Assessing Smart Keyboard and pencil gen 1 vs 2

Discussion in 'iPad' started by thadoggfather, Dec 6, 2018.

?

So

  1. 1st gen pencil and keyboard superior

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 2nd gen pencil and keyboard superior

    32 vote(s)
    69.6%
  3. 1st gen pencil superior but 2nd gen kB superior too

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. 2nd gen pencil superior but 1st gen kB superior

    14 vote(s)
    30.4%
  1. thadoggfather macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
  2. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a

    DoubleFlyaway

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    #2
    2nd gen pencil superior and keyboards a tossup?
     
  3. thadoggfather, Dec 7, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018

    thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #3
    probably not in general, but i'd think so a bit

    Some people may prefer the rounded-ness or weightiness of the 1st gen pencil with a grip and/or wrap
    (even though I doubt many people would argue with 2nd generation having a better way to charge the pencil, and not to have to keep track of the cap or awkwardly sticking out of lightning port)

    Likewise with ASK gen 2, some may prefer on 1st gen the exposed back for a silicone/3rd party back, the placement of the connector, or just that theres felt against the screen instead of the keyboard itself/ easier to fold back and use it as a regular tablet while the keyboard is still connected

    but the two positions of ASK is nice indeed, and full coverage can be major perks too..
     
  4. AlexiTQ macrumors member

    AlexiTQ

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    #4
    Don't know about the keyboard, but pencil.... well, the second gen is more well balanced and the matte surface makes it easier to use for longer. However, I miss the length of the first gen pencil.

    I wish Apple would have made the pencil a little thicker and squared of at all sides, as well as keeping the length of the first gen pencil. Both are excellent though, so I can live with the shortcomings.
     
  5. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a

    DoubleFlyaway

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    #5

    New pencil is only pro for me— really it’s all about the charging. That is a huge game changer for me. I do prefer the size and matte texture, but those are both minor details. Pencil plus smaller overall size of the iPad are the two reasons I want to upgrade my 12.9 (but upgrading the Air 2 to 11 is enough expense in one year).

    As far as the keyboards— gen 1, I prefer the way it folded to cover the keys when it is folded back. Gen 2, I prefer having the back on there, because otherwise I buy a separate back cover. No preference in terms of typing. So tossup.
     
  6. AlexiTQ macrumors member

    AlexiTQ

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    #6
    Am I the only one missing sticking the pencil up the butt end of the iPad to charge? Really?

    Just kidding. :)
     
  7. thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #7
    The only thing that looks sillier is the mouse charging by having it upside down since they put the lightning port there, instead of where a cord would be normally on a corded mouse.

    Tim Cook’s apple perfectly embodied
     
  8. AlexiTQ macrumors member

    AlexiTQ

    Joined:
    May 22, 2016
    #8
    That's a silly solution too, but I think the pencil takes the price.

    It's odd how it took Apple three years to add proper charging for the pencil.
     
  9. thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #9

    Not even original. It’s surface like implementation
     
  10. aevan macrumors 68030

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #10
    Tim Cook’s Apple: we actually try to make different things for different users and needs. Sometimes we nail it, sometimes it takes a couple of iterations.

    Steve Jobs Apple: I don’t like a thing, so we’re not making it.


    I prefer Cook’s Apple quite a bit. The best iPhone, iPad and iMac ever made, and two best accessories ever made - all under Tim.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 8, 2018 ---
    The old Pencil was much, much better than some people give it credit. People fixate on charging and ignore all the amazing things about it (and, also, the little adapter)
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #11
    Wireless charging was not technically feasible when the original Pencil was released. What would have been a better alternative in your opinion?

    What Surface charges its stylus with the magnetic connection?
     
  12. thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #12
    Oh it doesn’t? Thought that was part of the deal. My bad. It’s just magnetic?

    Surface of some type may be my next laptop when my Mac is problematic and out of warranty. Been eyeing it for a while but never owned one.
     
  13. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #13
    Yes it’s just magnetic. The Surface Pen runs on a aaaa battery.

    The Surface is a mediocre laptop that’s really clumsy to use in some situations, and for most use it’s a really crummy tablet. (I’ve owned several.)
     
  14. wittyphrase macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    New York
    #14
    That’s because it was such an amazingly bad way to charge it. The 1st gen Pencil was amazing as an input device. The charging was objectively awful. It’s almost insulting to give us the pencil which worked so well and then say, “oh and to charge it just uhhh stick it in the bottom there. Whatever.”
     
  15. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #15
    So how would you have done it differently?
     
  16. aevan macrumors 68030

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #16
    99% of the time I charged it by using the Lightning cable. The “sticking it to the bottom” was only when I needed an emergency charge, and lasted a minute or two. Not ellegant, but certainly practical. I guess it took Apple some time to develop wireless charging for the Pencil which is certainly better, but without it the only alternatives were:

    1. removable batteries which would make the Pencil heavier,
    2. to make it not chargeable by the iPad - which would be bad when you ran out of power and had no outlet nearby
    3. (the solution they picked) charge it by a Lightning cable and use iPad for emergencies. when you don’t have an outlet available.

