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
81 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
81 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
81 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
81 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
81 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
81 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

Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature ugly yellow

AirPods Pro 2 Could Beat AirPods Max Sound Quality

Monday January 24, 2022 2:15 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could deliver higher fidelity audio than the AirPods Max over-ear headphones, despite being comparatively small in-ear buds, recent reports have suggested. In a recent note to investors, seen by MacRumors, TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that the second-generation AirPods Pro will offer improved audio quality thanks to support...
iCloud General Feature

Developers Unhappy With Bug Causing iCloud Unreliability

Monday January 24, 2022 10:15 am PST by
A number of developers are upset with an increasingly problematic iCloud server issue that is causing some apps that have implemented iCloud support to fail to sync properly. As outlined on the Developer Forums and on Twitter, there are CloudKit connectivity issues that have been occurring since November. Some users of apps that have iCloud support built in are seeing the following message:...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...