Apple Pencil versus Real Pencil

Discussion in 'iPad' started by OneSon, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. OneSon macrumors member


    Jan 6, 2013
    I currently use a notepad and pencil to take notes. I visited the Apple store and was told the Apple Pencil is almost like using a real pencil. Is this true?

    Is the increase in cost worth it? What would I be gaining?


    Current setup:

    Midori A5 Notebook = £7.50 + pencil = 0.40p = £7.90.

    New setup:

    Apple iPad Pro 9.7" = £550 + Apple Pencil £99 = £649.*
    * N.B. The updated iPad Pro costs £619 meaning a grant total of £718.

    Price difference = + £641.
  2. Loopy65 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2008
    Wales, UK
    I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that you may use your iPad for something else in addition to as a notebook!

    Although, if you need to ask, then maybe it's best you stick to your original set-up :D

    PS The Apple Pencil is better than any other stylus I've ever tried. I love it and yes, it's quite pencil-like
  3. OneSon thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 6, 2013
    Forgetting the iPad itself (which you're right is more than a notebook), the price difference between the Apple Pencil and a Pencil is £98.60. What does one gain for that?
  4. sdz macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2014
    All digital notes.
    All notes in one place.
    Maybe even searchable... etc etc
  5. Loopy65 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2008
    Wales, UK
    Lol .. that's a question? I think you'd be hard-pressed to justify it to be honest. The reason I have it isn't because it makes good economical sense but, rather, because I love technology and it's the best in its class thus far. If I were an artist or designer I'd feel even more strongly about it I think?
    The pencil will never be a 'need' it's purely a fun and cool thing to use :)
  6. m00min macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2012
    I switched to using an iPad Pro and pencil last year. Previous to that I tried every stylus going but always kept a paper sketchpad and pen with me too. I've ditched the papery thing, I find the pencil that good.

    The difference isn't so much with the pencil, it's good enough as to be invisible, it allows me to scribble and sketch without being so much aware of the medium (using old styluses it was always a consideration that I was drawing on something less than real). The improvement is that my notes are synced to my phone and mac, that if some disaster befalls my iPad I won't loose my work. That I can share my notes easily if needed. The pencil give me way more flexibility than my old Moleskine.
  7. c14nhl macrumors 6502


    Oct 30, 2008
    I've went 100% digital with my note taking at work when the 9.7" Pro was released.

    To focus specifically on the experience of writing notes via the Apple Pencil, I would rate it very highly. Admittedly it isn't like for like vs using a pencil or pen as there is less resistance. However, I can't fault it. It is very much a personal decision.

    Even just having the ability to sort notes efficiently and have them everywhere you go I find incredibly useful.
  8. OneSon thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 6, 2013
    But I can take my notepad everywhere I go too.....?
  9. off_piste macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2015
  10. Karnicopia macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2015
    To me the benefit of digital note taking would be in it being searchable. I hate having to flip back through my notes to try and find something. The fact that they have this natively and part of spotlight search is one of the underrated aspects of the keynote I think and I'm pretty excited about that aspect.
  11. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    You cannot use your Pencil with an iPad, at least not in ways that would be pleasing to you :D
    And, you cannot use that  Pencil with your paper pad --- won't work!
    If you want the iPad, and all the other things that you can do with that, then you could replace your paper pad/pencil with the iPad. Some of the artistic techniques and editing tasks that you can use with your iPad/ Pencil can't be done with a pad of paper and standard pencil.
    Can you use the iPad/ Pencil in a way that will justify the expense? Only you can answer that.
  12. OneSon thread starter macrumors member


    Jan 6, 2013
    Yes, notes being searchable would be extremely useful. So what apps support this and is it robust? Presumably it has to do some sort of handwriting recognition.
  13. Karnicopia macrumors 6502

    Mar 27, 2015
    Looks like it's part of the OS itself and they said the machine learning on the device would learn your handwriting over time. They were demoing it with the notes app but all of the other note apps could probably update to use it. This part really hasn't gotten too much attention unfortunately so I haven't read too much about it yet.
  14. stevemiller macrumors 68000

    Oct 27, 2008
    Personally I wouldn't get it just for taking notes. But I did get it for digital art and I have no regrets.

