Do we have a crush on the Pencil?

The Apple Pencil 2 was introduced to the market by the California firm in October 2018. The stylus came as a companion to this year’s new iPad Pro, replacing the first-generation Apple Pencil. It is intended for use on iPad (to date) and only on certain recent tablets.

While it is obvious that the Apple Pencil is aimed at those who enjoy drawing and / or work in fields related to graphics, it may also be of interest to students, education professionals, in any case, to an audience. much wider than what we immediately think of when we talk about the use of a stylus on iPad.

Let’s see, as part of a new iPhon.fr test, how Apple Pencil can transform iPad usage with a user whose professional activity and leisure do not affect drawing.

Apple Pencil 2 at the best price Base price: 135 €

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Getting to know Apple Pencil 2

Finishing and design

It is a habit with Apple products, the finish of the product is once again exemplary. The 2nd generation Apple Pencil is as beautiful to look at as it is comfortable to hold between your fingers. It is cylindrical, is 166mm long and weighs 20.7 grams.

One side is flat however, it is the one on which we will tap with the index finger to launch a shortcut (change point for example, or switch to the eraser).

© iPhon.fr

As for the colors, we are halfway between beige and white, with a rigid and smooth material, effective enough to prevent the fingers from sweating during long note-taking or drawing sessions.

Apple Pencil 2 test overview

© iPhon.fr

One end is rounded, the other contains the tip, interchangeable.

Apple Pencil 2 test and tip

© iPhon.fr

Apple presentation and compatibility

According to the Apple product sheet, it is a low-latency Bluetooth stylus, allowing you to draw, write, sketch, color and annotate with pixel precision. Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with the following iPads: iPad mini (6th generation), 11-inch iPad Pro (all generations), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3, 4, and 5th generation), iPad Air (4th generation).

In use

The first thing you notice when you discover Apple Pencil is how simple and fast it is to connect to the iPad. There is nothing to configure, the accessory allows, if it is sufficiently loaded, immediately control the tablet.

There are tweaks to discover in iPadOS, including changing the behavior of the various shortcuts: double-tap the Pencil, slide the Pencil from the lower left corner of the screen, and slide the Pencil from the lower right corner. We also regret for these last two parameters that only two choices are offered: screenshot and quick note.

IPadOS Apple Pencil 2 settings

© iPhon.fr

In any case, once the Pencil is taken out of its box, you do not have only need a few seconds to use it on your compatible iPad.

A Pencil, but what for?

The following question arises: but what can I use an Apple Pencil for, I who am neither a professional designer, nor even a little bit attracted to drawing or graphics?

To be convinced of its usefulness, it is enough in fact to start to… use it. Because the Apple Pencil has many advantages that we discover over the minutes spent making it dance on the screen of the tablet.

Already, it allows you to write everything by hand on the iPad, the latter automatically converting its handwriting into “digital” text.

Application Nebo Apple Pencil 2

Application Nebo et Apple Pencil 2 © iPhon.fr

Then, some apps, not only for drawing, but also for taking notes, are designed specifically for Apple Pencil. And we must admit, it’s a real pleasure to scribble what goes through our heads on the iPad, as we would do on a loose sheet, pen in hand.

We write, we erase, we start again. We break away from linear writing on the keyboard and we start to rediscover the happiness of handwriting with a whole field of possibilities in terms of organization of notes which is reopening before our eyes.

Application Paper Apple Pencil 2

Application Paper et Apple Pencil 2 © iPhon.fr

Some applications are more comfortable than others, Pencil in hand. This is particularly the case with Paper, Nebo, or Flow for note taking, or Linea Sketch, Sketches and Sketchbook for sketches and drawing. Obviously, I was not able to thoroughly test the applications of graphic design professionals or even 3D design specialists or even photo editing aficionados.

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All we notice is that, with Pencil in hand, iPad takes on another dimension that we did not suspect when we only used it with our fingers. And that, it must be said, it’s quite magical.

Application Linea Sketch Apple Pencil 2

Application Linea Sketch et Apple Pencil 2 © iPhon.fr

I would point out, we realize the interest of the Pencil both when taking basic notes in Apple Notes, when creating plans for home work, or simply to spend time doing of digital coloring. See that I am not even mentioning all the uses made of it by professionals.

Apple Pencil 2 at the best price Base price: 135 €

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Unfortunately, the Apple Pencil is not perfect. On the one hand, there is a slight latency when drawing or writing with Pencil. This is not really a problem in most cases, especially as over time, you get used to this delay. But for specialists, it can be more damaging. In addition, we would have liked to be able to further customize the action shortcuts of the double-tap on the stylus and the swipe in the bottom and left corners of the iPad.

Let us not forget on the other hand of salute the autonomy of the beast. Within an hour of drawing, the percentage of remaining battery in the pen has dropped from 100 to 90%. Rarely will you expect the 0% battery, therefore, since after each drawing and when transporting the iPad, the Pencil comes to be fixed on the magnetic edge of the tablet and regain energy in passing.

Apple Pencil 2 test recharge tranche

© iPhon.fr

Let’s finish by mentioning the fact that depending on the applications, the Pencil is more or less practical to use and powerful. Keep in mind that with the purchase of a Pencil, Apple applications will not necessarily take full advantage of it. This is not a big deal for most users. But for those who have specific needs and desires, it will be necessary to go to the checkout and get some specialized apps much better thinking for use with Pencil than those of Apple. Special mention for the app Or, whose reputation cannot be rebuilt, and which is certainly the best solution to transform text written with a pen into digital text.

Apple Pencil 2 et cover iPad mini

© iPhon.fr

Apple Pencil 2 full view

© iPhon.fr

Conclusion

All in all, I, who have never put my fingers on a stylus in my life, found myself fully won over by the Apple Pencil 2 on the iPad mini 6. I didn’t think I would need it, but I like using a quality tablet pen. I found some pleasure to write my notes by hand and do quick diagrams on the screen like I would on a piece of paper.

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By the way, the Pencil also has a great potential to seduce children. Give them a Pencil and a little iPad, with a coloring app or a simple drawing app, and watch them master the set in two steps.

Application Pigment Apple Pencil 2

Application Pigment et Apple Pencil 2 © iPhon.fr

Take a peaceful and creative journey by car, train or plane and see young users rediscover the pleasure of drawing, even supplanting the desire to relaunch their favorite video game of the moment. And that is already a lot! In short, the Apple Pencil can conquer young and old.

Also read: our test of the iPad mini 6.

Apple Pencil 2 at the best price Base price: 135 €

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Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

135 €

Apple Pencil vignette

Design and finish

9.5/10

Price-quality ratio

8.0/10

WE love

  • A finishing model
  • Magnetic clip and refill
  • What a pleasure to use
  • Autonomy

We like less

  • A little heavy
  • Latency
  • Limited shortcuts
  • Non-removable battery