This year Apple took the iPad concept one step further and announced the so-called iPad Pro: a large 12.9-inch tablet running iOS, equipped with a stylus called the Apple Pencil.
The inclusion of a stylus (and other things like an optional keyboard cover) pushes the iPad Pro slightly more into the productivity niche. It also makes it an alternative to Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4, which also happens to be paired with a stylus and a keyboard cover.
Now, ever since the iPad Pro was unveiled, the Pencil itself raised a lot of questions, not only because it seems to go against Apple’s (or Steve Jobs’) old policy to ditch the stylus concept, but also because it does feature a few interesting technologies, such as a tip that can calculate its angle.
Apple also touted the Pencil as a “highly responsive” input method with “virtually no lag”, which is something any digital stylus user craves. But how does the Pencil compare with the Surface Pro 4’s stylus after all? One user tries to find out in a couple of videos, which you will find below.
Surface Pro 4 vs iPad Pro – Stylus
Journalist and photographer Angel Jimenez de Luis recently uploaded a couple of YouTube videos comparing the Surface Pro 4 stylus with the iPad Pro Pencil side-by-side, in a close-up @120 FPS slow-motion competition.
The idea behind the videos is to show the difference in lag between the two input devices. Angel Jimenez used the “Notes” application on the iPad and the “One Note” app on the Surface Pro 4. With that being said, don’t pay attention to the jagged edges left behind by Microsoft’ stylus, as the One Note app is not the best at anti-aliasing. What’s important is to keep an eye on input lag.
Check out the videos below for details.
The conclusion? Well, the iPad Pro’s Pencil seems to do a slightly better job than the Surface Pro 4 stylus, but the difference at normal speeds as opposed to slow-motion@120FPS might be unnoticed by the average user.
Unfortunately, I feel that the OneNote app itself is doing a worse job than “Notes” does at refreshing, which is why the line seems to “catch up” on the position of stylus tip at fewer intervals. So perhaps using the same application on both slates would be a better way of determining the styluses’ performance.
At the end of the day, I feel that the video above should not be viewed as a definitive benchmark, but rather as an informative video showing how the two styluses perform in slow-motion, using the default “doodling” applications provided by their respective manufacturers.
Any thoughts? Feel free to share them below.