    They chose the best solution. In the absence of wireless charging, the charging was objectively good.
     
  17. thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #17
    It’s interesting pencil gen2 is so far unanimously winning but there is a minority that prefers gen 1 keyboard
     
  18. Fthree macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    #18
    I love the way the 1st gen KB folded. I could just lift the right side of it while keeping my thumb on the left and could see the screen notification quickly.
     
  19. wittyphrase macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Location:
    New York
    #19
    I don’t know. Not my field. I don’t need to be a chef to know when something I eat tastes bad.

    But, putting that aside, the way they ended up doing it for gen 2 is great.

    There’s nothing good about having the pencil dangling from the end of the iPad, holding on only by the tiny lightning connector. You can’t pick it up and walk with it reliably without fear of it falling out or knocking into something. You can’t put it in your bag and go while it’s charging. The weight difference from removeable batteries couldn’t have been that drastic. Surface Pen uses it - haven’t heard any colleagues complain about the weight of them. They were able to charge the Smart Keyboard through that connector - they couldn’t have added a similar way to charge the pencil?
     
  20. jsmitty, Dec 8, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018

    jsmitty macrumors 6502

    jsmitty

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2016
    Location:
    NC
    #20
    2nd gen pencil absolutely. 1st gen ask is easier to completely remove and I prefer the uncovered back.
     
  21. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #21
    The point is to actually put some thought into the alternatives. Not just be a critic. The Surface Pen uses a AAAA battery which necessarily means it is much larger, and more importantly, reliant on an obscure battery type for operation.

    The lightning charging of the Pencil was never intended to be used when you walked around with it or packed it in a bag. It was simply a way of making certain that you could never have an operational iPad yet be stuck with a Pencil with a dead battery. You get hours of use from less than a minute of charge. Seems like a much better solution to me than the alternatives at the time.

    If you were so opposed to it on an aesthetic level there was no reason you couldn’t have left the included lightning adapter connected full-time and charged exclusively via cable and power brick
     
  22. alecgold macrumors 65816

    alecgold

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2007
    Location:
    NLD
    #22
    IMHO both are good improvements.

    ASK2: full folio coverage means better protection, but still thin and only a minimal extra weight for the back-protection.
    Also I like that the keys are touching the display, the faux suede of the 1st gen had the habit of picking up sand and dirt and potentially scratching the screen.
    The keys are much the same, still good, almost full size and enough to keep typing at reasonable speeds.
    Also the ASK2 solves the camera bump.

    Pencil 2 is better as well. 2nd button of course that can be really nice. But also it’s more grippy, lighter and better balanced.
    I don’t mind heavy base-ball-bat-fountain-pens, so the weight of the 1st gen wasn’t a problem, but it was ever so slightly out of balance and it made my hand fatigue faster then I would expect. No big deal, it was better then any other BT pencil I tried before, but comparing the 1st and 2nd gen it is a clear improvement.
    But the biggest improvement is the magnetic storage/charging. That is really nice. Always a 100% pencil and never to worry about it. At night both the iPad and the pencil always charge together.
    And lets be clear, 1st world problems, because 1min charging with the old pencil always did the trick to keep it going, but with the 2nd gen pen I never need to think about it anymore. And training the habit of clicking it to the side isn’t very hard either.
    Just for sheer fun I often roll my pencil to my iPad over my desk so they can click together. It’s a bit prone to fidgety, just like the AirPods case is. Brilliant!


    So overall I thing these are two good upgrades although there wasn’t much wrong with the 1st generation to start with.
    It’s just the price hike that bothers me a little bit. Then again, I bought them, so I didn’t vote with my feet/wallet either.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 9, 2018 ---
    I don’t think it’s that mad, they had to design one of the tinies wireless charging pads and then also incorporate it into a pencil. I think many people don’t understand how big of an innovation the 1st pencil was, so tiny, yet active with a battery, several gyroscopes pressure sensors, BT4.2 folded flexible logic board. The second generation also has wireless charging and touch all in an even smaller package and they are still capable of producing them in rather large numbers.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 9, 2018 ---
    Charging from the iPad was only meant as a last resort, typical charging would be with the adapter on the end of a regular charging cable. If you didn’t loose the adapter-thingy
    A removable battery either has much less power or is much bigger/heavier. I haven’t used the Surface pen in a while but IIRC this isn’t an active pen, it’s an active board behind the display with a powered pen. That uses a lot less power.
    But I have always been wondering too why they didn’t have a female connector in the pencil as well. Would have been a much easier solution imho.
     
  23. DoubleFlyaway macrumors 6502a

    DoubleFlyaway

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2017
    #23
    I never thought of charging the pencil from the iPad as being the last resort because it is so much faster than charging from a cable. It seems to me like the primary way one would want to do it.
     
  24. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #24
    The Apple Watch is a great example of this approach as well. Each generation and os update has responded to how people are actually using the watch instead of telling us how we are supposed to use it.

    Also, the Apple Watch is opening up a whole new industry (healthcare) for Apple to "disrupt."
     
  25. thadoggfather thread starter macrumors G4

    thadoggfather

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2007
    #25
    That’s a good point. Easier to undock
     

Share This Page