's OLED Roadmap: New iPad Mini, Foldable iPad Pro, and More

Wednesday February 21, 2024 5:29 am PST by
Apple is planning to launch at least nine new devices with OLED displays across the iPad and MacBook product lines, according to an updated forecast from research firm Omdia that sets out the company's plans in detail. As widely rumored, Apple's push to transition to OLED will apparently be jump-started by the release of new 11- and 13-inch iPad Pro models this year. The displays will...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

What to Expect at Potential Apple Event in March: iPads, Macs, and More

Friday February 23, 2024 8:35 am PST by
Apple often holds its first media event of the year in March, so the company could be just weeks away from announcing new products. Below, we have outlined what to expect from a potential Apple Event this March. Past Apple Events in March Apple has held five events in March since 2015:Monday, March 9, 2015 Monday, March 21, 2016 Tuesday, March 27, 2018 Monday, March 25, 2019 Tuesday,...