Apple’s $99 stylus accessory for the iPad Pro, the Apple Pencil, conveniently comes with a spare tip and includes a special Lightning-to-USB adapter to save users from having to precariously charge their Pencils directly from their iPads.
A spare tip is a nice addition as it gives Pencil customers piece of mind knowing that wearing down the tip won’t force them to take their accessory for servicing.
“If you need to replace the tip of your Apple Pencil, there’s an extra one in the box,” reads Apple’s support document. “Just unscrew the tip and screw in the new one.”
As per the document, Pencil owners will be able to buy more tips “in the future.” I’m sure many Pencil owners will appreciate this.
As iFixit discovered in its teardown analysis of the Apple Pencil, while both the pen nib and cap can be replaced if worn out or lost, there’s no opening the Pencil for servicing without shredding the densely packed components, making repairs virtually impossible.
As you know, the Apple Pencil features an integrated Lightning connector with a cap that snaps into place with magnets. This lets the stylus accessory be charged through the iPad Pro’s Lightning port.
A quick 15-second charge gives the Pencil enough juice to run for a full fifteen minutes. However, the box also includes an adapter for USB charging, obviously a last minute addition.
The Apple Pencil Charging Adapter is basically a small Lightning-to-Lightning dongle which connects to the Pencil’s Lightning port on one end.
The included Lightning-to-USB cable is then inserted into the other end of the adapter, letting one charge the Pencil through most USB-powered devices and USB chargers, including the 5-watt charger that came with your iPhone.
“You can also plug into a USB port with the Apple Pencil Charging Adapter and a Lightning to USB cable,” notes Apple.
The Pencil has a model number “A1603” and measures 175 mm tall and 8.9 mm deep.
It offers up to twelve hours of runtime on a single charge. Like Apple’s new Magic accessories, the Pencil automatically pairs with an iPad Pro via Bluetooth as soon as you plug it into the Lightning connector on the tablet.
A user will see the Pair button pop up on the screen that must be tapped in order to complete the pairing process. Reviewers have praised the Pencil’s lag-free performance, low latency and palm rejection, which apparently works like a charm.
Another nice touch: if you draw near the edge of the screen with your Pencil, iOS understands this and won’t activate Control Center, Notification Center or the app switcher so you can draw anywhere on the screen without getting interrupted.