Rene Ritchie’s Apple Pencil review


Treebark

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
296
157
Thanks for sharing, nice video. He seems to do a pretty good job with his videos. I wonder how long it took him to draw all those scenes.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,369
30,639
The fact that the Apple Pencil utilizes ‘ultra low power mode’ when not in use after a prolonged period, was Ingenious By Apple. Forget the wireless charging aspect, _this_ feature alone is a significant timesaver when you don’t know the batteries pencil life on a consistent basis or simply forget to Charge it.
 

Johnny365

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2015
647
290
Plus his iPad Pro 11/12.9 2018 review is horrible. No shots of the actual product 98% of the time, only showing Apple presentation material. Just came off as lazy and fake.
 
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Mt44

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
57
72
He’s one of the better reviewers. Unlike that guy from The Verge I can’t stand.
Nilay Patel has traditionally been an Apple troll, but his iPad Pro review really resonated with me.

I love the iPad, but his premise is valid: Apple markets the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, but isn’t delivering on the software front.

I thought he was tough and accurate.
 

phillytim

macrumors 65816
Aug 12, 2011
1,271
585
Philadelphia, PA
I just can't treat the new iPad Pro seriously enough until iOS (or perhaps a new ipadOS) is created to make it more than a huge iPhone! That, and not until RAM is upgraded to 6GB on ALL MODELS, rather than dealing with something out of 2015 with 4GB RAM!

All that being said above, I DO NOT consider these new iPad Pro models worth the elevated starting price of $799/$999.
 

DiamonDecoden

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2011
450
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Rene is indeed hardworking , has great attention to detail and is very creative.
However his bias is nauseating sometimes.. he’s obviously angling for a job at Apple or something!
This sentiment exactly!!!
There is also that "I know what I am talking about and you don't" quality about him. Of course, these are perceptions. We really don't know how he is in real life. I do watch his videos, but I also like watching people who are more down to earth.
 

SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
561
276
Nilay Patel has traditionally been an Apple troll, but his iPad Pro review really resonated with me.

I love the iPad, but his premise is valid: Apple markets the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, but isn’t delivering on the software front.

I thought he was tough and accurate.
At this point I've watched about 30+ iPad Pro reviews on YouTube (I know, I have a problem).

Nilay's The Verge iPad Pro (2018) review was by far the best review out of all of them. Every other review basically personifies a spec-sheet or press-release like they knew Apple PR would check in on their video (cough cough Rene Ritchie). Nilay went through features, but then spoke to the larger context (past, present, and future) of what it all means. It was more than just an advertisement, it was journalism, spoken to regular, everyday people, and without the usual cringey gimmicks. I was actually surprised because I'm not always a fan of The Verge's usual hipster-tech taste. Was especially grateful that he punted the review to actual artists and pros that would use the iPad better than he would, in those specific skillsets.
 

Hubcapjw

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2017
70
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NJ
At this point I've watched about 30+ iPad Pro reviews on YouTube (I know, I have a problem).

Nilay's The Verge iPad Pro (2018) review was by far the best review out of all of them. Every other review basically personifies a spec-sheet or press-release like they knew Apple PR would check in on their video (cough cough Rene Ritchie). Nilay went through features, but then spoke to the larger context (past, present, and future) of what it all means. It was more than just an advertisement, it was journalism, spoken to regular, everyday people, and without the usual cringey gimmicks. I was actually surprised because I'm not always a fan of The Verge's usual hipster-tech taste. Was especially grateful that he punted the review to actual artists and pros that would use the iPad better than he would, in those specific skillsets.



I'm like you I've watched a ton of them as well. And I already bought the 11 inch. I love it so far but for some reason I can't stop watching these videos. lol!!
 
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aevan

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Feb 5, 2015
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Sometimes? I’d say it ruined any credibility he had. I haven’t been to his website in ages.
Yes, because liking products you don’t like ruins credibility.

Rene is great. One of the best tech bloggers out there and Vector is one of my favorite podcasts. It’s fine to disagree with him, though. No credibility needs to be ruined in the process.
[doublepost=1542149337][/doublepost]
At this point I've watched about 30+ iPad Pro reviews on YouTube (I know, I have a problem).

