Stylus use on Air 2 vs. Pencil use on Pro

OneSon

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2013
54
23
I'm wondering how much of a difference there is between using a stylus on the Air 2 (or new 'Ipad') versus using the Apple Pencil on the Pro. I won't be doing too much handwriting but I do want to occasionally annotate PDFs as well as provide feedback on student work. Is the extra money on the Pro going to be worth it?
 

Nausicaa

macrumors 6502a
Jan 11, 2007
607
283
Capacitive stylii are pretty much useless relative to something like Pencil or Wacom. They simply don't have the accuracy. You could probably get by with very minor writing if you don't mind zooming in and writing in giant letters. Otherwise go for a Pro+Pencil.
 

DougFNJ

macrumors 65816
Jan 22, 2008
1,269
829
NJ
I have always found those styluses good for one thing, scrolling and touching. iPad Pro with Pencil produces much better accuracy and adjustments.

I tried the stylus/Air 2 combo a while ago and would say it is comparable to writing notes, corrections, and changes on a paper using a really thick magic marker or highlighter. The Pro/Pencil combo is like paper and pen with the added benefit of changing thickness and color on the fly.
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,493
34,583
I have always found those styluses good for one thing, scrolling and touching. iPad Pro with Pencil produces much better accuracy and adjustments.

I tried the stylus/Air 2 combo a while ago and would say it is comparable to writing notes, corrections, and changes on a paper using a really thick magic marker or highlighter. The Pro/Pencil combo is like paper and pen with the added benefit of changing thickness and color on the fly.
Agreed m. I tend to use a stylus on my iPad and for scrolling and pinpointing. But the Apple Pencil certainly is more of a profound tool is highly more accurate.

I do think we will see a second version of the Apple Pencil whenever the new iPad launches.
 

rijc99

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2015
763
540
I'm wondering how much of a difference there is between using a stylus on the Air 2 (or new 'Ipad') versus using the Apple Pencil on the Pro. I won't be doing too much handwriting but I do want to occasionally annotate PDFs as well as provide feedback on student work. Is the extra money on the Pro going to be worth it?
Yes, it's a night and day difference.
 

sparksd

macrumors 68040
Jun 7, 2015
3,595
2,371
Seattle WA
I use a stylus on my Air 2 sometimes cuz the anti reflection coating makes it nearly impossible to wipe off those damn finger prints
Same here until I put a ZAGG InvisibleShield Glass Screen Protector on it - now it collects far fewer finger prints and those are much easier to clean off. I'm no fan of screen protectors but this one is great and I'm glad I got it. Like another poster said, a stylus for writing on the Air 2 is like using a Magic Marker on paper (but worse).
 

Badrottie

Suspended
May 8, 2011
4,317
333
Los Angeles
I had some good experience with reasonable priced Wacom Bamboo stylus with my previous Air 1 and Air 2, I am able to draw/scribble, etc. Also Microsoft Word worked well with Wacom stylus.
 

MacDarcy

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2011
1,011
819
After sampling the Apple Pencil at the Apple Store, there is NO comparison with a regular stylus on a regular iPad. NONE. It's literally night & day. I could never go back to a regular stylus on a regular iPad. I am currently using an iPad mini 2 and was hoping for an iPad mini Pro to be announced in March...but as we all know, that didn't happen. Since you need a "Pro" iPad to use the Apple Pencil, I am waiting for an update. If Apple doesn't release a mini Pro at the next iPad event(whenever that will be) then I will decide between the rumored 10.5" bezel-less iPad Pro and whatever other Pro iPad they offer. Hoping the iPad Pro updates come this Spring or Summer and not delayed until the fall like some are saying now.
 

Saturn1217

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2008
986
245
Prior to getting the iPad Pro I had an iPad Air. I spent a lot of money trying to find a good stylus, including those Bluetooth active styli. Nothing compared to the Apple Pencil. The issue is that the resolution of the touch sensors is not high enough on the non-pro iPads. So even if you find a good stylus, the ability to write small and detailed is compromised. The hardware in the screen of the Pros, rather than just the Apple Pencil is what makes the experience so much better.

You could get by annotating PDFs with the Air (I used mine for this purpose). But you'll probably need to find an app that gives you a zoom box to write notes in the margins. Most handwriting apps offer this. So yes it is possible but the pencil + Pro will be a better experience.
 

case2001

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2010
354
52
I have an Air 2 with the Adonit active stylus. The Adonit is nice because it has buttons which if the program supports it, can undo/redo. I only use it for notes and highlights. It works well for those features via a zoom window in GoodNotes.

When I buy a new iPad, it will be a Pro with pencil. It works better and has better palm rejection. I cannot justify the expense now.
 
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CagdasCizer

macrumors member
Jun 13, 2015
96
52
Let me tell you this way. Try to use your ipad with your knee.

Then use it with your finger.

Difference is around the same. Apple pencil is really amazing. Styluses just barely works.
 

jamface

macrumors regular
Jan 25, 2016
131
177
Let me tell you this way. Try to use your ipad with your knee.

Then use it with your finger.

Difference is around the same. Apple pencil is really amazing. Styluses just barely works.
wait- I've always used my knee... are you saying that a finger is much easier?! I'd been thinking it seemed like quite an effort...
 
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sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,671
9,392
Prescott Valley, AZ
I have an Air 2 with the Adonit active stylus. The Adonit is nice because it has buttons which if the program supports it, can undo/redo. I only use it for notes and highlights. It works well for those features via a zoom window in GoodNotes.

When I buy a new iPad, it will be a Pro with pencil. It works better and has better palm rejection. I cannot justify the expense now.
I had a very nice and workable solution on my iPad Air 2 using a DotPen powered capacitive stylus. When using it for sketching, I used a home-made "art glove" that was simply a $1 cotton glove from the pharmacy with a few fingers cut off. That eliminated the need for palm-rejection.

Having moved up to a 12.9 iPad Pro + Pencil I can say that this combo is very well worth it even for the casual user.
 

Cassady

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2012
557
132
Sqornshellous
As said above - night and day difference, it's simply not comparable.

The only thing I guess you would need to consider, is how extensive you plan on using it. If you only annotate occasionally, then sticking with a standard stylus, you would be none the wiser on what you are missing - and the extra price might not be justified.

That said, if you do splurge on the upgrade, I'd reason that once you spent any amount of time with the Pencil, don't be surprised if you start annotating *more* than what you currently are, simply due to how close it feels to what you would be/are doing with pen and paper...
 
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