Monday, January 6, 2014

Pencil 53 Review

I got Paper 53's special stylus, The Pencil for Christmas and decided to put together this review to help people decide if they want to take the plunge. It comes in Walnut (which attaches to smart covers on the iPad via magnets) and Graphite. (Which does not but looks sleeker in my opinion.) I got the graphite so that's what I'll be reviewing. The Pencil fits comfortably in my hand and just feels natural. You charge it by removing the top and the rest slides out. It charges via USB so you can use an iPhone/iPad charger. It took about ninety minutes to reach full charge.

It says Pencil works on iPads 3, 4, Air and the Minis. To pair it with Pencil you must turn on Bluetooth. After that you open Paper and slide up the menu. If you're running the latest Paper there's an Pencil icon on the far left. You simply press your Pencil tip onto the icon and it activates after a few seconds. It feels good overall. I can see myself using it a lot. The rubber tip is smooth but needs to be broken in. It will leave marks on the screen but I still recommend not using a screen protector.

The Pencil enables blending with your fingertips and the use of a very intuitive eraser on the tail end. I see myself using Paper more with this tool. I'm concerned about the durability of the rubber tips though. 53 includes an additional one but at this time you can't order additional tips so I recommend using them gently. There's also palm rejection which is pretty cool but these features don't work with the other apps I use (SBP, Procreate, Brushes, ArtRage) so I don't want to get used to that.

I encountered a few bugs with blending versus drawing (sometimes the Pencil won't know when I'm using my fingers or not.) but other than that it works as advertised. It'll work well as a basic stylus in other art apps but like I stated before no additional features. I would recommend this stylus for Paper 53 users mainly due to the price tag. ($49.95 for Graphite and $59.95 for Walnut) Overall this is a quality stylus and one of the best I've used so far.