Stylus use on Air 2 vs. Pencil use on Pro

Discussion in 'iPad' started by OneSon, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. OneSon macrumors member


    Jan 6, 2013
    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?
  2. Nausicaa macrumors 6502a

    Jan 11, 2007
    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.
  3. DougFNJ macrumors 65816


    Jan 22, 2008
    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.
  4. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    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.
  5. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    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
  6. rijc99 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2015
    Yes, it's a night and day difference.
  7. sparksd macrumors 68020

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    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).
  8. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    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.
  9. MacDarcy macrumors 65816

    Jul 21, 2011
    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.
  10. Saturn1217 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2008
    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.
  11. case2001 macrumors 6502

    Sep 9, 2010
    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.
  12. CagdasCizer macrumors member


    Jun 13, 2015
    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.
  13. jamface macrumors regular


    Jan 25, 2016
    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...
  14. sracer macrumors G3


    Apr 9, 2010
    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.
  15. Cassady macrumors 6502a


    Jul 7, 2012
    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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14 March 22, 2017