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First look: Apple Pencil paired with iPad Pro is no ordinary stylus

Still a rare find, with asking prices on eBay double— or more— its $99 suggested price, the Apple Pencil is slowly finding its way into the hands of consumers who are early adopters of the jumbo-sized iPad Pro. AppleInsider had the chance to spend an extended period of time with the new stylus, and we offer our initial first look.




In a long, slender box somewhat akin to Apple Watch Sport packaging, the Apple Pencil immediately makes an impression, signaling that this device is unlike most in the company's recent product history.

In many ways, it feels like a culmination of many Apple products before it, from the iconic white color, the balance immediately felt in the hand (and which prevents it from rolling on a table), and the magnetic cap that covers the Lightning charger.




In the box, the Apple Pencil comes with a spare tip, though not a spare Lightning cap. It also includes a female-to-female Lightning adapter, which allows the Pencil to be charged with a Lightning cable if a user chooses.

Most charging, however, is intended to be done with the iPad Pro itself, in an ingenious design that also makes plugging it in part of the syncing process. Upon inserting the Pencil into the iPad Pro, the tablet will ask users if they wish to pair the accessory with this particular iPad.




From there, everything just works. The Apple Pencil can be used both as a stylus for drawing, and as a regular pointing device when opening apps or scrolling websites.

While we aren't artists and don't have particularly great penmanship, writing on the iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil is easy with minimal lag. In many ways, it really does feel like writing on paper.

After toying around in Apple's Notes app, we decided to get to work in PDF Expert and filled out a lengthy contract. The best compliment we can pay to the Apple Pencil was that what we wrote looked identical to our own (poor) handwriting as it would appear on traditional paper.

Palm rejection on the iPad Pro was also excellent, with no issues within Notes or PDF Expert in our testing. Everything just worked as expected.




Given the fact that the iPad Pro can simply be used to control regular apps and functions, we could see ourselves relying on the device as a smudge-free way to interact with our iPad Pro, having been annoyed by fingerprints on the large, gorgeous display on numerous occasions.

There are no indicators on the Pencil to reveal remaining battery life, but users can enable the iOS 9 Batteries widget in Notification Center to quickly see how much power is left in the Bluetooth accessory.




AppleInsider will have much more on the Apple Pencil in the coming days and weeks, including our full review. For a better idea of how the iPad Pro stands on its own, without any accessories, read our full review of Apple's 12.9-inch tablet.