[NTLK] Daily Digest Subscriber - Am I the first to see the iPen and the obvious Newton connection?

Steven Frank stevenf at panic.com
Tue Sep 15 18:52:14 EDT 2015


The Apple Pencil and the Surface Pro 3's N-Trig pen have some differences though:

1. The Pencil is rechargeable, and can use the iPad itself as a source of charge via the Lightning port.  The Surface Pen has disposable batteries you must replace.  Two of them, in fact: a small "button/coin" style battery that powers the Bluetooth button on the "eraser" end, and a AAAA (yes, quadruple-A) battery for the pen itself.  I've yet to find AAAA batteries at retail locally.  I bought some from Amazon, but I've heard that pro camera shops may stock them.  AAAA batteries make for a thinner pen, but requiring a battery you can't quickly find at any corner convenience store seems like a poor design decision.  Further, there is no way (that I can tell) to tell for sure that the battery needs replacing other than it begins behaving erratically all of a sudden.

2. The Pencil can allegedly be charged sufficiently for 30 minutes of use with *15 seconds* of charging.  (A full charge lasts 12 hours, according to Apple.)

3. With regard to responsiveness, Apple has said that when the pen is in use, they double the input sampling rate (I believe from 60 to 120 Hz?) which would make for a significant reduction in lag.  This was called out in the keynote and I think the videos accompanying it.

Finally, I would feel confident not using a screen protector with an iPad Pro + Pencil.  iPad screens are hardened glass, and can't be compared to the Newton's much softer screen layer.

Steven


> On Sep 14, 2015, at 3:08 PM, Tony Kan <tonykan at xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> 
> [Snip]
> Very interesting, but I see it does have a battery.  Must be they didn't want to license the "no battery" tech from Wacom (or try to do something similar and get sued by Wacom).
> [Snip]
> 
> I think the problem is that the Wacom technology adds too much thickness to the unit this is one of the possible reasons why Microsoft moved away and adopted N-Trig. Wacom also has "parallax" errors near the edges of the display.
> 
> On the other hand, the Wacom technology is the undisputed leader when it comes to pressure sensitivity and responsiveness. Active pens have a reputation for a bit of latency between the movement of the stylus and the image appearing on the display. Maybe Apple has succeeded in reducing this latency to negligible levels.
> 
> [Snip]
> always liked the idea of the Jot Pro but was afraid the plastic disc would scratch the screen) that I like but nothing with the precision I want.
> [Snip]
> 
> [Snip]
> One other thing they are not mentioning, I suspect one should have a screen protector on with the pencil.  We know how well how easy a true stylus can scratch a screen, no matter now soft/nice the tip is.
> [Snip]
> 
> Couldn't agree more.
> 
> Tony Kan.
> 
> 
> 
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
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