The Apple Pencil is found amazing to draw with, very hard to repair

The Apple Pencil is found amazing to draw with, very hard to repair
The $99 Apple Pencil shapes out to be a fantastic tool for drawing, annotating, doodling or simply jotting down ideas around text and comments during lectures, as you can see from the random examples in the slideshow below. Apple's new stylus is currently in short supply, going for more than double the price on places like eBay, as the first orders that got through won't be fulfilled until next month, it seems.

There is a reason for the Pencil accessory to be with limited availability at launch, though, and it might not be that Apple is testing the waters to gauge how many people that got the iPad Pro will get the stylus, too. It turns out that the Apple Pencil is simply very, very complicated to make, as affirmed by iFixit during their obligatory teardown. Not only does it have an extremely tiny motherboard that is folded in half to fit, but also a somewhat twisted, tubular Li-ion battery, as well as a sensor behind the pencil's nib that consists of numerous miniature ticks which help with the amazing pressure sensitivity. Needless to say, with all the fighting that went on during disassembly, iFixit had given a repair score of 1 out of 10 for Apple's complex stylus undertaking.

All that build complexity is not just for the sake of it, too - early tests of the Apple Pencil are producing some amazing results on the iPad Pro, even with folks who are by no means astute graphics designers or artists per se. Palm rejection is reported to be top-notch, and writing angles, as well as pressure recognition are apparently leaving the user with the feeling that they have a real pencil and paper to sketch or scribble with. Check out some of the Apple Pencil creation examples from regular folks below, and tell us what you think about them.

source: iFixit, WinterCharm (Reddit), Asymco



1. Jango

Posts: 376; Member since: Oct 24, 2014

That's pretty darn impressive. I just don't understand why PA had to compensate for the fact that it is not repairable with the fact that it is a VERY impressive stylus when it comes to it's core function. To the extent that is unclear if the article is about the teardown or its writing/drawing prowess. Other products don't seem to get this treatment. I mean, how did the teardown reveal how good the pencil draws?

3. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

PA!! Sensitivity second to none? Sammy's latest gen if it's S-Pen is way better (there's proof) and needs no battery and as much as sensitive, if not more that the $99 iRip-off toy pencil.

10. peace247 unregistered

I know apple products are expensive... They use 2012 specs(some think).. But they definitely perform like a flagship in every way. And if u are investing in an apple product u know it's gonna be great. I think s pen and pencil both are for different audience. And both perform extremely well for which they are made. I still love android. :-)

23. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

A pencil that costs $99 that doesn't do anything more than one cost $40, doesn't make it better because you paid more. A laptop that costs $1700 that does less than one that costs $1000 doesn't make it better because it costs more.Especially when its using the same hardware. A Tablet that costs $1000 that does less than one than cost $800 isn't better because you paid more for it. Also it doesn't matter what brand it is, whether its one you personally like or not. What I said is true of all of them no matter the brand. One example...S-Pen vs Apple Pencil. They have a lot in common. Both use a hardware based solution. S-Pen or any WACOM pen usually doesn't need charging. There are some that are battery powered if they use Bluetooth. The non-BT solutions work equally as well. The retail price of a S-Pen is $10.00 for a replacement from 3rd parties and less than $30 if you purchase directly from Samsung. The S-Pen comes with the devices that use it, Apple Pencil doesn't. S-Pen offers 1024-2048 level of pressure, Apple pencil only 1024. S-Pen never needs charging, Apple Pencil does. The S-Pen works with "ALL" Galaxy Note devices or any device that uses WACOM, while the Apple pencil only works with the iPad Pro. With the Note or any WACOM product, I can buy alternative WACOM styli with the most expensive being from names like LeBlanc, or I can just get something simple. Again they all will work with any tablet product featuring WACOM technology. Here is why Apple charges more...GREED. Since Apple products are exclusive to them and dont work on any other product, they could actually charge less because they get all the money anyways. But no, they rather be greedy. This vs Standard product offering where they are being offered by several OEM's which forces the cost down because of real competition. As long as you keep thinking paying more actually gets you more, the more company's like Apple will rip all you crazy people off. This is just an unbiased opinion.

22. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

My guess is, if it breaks $99 is a hefty price to get a replacement. Also consider other options like WACOM which actually in some cases offer more like extra types, 2048 levels of pressure; don't cost as much if they break. But in honesty I dont see anyone breaking them. But since you have to stick it out the bottom of the iPad to charge it, I can see that accidentally being broken off at the connector side and since you can't repair that, $99 again is a hefty price to pay. That is the dumbest way to charge it. In fact it shouldn't be rechargeable. Just use AAAA batteries which are cheap and replace a battery. For charging what they could have done is in the middle of the pencil, they should have placed a lighting port just like the ones on the devices if it fits, and make a 2-headed connector to slide into the pencil and into the tablet charging port, so that the pencil is flush with the side of the pad, not sticking out the bottom. But why even make it rechargeable? Just buy batteries. A battery should last at least a year depending on usage.


Posts: 8; Member since: Dec 12, 2013

What's wrong with you guys? The S pen was her for ages. It's miles better. At least it requires no battery and must not be bought for a ridiculouly high price. And yet it is not embraced like that

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

PA, how durable is it, since it's not embedded? Let's get a torture test going.

6. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

But simply buy it and torture it, Mr iJedii

8. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Once again, and for the last time...we've nothing to discuss.

11. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

Come on my bro, why being so rude and rejective? I'm just kidding here.