Nilay's The Verge iPad Pro (2018) review was by far the best review out of all of them. Every other review basically personifies a spec-sheet or press-release like they knew Apple PR would check in on their video (cough cough Rene Ritchie). Nilay went through features, but then spoke to the larger context (past, present, and future) of what it all means. It was more than just an advertisement, it was journalism, spoken to regular, everyday people, and without the usual cringey gimmicks. I was actually surprised because I'm not always a fan of The Verge's usual hipster-tech taste. Was especially grateful that he punted the review to actual artists and pros that would use the iPad better than he would, in those specific skillsets.
Nilay’s review completely misses the point of the iPad Pro for a lot of people. He still thinks iPads need to be better laptops than laptops. Not gonna happen. Also, Verge’s idea of an everyday user equals a disinterested tech user that is forcefully nonchalant about technology because it’s not cool to like new stuff and knows nothing about gadgets (because they are now boring) or the existence of a world outside USA. That’s how Verge sees users and they are, quite frankly, annoying with that. Also, if they mention a headphone jack one more time.... I much prefer the enthusiastic reviewers that actually like tech and are not cynical about it.
 
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SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
561
276
I'm like you I've watched a ton of them as well. And I already bought the 11 inch. I love it so far but for some reason I can't stop watching these videos. lol!!
Tech porn :p I make sure my wife isn't in the room :D
 

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Original poster
Nov 14, 2011
20,661
22,369
Nilay Patel has traditionally been an Apple troll, but his iPad Pro review really resonated with me.

I love the iPad, but his premise is valid: Apple markets the iPad Pro as a laptop replacement, but isn’t delivering on the software front.

I thought he was tough and accurate.
So you liked his review because it agreed with your impressions/told you what you wanted to hear.
[doublepost=1542154489][/doublepost]
This sentiment exactly!!!
There is also that "I know what I am talking about and you don't" quality about him. Of course, these are perceptions. We really don't know how he is in real life. I do watch his videos, but I also like watching people who are more down to earth.
Wow I don’t get that impression from him at all. I think he gets a bad rap. Often times he’s not making excuses but giving an explanation for why he thinks Apple made a certain decision (rather than joinimg the outrage mob). Also I think he’s pretty open about being an Apple fan. He doesn’t try to pass himself off as a neutral observer.
 

Mt44

macrumors member
Sep 19, 2014
57
72
So you liked his review because it agreed with your impressions/told you what you wanted to hear.
[doublepost=1542154489][/doublepost]
Wow I don’t get that impression from him at all. I think he gets a bad rap. Often times he’s not making excuses but giving an explanation for why he thinks Apple made a certain decision (rather than joinimg the outrage mob). Also I think he’s pretty open about being an Apple fan. He doesn’t try to pass himself off as a neutral observer.
No—I want the iPad Pro to replace my laptop! :)

In fact it has, really. We have a MacBook Pro in the house that use less than 1% of the time. It’s all iPad otherwise.

But there’s a lot more I wish it would do, and taking Apple to task for not delivering on their marketing was a smart way to review the device, IMO.
[doublepost=1542155590][/doublepost]
I'm like you I've watched a ton of them as well. And I already bought the 11 inch. I love it so far but for some reason I can't stop watching these videos. lol!!
Glad I’m not the only one with this illness.

Although I guess I prefer the written reviews.
 

Treebark

macrumors 6502
May 24, 2010
296
157
Not sure I’ve understood trying to get an iPad to be a laptop. Add all the multitasking, mouse support, etc. to an iPad and it will lose some of the features (simplicity, not bogging down, etc.) that makes it an iPad.
 

SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
561
276
Often times he’s not making excuses but giving an explanation for why he thinks Apple made a certain decision
That's called reframing. Like when people complained that Apple's new iPhone XS/Max made white people's skin look orange, and skin look like a beautify filter. People were displeased, very displeased, because it was a suprise regression in quality and not something you would expect to ship by the product leader in smart phone cameras.

Rene went on his usual podcast circuit making Apple look like it's their superior HDR technology at work...

Turns out it was a bug and everyone's displeasure was quite justified. But not before Rene acted like Apple's PR department on the issue for two and a half weeks.

