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Friday, November 13, 2015

iPad Pro with pencil stylus review

Summary:  Overall, the whiteboarding alone is reason enough for me to buy an iPad pro-- it has gone over that magic threshold of "good enough" that pads of paper will be a thing of the past for me.   Your excuse may be different (pencil drawing is a good one), so I think this device will be huge.


Dave Hart and Grue Debry got an iPad Pro with stylus for their company and they loaned it to me to try out tonight.   I used their limnu shared whiteboarding program to test it.

I tried it with the math I was messing with today (trying to meet Andrew Glassner's color space challenge to get uniformity into the prismatic color volume).

First, I **love** that I can rest my hand on the iPad while I draw (the iPad pro understands not to count that as a touch).


My hand is resting on the iPad as I draw and this is more important to my comfort than I would have thought
My biggest reaction was that this iPad is exactly the size I want.  It's about the size of 8.5 by 11 paper (actual working area size about 7 3/4" by 10 1/4"), so maybe that size evolved in paper to be the "right size" or maybe I am just so used to it that I like it.   Any bigger and it would be awkward to transport, and using this as a pad in a coffee shop is a great use case.   And of course you can pan so really it's a window into a much bigger sheet of paper.

The stylus is fantastic.   It feels good and has some features that has me not as eye-rolling about calling it a pencil.

As a white board marker I loved it.   Changing colors and nib sizes was more useful than I anticipated.   Using it as an eraser (which I had to do a lot as will be evident in some of the not very careful eases below-- I really do use limnu like a white board-- it's for blazing through ideas).   Here's my first screenful.  
A screenshot of my first session on limnu with the iPad Pro


 15 more 2x2 equations to solve (doing them as special cases to take advantage of zero dropouts) so I will definitely need the pan feature.   I used to use a big real white board or a giant artist pad for these situations, but I will most definitely use a tablet from now on.   Even without the saving and collaboration features I think it would be a win just because of physical portability and fluidity.  

Overall, the whiteboarding alone is reason enough for me to buy an iPad pro-- it has gone over that magic threshold of "good enough" that pads of paper will be a thing of the past for me.    I don't think it will make my laptop obsolete due to OS issues (Microsoft is making a better play for that now).   But the hardware of the iPad pro is in the laptop power zone.    John Gruber has a really interesting discussion of this hardware/software issue.

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