14. Plume-Veil

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 19, 2015

Yeah whats iWrong with him?

15. Unordinary unregistered

You reply to one of my comments on my last post because it hurt your pansy wansy fanboy feelings and told me to cut the crap, yet you are here harassing a user based on his interests. What a tool.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well said. I'm at the just ignore him point now. +1

18. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Hi jedii, not a troll here. I jist want to ask if you aren't bothered by the fact that the stylus needs to be charged every now and then? I think that and it's price are the only real cons

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

No, because of the way I'd use it, it wouldn't be an issue. The price is too high though.

26. darkkjedii

Posts: 31039; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

What's your thoughts on the Pro? The only reason it'll be my next tablet, is because it's the obvious choice. The hardware is tops, my Air 2 will keep me for awhile though.

28. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Not really interested in it, I personally prefer smaller tablets like the iPad mini 4, I'm a small guy you know. I would've liked it more if it's price isn't so close to the Surface's. Thought I can't deny that it is a great tablet, I love the self balancing speakers, they would be super awesome if they put the grill holes at the front though. Lack of force touch is a bummer.

24. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

Because he's an iFan who straddles the fence with Android. he can't handle facts or opinions that don't agree with his, no matter which side of the fence he is on. And when he like others can't counter your argument, they resort to the typical one-liner retorts. Can't you see that? Son't waste your time with snotty people. Its a forum. If they don't like it here they can always leave, but they rather act like snotty females but claim to be men.

13. Plume-Veil

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 19, 2015

O come on, I've course we have...

27. Ninetysix

Posts: 2964; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

You accidentally replied using the wrong account Hexa-core. Pendejo.

12. Plume-Veil

Posts: 174; Member since: Nov 19, 2015


5. bur60

Posts: 981; Member since: Jul 07, 2014

The surface pen can also be used to draw impressive things. There are forums filled with surface artists

7. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

And this is not the only iStuffs to be hard to repare, iPods have always been so - so that when it gets spoilt, you just got to buy another one! Hence, the Apple's dominance in sales - because thier iDevices are made so: 1/10 repairability, huh? Other OEMs, - namely my old Samsung GT-S5230 of about 4 years old is still alive today. I've repaired it's SIM card slot and screen a gazillion times. Heck, my buddy's Note 2 - he bought it a few moths after it's launching in 2012 - is still working flawlessly till date! But iDevices? *Meh*

9. Wulfgardr

Posts: 73; Member since: Oct 29, 2014

hey guys I just wanted to point out something cool about Android that iOS doesn't have, plus I will add a lot of smiley because I ain't a f**king normie :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

16. 47AlphaTango

Posts: 729; Member since: Sep 27, 2015

What android has that ios doesn't: - Expandable storage now up to 200GB microSD support on some android handsets and tablets. - A choices of low, mediocre, and flagship phones. - Many android providers like samsung, lg, huawei, xiaomi, sony, htc, and such. - Majority of all android phones and tablets aren't that expensive. - Some comes with shockproof and/or waterproof technology. - Customizable UI's for the keyboard, Main Menu, and such. - Has a lot of widgets to choose from. - Manufactured in different sizes like 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.2, 5.5, 5.8, 6.0, 6.3, and more. - Some have stylus and flip cover in the package which are purchased in 1 single box. What IOS have that android doesn't: - 64 bit apps and a lot of premium apps. Unit has to be using A7, A8, or A9 chipset. Otherwise, it will show 32 bit apps. - Many game and app developers than android. And to some have sample apps running to it as a test. - Have many third party hard case providers which are shockproof and waterproof. While some comes with a backlit keyboard on it. - Have dockable speakers which both charges your unit and at the same time while playing music on the external speaker. - Optional 64 or 128GB internal storage available to purchase worldwide. - Full software support that even 4s and ipad 2 are still supported and updated to ios 9.

19. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

I agree its very smooth and very accurate compared to other Styli I have used. I got to compare it side-by-side with the N-Trig pen used with the Surface Pro 4 and how it felt compared to the Bamboo Feel from WACOM, and the Apple Pencil feels equally as good and nearly equally precise. But it only works with this iPad and I think that is shady. While the N-trig will only work with the Surface, it does work with the Surface 3 which also uses N-Trig. WACOM's offerings work with any device using WACOM hardware which si its own and Samsung's Note devices. What I want to know is, who's tech is Apple using for the Pencil since it appears to be hardware based. Is it N-Trig? I know it isn't WACOM. Does anyone happen to know?

20. PhoneCritic

Posts: 1354; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Again PA,is this an article about a tear down or a review? The pen looks like it does a great job but for 99.00 and having batteries in it that need to be constantly recharged I feel it is worst then the other offerings.

25. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

because it is worse than any other offering. With all Apple products you have to spend stupid money. Like with their displays. They choose to use non-standard ports, so you have to buy expensive dongles and cables if you are trying to use them with non-Apple products. Their cables don't do anything any better. They just cost more because of licensing. They make good products, but the price of entry and usage just isn't worth it.

29. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I love how all Android ifixit reviews are just based on repair ability and then for Apple ifixit articles, it turns into an article about repair-ability and how great the product is. lol It's so obvious that it's pathetic really. Word of advice PA and this is what you should have learned in journalism school day 1. At least attempt to hide your biases when reporting. lol

30. Hexa-core

Posts: 2131; Member since: Aug 11, 2015

PA has no shame to hide it.

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