This post is the review master post covering all parts of my iPad Pro, Apple Keyboard and Pencil reviews with guest posts from Mike. The link to this post will now also appear in the main review sections which can be found using the menu above.
TecnhnoBuffalo took up a challenge. One of their writers went on a week’s trip to Europe with just the iPad Pro and Apple Keyboard, instead of a laptop. I will share my opinions of their experience after the video.
Size matters. One of the difficulties of using the iPad whilst travelling was its size. On the plane it was so big it got in the way. Relaxing in bed it was too heavy to hold like you would the iPad Air or Mini. Both these situations affected me.
The flip side was the large screen is superb for media consumption along with the strong battery life. However, more work related stuff does get compromised.
I thought the criticism of the Apple Keyboard was unfair. I found it really fast and operations like going to the home screen can be achieved with simply command key operations. In fact, holding down the command key for a few seconds in every app reveals all the shortcuts. Tweetbot has loads of shortcuts!
As I have said before, the Apple Pro is an excellent piece of hardware, if it fits what you need it to do. One of my favourite iOS app, Reeder, just received a big update, most importantly it now supports the iPad Pro properly. However, this is only the 3rd app I have seen updated since the iPad Pro’s launch that I use that has been specifically updated for the iPad Pro.
I have been lucky enough to receive my Apple Pencil, so now I can use it with the iPad Pro. It comes with an adapter so you can charge it with any lightning cable. Or you can stick it into the lightning connector on the iPad Pro to recharge. This is potentially dangerous and if you are not careful you could accidentally damage the Apple Pencil.
You cannot get away from inserting the Apple Pencil into my iPad Pro, as this is the only way to pair it. The pairing is carried out via bluetooth. Apart from the lightning adapter, in the box is a spare tip and some instructions on how to use it. It does warn you to make sure the Apple Pencil tip is kept clean and that over time the tip will wear out.
So is it the Apple Pencil any good? Yes it is. Marvellous. I have used an app called Procreate and the Notes app and both work really well. As a Samsung Note ex user, I have to say the Pencil is far superior. But then its not a stylus, just a drawing tool. The Apple Pencil detects pressure, angles and strokes with hardly any latency whatsoever, mostly none at all !!!
The negatives. There is nowhere to safely store the Apple Pencil. If you want an Appe Pencil, online ordering has a 4-5 week delay. Because of this delay, I do suspect people believe they need one when in fact they will use it for the first day and never again. I think even I have fallen into this trap as I cannot see what I will use it for as I am not an artist! I am not sure how long the battery will last, but I did fully recharge the Apple Pencil to 100%. After using it for 30 mins, I depleted the charge by 11%. When not in use, it does seem to lose a little bit of battery. I will provide another post on the battery after using it more over the next few days. If you need to check the battery level of the Apple Pencil, this can only be found in the notification centre in the battery widget which also contains the battery level of the iPad.
I have returned the Apple Smart Cover and gone with the Apple Smart Keyboard which I am using to type this article. It is quite likely I will be returning the Apple Pencil but will give it a bit longer. The reason I kept the Smart Keyboard is that it really is so slim and adds hardly any extra bulk when connected and is nearly as slim as the Smart Cover. I also managed to create the Smart Cover typing mode position with the Apple Keyboard. It is not as secure as using the Smart Cover in this position but it works and gives me the option to use the on screen keyboard or just aide with the browsing angle when sitting on the sofa. I have also been discovering lots of new shortcuts on the Apple Keyboard, which really speed up the operation. I wish Apple would provide a list of shortcuts available. I must admit the extra accessories for the iPad Pro do make it one killer piece of hardware.
So there you have the latest with the iPad Pro, Apple Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil.