The tablet market has been a tough place for some time now, which is one of the major reasons why many tech companies have pulled out of it. But if there is one company that has been persistent in the field, it is the Cupertino tech giant, Apple. The company has recently added another tablet to its portfolio, the sixth-generation iPad, which is aimed at the education sector. And one of the biggest USPs of the device is the support for Apple Pencil, a feature that was earlier exclusive to the iPad Pro lineup. But does the new iPad offers the same Apple Pencil experience as compared to the much more expensive iPad Pro?
Feels the same, sounds different
We have used the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro to draw, to scribble notes, and create designs, and the experience has been pretty smooth. The stylus is very well crafted and not only holds and feels like a real pen/pencil but also reads the level of pressure you are putting on the screen with the tip and the angle in which you are using it, which helps it work almost like its non-tech counterpart, given the fact that the Apple Pencil experience on the iPad Pro has been pretty remarkable which leaves the new iPad with huge shoes to fill when it comes to the stylus experience.
But to our very pleasant surprise, the new iPad blended right in with the Pencil and did not disappoint us in any way. The user experience of the Apple Pencil stylus on the new iPad felt pretty much the same as compared to its more powerful and expensive sibling – it works exactly the same way (unfortunately, it also charges off it in the same way, but THAT, dear reader is another story). All the features of the Apple Pencil that work on the iPad Pro will work on the new iPad, too, although there might be a difference in the speed of the app itself – the iPad Pro does pack in much more powerful hardware.
Yes, there is a teeny-weeny difference in terms of how the pencil reacts to the screen. For example, the iPad Pro picks up the tiniest bit of movement and captures better detail as compared to the iPad, but the difference is not really noticeable. You can use the Apple Pencil on both devices side by side, and there is a fat chance that you would be able to tell the difference. Writing or sketching on the new iPad with the Apple Pencil is as smooth as on the iPad Pro.
The only notable difference, or we should say the only “sound” difference, between the two experiences is that you might hear a loud and annoying tap sound that is produced by the Apple Pencil when it hits the iPad’s screen. This is because, evidently, just like the last year’s iPad, the new iPad also does not have a laminated screen which basically means that there is a bit of a gap between the display of the device and the glass. Although this does not really affect the functionality of the Apple Pencil in any way, working on the iPad becomes a little “loud” as compared to working on an iPad Pro. Deal breaker? No way! The sound is noticeable only when you tap the display, not when you sketch or write on it.
If it is just about the Pencil, you can skip the Pro now!
Many people (including us) were speculating that because the new iPad is literally the same price as last year’s iPad and is more affordable than the iPad Pro, there would be a difference in the Apple Pencil experience on the two devices. Still, to our pleasant surprise, there actually is not much. In fact, the stylus works pretty much the same on both tablets, which is impressive, taking into consideration that the iPad Pro comes with more powerful hardware. So if you are considering buying the iPad Pro for just the Apple Pencil experience, we would recommend you consider the new iPad instead – it is lighter on the pocket. The Apple Pencil does seem to work just as well on it (you can get a base model of the new iPad and an Apple Pencil for less than the price of the base mode of an iPad Pro!). We still think the new iPad and Apple Pencil combo is rather pricey for most Indian schools, not least because of the cost of the Apple Pencil itself, but the fact that you can now experience perhaps the best stylus out there on a relatively more affordable tablet is a great move by Apple.