“Nobody wants a stylus.” Those words, uttered by Steve Jobs at the original iPhone unveiling, might have been true where smartphones are concerned. Third-party accessory makers seem to think they’re okay for the iPad, though, and even Apple has filed a patent for an “Active Stylus.” But while current iPad styluses are hampered by the tablet’s capacitive touchscreen (accidental palm touches, anyone?), the company behind the popular “Paper” app for iPad is hoping introduce a new kind of product that makes writing on an iPad a bit more realistic.

pencilFiftyThree’s “Pencil” is a stylus that connects to your iPad via Bluetooth. When paired with the Paper app, it works much like you’d expect a traditional pencil to. Connecting Pencil automatically turns on a palm rejection feature inside Paper, allowing you to write normally on a Paper page. If you make a mistake, there’s an “eraser” you can use to correct it. When Pencil is paired with your iPad, you can also use your fingers to smudge and blend colors like you would on a traditional sheet of paper.

Because Pencil uses Bluetooth, it has an internal battery that occasionally needs to be charged. Fortunately, this is a quick process — using the included USB charger, Pencil can go from empty to full in about an hour and a half.

Pencil was created to work with Paper, though its capacitive nature means that you can use it as a normal iPad stylus in other apps, minus the Bluetooth connectivity and features like palm rejection and erasing. You can get a cheap stylus for around $10, and it’ll work the same as a Pencil in any other app. If you’re looking for a stylus for some other app, you may want to go with a cheaper model.¬†Pencil’s Graphite and Walnut models ring up at $49.95 and $59.95, respectively.

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Pencil is pretty pricey for a capacitive stylus, but you have to factor in the Paper integration, which I haven’t really seen any other accessory/app combination pull off for the iPad. And if you haven’t tried Paper, I recommend you download it (it’s free) and spend some time using it. It’s a beautiful app (it actually won two awards from Apple) and while I haven’t found it the best for simple note taking, those who regularly sketch or draw might find it useful.


If you’re interested in Pencil, you can head over to FiftyThree’s online shop. The company states that orders will ship to the U.S. and Canada in 2 to 3 weeks, and U.S. orders that are placed before December 6 will come in time for Christmas.

Does FiftyThree’s Pencil stylus seem like something you’d be interested in? Tell us what you think about it below.

[Source: TechCrunch]


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