Pencil vs Smart Keyboard

Discussion in 'iPad' started by drewjonn, Dec 11, 2016.


Apple Pencil vs Smart Keyboard for iPP?

  1. Pencil

    26 vote(s)
  2. Keyboard

    14 vote(s)
  1. drewjonn macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    Which one is more useful if you are using it for a secondary device? The thing about pencil is that it distincts the iPad and Macbook meanwhile the keyboard would provide a pretty similar Macbook experience.

    Idk if the 9.7" or 10.5" would have a screen big enough for you to write or take notes using the pencil? Perhaps pencil for the 12.9" and keyboard for the 9.7" iPP?

    Which would help you more?
  2. TrueBlou macrumors demi-god


    Sep 16, 2014
    If I were to choose from the two (though I have both) it would definitely be the Pencil, it's just an amazing piece of hardware that brings the possibility of much flexibility of use.

    It and the 12.9" screen size are the two factors which made me buy the iPad Pro. Both myself and my wife get a lot of use from the Pencil.

    While I can't deny that the keyboard and large screen combo completely changed my iPad experience. Where previously every iPad I had was a consumption device, I found the screens too small and the keyboards too cramped on the 9.7" and below devices.
    The 12.9" and keyboard combo made me actually productive for the first time ever on an iPad.

    But still, the Pencil would win out. I've also been productive with it, albeit in a different way, I think it's one of the best pieces of hardware Apple have produced in years and I look forward to it's inevitable future revisions.
  3. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Don't know why I would want to choose between them, but if I had to I'd go for the Pencil. I do the majority of my typing on laptops/desktops so I suppose I consider the iPad+Pencil brings more to my overall computing options than iPad+Keyboard.
  4. Beavix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2010
    If you need to type A LOT on your iPad then get the keyboard. If you want to draw and hand write buy the Pencil.
  5. Kostas3000 macrumors regular

    Sep 28, 2016
    New York
    I LOVE the pencil. It is so liberating to take notes or do brain storming with a pencil rather than be confined in text typing only
  6. drewjonn thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2016
    If you have a laptop already, then I guess the pencil is a no brainer as it offers a different experience. I just don't know if 9.7" would be adequate to write on.

    no **** though. i just wanna know what would people prefer, not their utilities.
  7. nia820 macrumors 68020


    Jun 27, 2011
    Definitely the keyboard for me. I do a lot of typing so the keyboard definitely helps me out.
  8. myphone macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2008
    Pencil for me. I'm doing a lot of photo editing.
  9. Seed101 macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2015
    The pencil is great and different ( for apple)
    The keyboard is...well, a keyboard..
  10. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2002
    The Village
    The Pencil was the reason for the purchase of the Pro. The keyboard was a secondary, nice to have.
  11. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I got the Pencil first. Love it. Later I added the keyboard.
  12. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Pencil for me. Haven't found a need for the keyboard yet, because I rarely use my iPad at my desk.
  13. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2013
    Personally I think the 12.9 is too big to hold in any other way than in the "laptop" position. Now, to be fair, I don't really use the pencil anymore (haven't even charged it in 2 months), but even if I'm not typing, I use the keyboard to position the iPP as a laptop.

    If I was still in school or an artist, perhaps I would use the pencil more.
  14. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    The Pencil is more fun, but if you need to do some serious work, unless you're an artist there's no point
    The Smart Keyboard is great for typing long documents, emails, or writing reports

    Depends on your profession
  15. GoldfishRT macrumors 6502


    Jul 24, 2014
    ^ This guy had the same thought as me right as I was typing (on my Smart Keyboard). :D

    The Pencil is certainly more fun, and I like using it for note taking in uni but in terms of overall usefulness I think the keyboard is a far better purchase. Notes are one thing but actually taking the time to write out a paper using the thing would not be a great option - and it's only being used for my note taking thanks to the excellent MyScript Nebo.

    Also totally anecdotal but the Pencil is the reason my iPad already has a few nice screen scratches on it. You have to be absolutely meticulous about keeping it and the glass clean. It doesn't bother me much but just something to keep in mind. And I will happily support everybody else in saying that not having it magnetically attach directly to the iPad is a huge bummer and has led to some minor moments of panic since I bought it.

    I like the keyboard in my use as a writer. When doing group work and such, I like being able to type quickly but then easily rip the iPad off of it and hand it over for my colleagues to look at. Not that you can't do that with a MacBook but, it feels far less cumbersome doing that sort of work.

    Ideally you have both like I do. Combined with that sort of interaction, I use the pencil to annotate and note over my work and have others do the same. It's like having the coolest composition book ever made. I love it.
  16. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2013
    Luckily, day one if my iPP 12.9, I got a tempered glass screen protector. I personally always rock one of these screen protectors as I don't really like the feel of touch screens.

    I wish I had more use for the pencil...
  17. SoN1NjA macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2016
    the pool
    Honestly the Pencil is one of those trivial things that you play around with
    There's plenty of other great accessories worth your $
  18. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Neither. The Pro is great just as a tablet. If you have a specific need for the Pencil and/or Smart Keyboard, get them. But there is no reason why you HAVE to get either.
  19. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Look at my picture at Starbucks....


    I am using Logitech wireless keyboard and Wacom Bamboo stylus. I like both. I am thinking about buying an Apple Pencil soon.
  20. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2013
    What size iPP do you have?

    I have tried to use my 12.9 without the keyboard, even as a big guy, it feels silly for me to try to hold it without it in the laptop position. It simply is too big, and feels awkward to me.
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    12.9, and I'm a small woman.

    The 12.9 is basically the size of a magazine. And most hard cover books weighs more than the 12.9.
  22. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2013
    If you hold it like a magazine (landscape), how do you hold it and navigate? Do you have to rest it on your lap/knee? If you aren't resting it, doesn't the leverage on your wrist start to hurt?

    Just wondering, I also never have mine naked, so I have the silicone back cover adding weight.
  23. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    I rest it on my legs, like in this picture.

    I think that's a 9.7 iPad in the picture, but doing this with the 12.9 doesn't change how comfortable or easy it is to hold. I also use a pillow sometimes if I can't put my legs up.

    And I do have a back cover on my iPP, but I found a third party cover that's lighter than Apple's.
  24. JT2002TJ macrumors 6502a

    Nov 7, 2013
    Thanks for the info!!
  25. Starfia macrumors 6502a


    Apr 11, 2011
    Lots of other keyboards can do essentially what the Smart Keyboard can while looking, sounding and feeling better. Nothing similar can match the Pencil, which elevated the iPad Pro to superiority over precision Wacom tablets for artists and stuff.

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