He's often trying to reframe and gaslight people's criticisms. An aside, but my favorite MacBreak Weekly podcast, to date, is when he and Andy Ihnatko got in a verbal rancor about the new Butterfly Keyboards. I'm sure you can guess what Rene Ritchies position was on that back then.
 

SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
561
276
Nilay’s review completely misses the point of the iPad Pro for a lot of people. He still thinks iPads need to be better laptops than laptops. Not gonna happen. Also, Verge’s idea of an everyday user equals a disinterested tech user that is forcefully nonchalant about technology because it’s not cool to like new stuff and knows nothing about gadgets (because they are now boring) or the existence of a world outside USA. That’s how Verge sees users and they are, quite frankly, annoying with that. Also, if they mention a headphone jack one more time.... I much prefer the enthusiastic reviewers that actually like tech and are not cynical about it.
I feel you're missing the broader message. Apple doesn't just sell products, they sell the idea behind the product. It started with Steve Jobs epiphany about selling products, and that is how they achieve product leadership since his return from NEXT. It's how Apple tells their story in the keynote. It's how they echo that message in the Press for the entire 30 days surrounding a product release. I mean, theres an iPad ad in every magazine, newspaper, and media platform, masquerading as journalism. It's absolutely propaganda, just not the government-revolutionary kind. It's called PR now.

Nilay was commenting on that message, and countering the dreamy illusions that Apple embeds in their messaging, the irrational imagery that our minds absorb.

What he's saying is this:

The computer was an open platform—just functional and open. Because it was open, our societal structure was able to evolve in the 1990's and 2000's. In just 20 years everything started running on computers, and the internet became the spine of modern society. Airlines and banking systems and stock markets and our entire cities, governments, corporations, and utility sector have evolved to run on computers. And our entire economy is run on computers.

Apple is purposefully conflating the idea of computers, with a product they intentionally do not want to open, because then they wouldn't have control, and they couldn't sell it as a premium consumer device. The latter is fine. It's a free, capitalistic country. But Apple is confusing you into thinking they are selling computers, when computers in our society need to be open in order to integrate with one another (on a societal level, not just end to end within the same iOS ecosystem).

Apple won't do that, because they want to make 30% from every app sold, and 30% from every monthly subscription dollar, and Apple wants you to only use Apple Music on their Apple devices, and Apple Pay on their Apple devices. So Apple is playing a psychological game where they want you to feel you have access to infinite computing potential, while simultaneously keeping you from that reality because an open platform is the opposite of Apple's business model.

It's a weird middle ground where you can use the iPad Pro now to run games that Apple makes 30% on, and edit photos on Adobe Photoshop at 30% of whatever Adobe will charge in 2019, and buy things with the fingerprint reader because Apple gets a throw-back from credit card companies.

YES, you can do computery things, but only so far as Apple is able to balance and manage how to continue being the middle man between what you want to do, and what you're willing to pay for.

And so the dream Apple sells, when you watch their many iPad ads, or read their many PR-echoed "journalisms", is a nuanced one. There's layers. And THAT is what Nilah was getting at, but not as direct. And obviously I'm adding my understandings to flesh out the seed that he was conveying.

Like, Apple could make iPad Pro 10x more powerful a platform, but that would require Apple open up iOS and not be able to charge every developer for their software, and not be able to control all the utility developers from making a kick-ass workflow for professionals. It's a closed product. It won't be better than laptops, and that's by design, because Apple hates that they can't make $$$ off of MacBooks as easily as they can iPhone/iPad. Thats' what the Mac App Store was about, back in Jan 2011 when it went live, and it was relatively poorly executed. It just didn't feed their business growth like the iOS App Store did, and sell the hundreds of millions of Macs, like the iOS App Store did iPhones and iPads.

iOS is their second chance at complete, total control, and thats a core reason why iOS 12 isn't as good as MacOS. This iPad thing is going to be a long ride.
 
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subjonas

macrumors 68020
Feb 10, 2014
2,119
1,774
Glad to hear the pencil still fast charges. That’s what I was wondering since it released.

