Apple designed Apple Pencil to allow users work with precision when using iPad Pro. Introduced on November 11, 2015, this pencil lets the user make any number of effects on the screen without any effort. On the outside, it looks like, well, like a disposable plastic pen, but a teardown shows that it’s crammed full of tiny technology.
Users operate with Apple Pencil just as they draw or paint using a common pencil, as this revolutionary devices gives users a variety of tools in a single gadget. Apple Pencil is distinguished by its responsiveness, as the pencil’s latency is reduced to an almost imperceptible level, and the delay practically can not be noted between the moment when the user begins drawing and the moment the result can be seen on the screen.
The heart of the device is a tiny circuit board weighing in at only one gram. But built onto this board are several components, including an ST Microelectronics STML151UCY6 Ultra-low-power 32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3 microcontroller unit. And at the business end of the pencil another tiny circuit board is located, on which are three diminutive contacts that are used to mechanically determine how hard the pencil is being pressed.
The versatility and precision of Apple Pencil make it an ideal tool for artists (and even those artists prefer to work in traditional mediums).
Besides iPad Pro senses when the user puts his or her finger on Apple Pencil. At this moment the system scans the signal and submits it to the software. The system scans the movements 240 times per second, and this means that the image appears on the screen in a few milliseconds. It also takes into account the pressure the user exercises on the tip, measuring a range of forces applied. And the variety of creative effects is literally limitless. If the user presses harder, the lines he or she draws will be thicker. The user can also use a very gentle touch for wispy hairlines.
There are two tilt sensors located in the tip of the pencil. These sensors calculate the relative position of your hand as your draw. Then the exact orientation and angle of the Apple pencil is detected by the Multi-Touch display, and shading effects can be created just by tilting the tool just like a common pencil or a charcoal.
Curiously enough, users can rest their hands on the iPad Pro screen while they use Apple Pencil, as the computer is designed with palm rejection technology, so the user must not worry about how to position his or her arm and can focus on drawing with the utmost precision.
Apple Pencil is perfect to use it with built-in apps which help find new dimensions of productivity and creativity while working using them, and it works with iPad apps from the App Store.
According to Apple, the full charged battery runtime of Apple Pencil is up to twelve hours of editing, sketching, scribbling, annotating, drawing or painting, according to testing conducted by Apple, and using pre-production Apple Pencil and iPad Pro units and software. The Lightning connector lets the user charge the pencil by plugging it into iPad Pro. The connector features an elongated design, so that charging is possible even when the computer is inside its Silicone Case. If the battery runs out while using Apple Pencil, users can just charge the pencil from their iPad Pro for fifteen seconds and get half an hour of use since the moment the charging indicator for Apple Pencil appears in the Notification Center battery widget.
- CPU: ST Microelectronics STM32L151UCY6. MCU running at 32 MHz.
- System on chip: Ultra-low-power 32-bit RISC ARM-based Cortex-M3.
- Input: Lightning Connector, Bluetooth 4.1Connection to iPad Pro: Cambridge Silicon Radio (Qualcomm) CSR1012A05 Bluetooth.
- Memory: 64 KB of flash memory.
- Accelerometer: Bosch Sensortech BMA280 3‐Axis Accelerometer.
- Battery: Rechargeable 3.82 V, 0.329 Wh lithium-ion battery. The battery is recyclable. This minuscule battery holds just 5 percent of the charge of the battery found inside the latest iPhone, and can power the pen for up to twelve hours.
- Other features: Antenna (this tiny antenna is used to communicate with the iPad Pro. The antenna is housed at the top of the device, below the Lightning connector). Pressure and angle sensors near the tip (the tip is replaceable. Apple sells it in packs of four).
- Dimensions: 6.92 inches (length) – measured from tip to cap; 0.35 inch (diameter).
- Weight: 0.73 ounce.
Note that in order to get into the Apple Pencil a Dremel power tool had to be appropriated to cut the outer casing and expose the metallic innards. Apart from the nib or cap covering the Lightning connector, there’s nothing to repair or fix on the pencil which is clearly not a user-repairable device.
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