    If Apple had built an Astro pad like solution natively into iOS/macOS it would be even more of a killer tool. I think that's currently their biggest missed opportunity with the tech.
  15. masotime macrumors 68020


    Jun 24, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    If your sole motivation to consider the iPad Pro + Pencil is to take notes, don't. There is no way to justify the price.

    If you don't find value in the iPad itself sans Pencil, it is pretty much impossible to justify the price.
  16. Rugbydman macrumors regular


    Jul 10, 2009
    Staffordshire, UK
    What apps are you guys using for note taking
  17. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    I used Notability and PDF Expert. In the past I used Bamboo Paper with Wacom Stylus.
  18. spiderman0616 macrumors 68040


    Aug 1, 2010
    I use mine mostly in OneNote and Notability. Great for note taking and that's half
    The reason I got a Pro in the first place. Apple Pencil is easily one of the best accessories Apple has ever made.
  19. Allewsive macrumors member


    Apr 22, 2015
    Here is the thing... if you love taking notes on paper because of the feeling from friction when a pencil's lead scrapes words onto paper, and you enjoy flipping pages of paper quickly to get from note to note, then you are not going to enjoy digital notes as much.

    You need to try it. No one here can give you the true feeling of taking notes with Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil is by far the closest stylus to feeling like a pen to paper, but it does not feel like taking notes with a mechanical pencil, or sketching with a pencil on art paper. The frictional feedback is very different. You also cannot get as crisp and tiny with the text on iPad unless you zoom in a bit.

    I love taking notes on paper, but then I also enjoy notes digitally on iPad. So... please just go try it in an Apple Store, or test one out at home. There are tons of apps that offer awesome Apple Pencil note taking, all with their own little features. The real advantage to digital is searchable notes, syncing notes to a cloud and between devices, easily delete and erase rather than crumple up a messed up sheet, and having one Pencil that can do an almost infinite combination of colors and styles (pencil, highlighter, pen, paint brush, airbrush, etc.).
  20. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008
    The value of having your notes always available across all of your devices cannot be understated. The value of having shared notes with other people cannot be understated either. I find Apple's Notes to be a great app and it is getting better and better all the time.
  21. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    For syncing and clarity, an iPad and Apple Pencil is great for me.

    For speed and continuity with thoughts and ideas, pencil and paper is priceless as I like to flip quickly through pages and my mind seems to organize better with physical media better than digital media.
  22. fokmik macrumors 68040

    Oct 28, 2016
    since water or fire destroys your information from your notebook, that is not the case with icloud notes
  23. Precursor macrumors 6502a


    Sep 29, 2015

    I understand your dilemma. I currently fly planes on iPad. Should I be buying a real plane to fly?

    2017 Cessna Citation = £3,137,255.

    Apple iPad Pro 9.7" = £550 + Apple Pencil £99 = £649.*

    Price difference = + £3,136,606.
  24. alecgold macrumors 65816


    Oct 11, 2007
    On my ipad are:
    - 140k documents, that is 10 years worth of work. Say about 60 archive cabinets at least, so that is 10*60k worth of work;
    - 8000 novels and 1500 comics that is a nice home-library and a bit more, I buy cheap books, so say 10*9500 equals 95k worth of books and comics
    - endless family pictures, clips and memories, priceless.

    So you compare my 700k worth of content with a notepad?
    Or a guesstimated several metric tons of books, comics and work files and a notebook with pencil, to my 1,5 lbs iPad and Pencil?

    It is worth it to me. It's my work, it's my law study and it's a bit of the rest of my life (as fas as I have one) as well.
    You might not need a computer for work, have no study or other computer-needed-interests and a whole lot more real-time-life then I do.

    How long can you write with a wood case pencil? A new one cost you 40p again. Charging the Apple Pencil cost you next to nothing, so it lasts you 3, 4 or perhaps even 5 years.
    If your only usecase is a notepad, please get some paper and a pencil. And a sharpener. And an eraser.
    Or get a sterling silver Perfect Pencil from Graf von Faber Castell. if you want to spend a lot of money.
    The iPad/Pencil combo might not be for you.
  25. Tobias Funke macrumors 6502a

    Tobias Funke

    Apr 3, 2012
    £7.50 for a pad!!

    They are only 50p at Tesco.

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