But one issue I read is the magnets aren’t strong enough to keep it confidently connected to the iPad while being carried around in a bag. So I wonder, if the pencil is in a bag not attached to the iPad, will the battery continue to drain as the bag moves around like the gen 1 pencil did? Other questions: How long of a period of inactivity does it take for the pencil to go into low power mode? What is inactivity—no drawing or no movement? How long will a fully charged pencil last in low power mode? What kicks it out of low power mode—drawing or movement? How is the battery life compared to gen 1?

Also I still would like some different tip options with more friction.
 

aevan

macrumors 68040
Feb 5, 2015
3,119
3,987
Serbia
I feel you're missing the broader message. Apple doesn't just sell products, they sell the idea behind the product. It started with Steve Jobs epiphany about selling products, and that is how they achieve product leadership since his return from NEXT. It's how Apple tells their story in the keynote. It's how they echo that message in the Press for the entire 30 days surrounding a product release. I mean, theres an iPad ad in every magazine, newspaper, and media platform, masquerading as journalism. It's absolutely propaganda, just not the government-revolutionary kind. It's called PR now.

Nilay was commenting on that message, and countering the dreamy illusions that Apple embeds in their messaging, the irrational imagery that our minds absorb.

What he's saying is this:

The computer was an open platform—just functional and open. Because it was open, our societal structure was able to evolve in the 1990's and 2000's. In just 20 years everything started running on computers, and the internet became the spine of modern society. Airlines and banking systems and stock markets and our entire cities, governments, corporations, and utility sector have evolved to run on computers. And our entire economy is run on computers.

Apple is purposefully conflating the idea of computers, with a product they intentionally do not want to open, because then they wouldn't have control, and they couldn't sell it as a premium consumer device. The latter is fine. It's a free, capitalistic country. But Apple is confusing you into thinking they are selling computers, when computers in our society need to be open in order to integrate with one another (on a societal level, not just end to end within the same iOS ecosystem).

Apple won't do that, because they want to make 30% from every app sold, and 30% from every monthly subscription dollar, and Apple wants you to only use Apple Music on their Apple devices, and Apple Pay on their Apple devices. So Apple is playing a psychological game where they want you to feel you have access to infinite computing potential, while simultaneously keeping you from that reality because an open platform is the opposite of Apple's business model.

It's a weird middle ground where you can use the iPad Pro now to run games that Apple makes 30% on, and edit photos on Adobe Photoshop at 30% of whatever Adobe will charge in 2019, and buy things with the fingerprint reader because Apple gets a throw-back from credit card companies.

YES, you can do computery things, but only so far as Apple is able to balance and manage how to continue being the middle man between what you want to do, and what you're willing to pay for.

And so the dream Apple sells, when you watch their many iPad ads, or read their many PR-echoed "journalisms", is a nuanced one. There's layers. And THAT is what Nilah was getting at, but not as direct. And obviously I'm adding my understandings to flesh out the seed that he was conveying.

Like, Apple could make iPad Pro 10x more powerful a platform, but that would require Apple open up iOS and not be able to charge every developer for their software, and not be able to control all the utility developers from making a kick-ass workflow for professionals. It's a closed product. It won't be better than laptops, and that's by design, because Apple hates that they can't make $$$ off of MacBooks as easily as they can iPhone/iPad. Thats' what the Mac App Store was about, back in Jan 2011 when it went live, and it was relatively poorly executed. It just didn't feed their business growth like the iOS App Store did, and sell the hundreds of millions of Macs, like the iOS App Store did iPhones and iPads.

iOS is their second chance at complete, total control, and thats a core reason why iOS 12 isn't as good as MacOS. This iPad thing is going to be a long ride.
There are many aspects to this and there are benefits and downsides to each approach. But one mistake that Nilay - and you - are making is that you are drawing the wrong conclusions from Apple PR. When Apple says "iPad is a computer", they want to say: it is a computer for some. It is even a better computer for some people, than a "regular" computer. For others - there is Mac. Mac profits were actually larger than iPad profits in the last quarter. Apple wants to sell the Mac, they are investing in the Mac, they understand that today, based on the current way people work - "open" computing is required and they are making a great computer for that: the Mac. They are investing a lot in the Mac and this is what allows them to start creating something different, possibly for a different time. Nilay wants an iPad to replace his computer for his work. It's not going to, it's not intended to. For Nilay, Apple makes the Mac.

