Last week was quite the week with, not only one new product release, but two!! I got my new iPad Pro 9.7 inch and my new Amazon Echo Dot on Thursday. I will review the Dot later (but I'm pretty excited to have a new Echo in the bedroom), but I wanted to talk about the new iPad today. So, I came home from work early on Thursday to be sure I was around to sign for my new iPad. When I opened it, I was very happy about the size and weight. We have an original iPad that is my son's now, but I was familiar with this screen size going in. But what I'm ecstatic about is the weight...it's so freaking light. I had borrowed the larger iPad Pro from some of my IT friends at my company, and while the size was awesome, it was just too big. In the interest of full disclosure - I couldn't easily use it while going to the bathroom...hahaha! The 9.7inch didn't have that problem. I loved the larger screen but it's much easier to carry around and use.
With the new iPad, I also bought a pencil...man, what a nice piece of equipment. I had been using a Musemee Notier V2, which I actually loved (despite the disc on the end), but the pencil is so precise and easy to use. Plus, it has a heft that makes it very easy to write with. I just loved using the pencil. However, it does have some downsides - as other's have mentioned, it has no holder for when you remove the cap. It would have been so easy to put a tether on the cap so someone wasn't prone to lose it, but as is, you take the cap off and set it down, when you want to charge it. It's so easy to lose. Second, there's no way to attach it to the iPad. I realize that most people will buy a case that you can attach the pencil to, but adding a magnet to the pencil (and then one to the cap as well, by the way) would have been appreciated. Especially since the case you can buy from Apple has no pen loop.
As for functionality, my main fear was buying an iPad with the pencil, using it for coloring like three pages, and then getting bored (because that's never happened). Well, I can tell you that we found ourselves using it all the time over the weekend. First, we had a friend who was trying to draw a picture of his new patio. Instead of trying to find a scrap piece of paper, he drew it on the iPad. It was easy to draw with different colored pens to indicate different materials. So simple. Then, I run a table top RPG with my friends, and during game I have to keep track of lots of bad guys and their hit points - plus, I house everything in Microsoft One Note. I was able to pull up the game, keep track of my notes, and even have just a sheet of scrap paper that I kept track of hitpoints on...it was so easy. And I find myself using the pencil all the time - even if I'm just playing solitaire, I like interacting with the pencil. My husband and I are starting to talk about a bathroom remodel, so I downloaded an app to help with that. I'm excited to use the app for design work, so we'll see how that goes.
All in all, the new iPad was a good purchase for me. There isn't a huge jump in technology between the earlier iPads, so if you don't see yourself using the pencil for things, then you may not care. But if you are really looking to use the pencil, then it's a great purchase. Now I have to start on the endless process of finding a case.