For my mom, who needs a "computer" to check email and surf the web - iPad is replacing a laptop. On the other side of this are professionals who need a companion device to complement their laptops. Apple invested a lot into handoff, shared clipboard, Airdrop, etc. - clearly because the also see iPad as a companion to Mac. This is how I use it. It can't replace my MBP either! However, it is an amazing device for me to create illustrations and sketches on - and in this way, it complements my MBP. For my needs - this combination works much, much better than a Surface or any othe hybrid laptop/tablet trying to run a desktop OS on a tablet device.

This is where Nilay is wrong. An iPad is not Nilay's laptop replacement nor is it meant to be. The iPad is a computer replacement for some, a companion device for some, a media consumption device for others. It is a modern computing platform that is evolving side by side the Mac, as an alternative or as an addition - depending on your needs.

Turning iPad into a Mac equivalent in terms of the OS would make something that has to make too many compromises.

With that said, I hope iOS13 opens certain abilities and expands iPad's potential. It is clearly the limiting factor and I expect Apple to improve iOS in advanced ways. But that doesn't change the fact that Nilay completely missed the point. Apple already has a computer for him, and it's called the Mac, and nothing can or should replace that.


Also, I am completely ignoring the fact that some people just love to talk how Apple messed up and how he's riding on that to turn out objective and caring about the "regular user". And, as I said, he was annoying with the headphone jack the first time he was talking about it, at this point it's just sad. And I like Nilay, so, this is not me just being negative because I have some gripes with him otherwise.
 
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cardfan

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Mar 23, 2012
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That laptop comparison comes to you courtesy of Apple. These are the messages Apple sends. They have the power to influence reviews and such and this is how they chose to do it. More powerful then 92% of all laptops. Laptop killer. Here comes photoshop. Cost went into mbp territory.

Apple isn't exactly harping on how it's the ultimate companion device. Perhaps they should? But even in this regard, Apple needs to update iOS and have more companion features with Mac. I know that's what I want vs others crying for mouse support.

I get there's a vast market of people who need a "computer" to do simple stupid stuff. But I doubt this a market wanting to spend ipad pro price to get it. Remember netbooks. An entry ipad suffices.

Also, Apple has stated over and over how a touch screen laptop is a bad experience. They won't do it. Yet, for an ipad pro, this kb case is their answer. It's part of what makes an ipad a "pro." It's like Apple is at war with itself. Is it bad or is it not? Personally, i think it's garbage. Using an ipad with a kb stinks. It's the pencil that shines.

What I'd really like is a touchscreen mbp with apple pencil with apple providing the tools for notes, handwriting, etc. We already know they want you to be able to use ios apps on a mac soon (and if this doesn't cry two and one coming later..). In this scenario, I'd probably never buy another ipad again. Yes, I know macOS wouldn't be the most touch friendly interface and sort of clunky...but worse than clunky is how i describe the ipad with a kb..

Does Apple then get made fun of because it's finally giving macOS touch? Key difference from windows is that it would be leveraging iOS apps and users.
 

kodos

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2010
414
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Apple has lost the ability to understand what a product is for and keep it within those constraints. They "jumped the gun" in making the iPad Pro a computer replacement. Their biggest misstep was trying to push it as a laptop replacement device.

Instead, it should be seen as something new. Something different. A third kind of device between iPhone and Mac (which is what it is). They would have saved a lot of angst and confusion among people.

Embrace its otherness! The iPhone doesn't pretend to be a computer but has replaced a computer for a LOT of people. More so than the iPad Pro, in fact. iPad needs to embrace being an iPad and Apple needs to repent of ever starting to talk about it as a laptop replacement.

I think this is one of those areas where Tim Cook has no clue on how to message Apple products besides jacking up the prices of stuff. I love my 11" iPad Pro - as an iPad. Not as a MacBook Pro. Which I happily have as well.

Until iOS matures to meet the "laptop replacement" category - people will more and more realize that "the Emperor has no clothes". This is Apple shooting themselves in the foot; this is not Nilay's fault.