Other than announcing the brand new iPad Pro, Apple has also unveiled two accessories for the tablet: a stylus dubbed as the Apple Pencil, and Smart Keyboard, a physical keyboard that doubles as a case as well. With these new products, the iPad Pro boasts some serious productivity potential.
The Smart Keyboard looks pretty similar to Microsoft’s Type Cover for the Surface tablets, but unlike the latter, it lies flat on a surface; no er of elevation here. Other than that, the structure of the keys are made from “woven fabric.” We’re not entirely sure what this means, but hopefully it will have some amount of travel and/or tactile feedback. It’ll be quite uncomfortable to use otherwise.
As for the Apple Pencil, it’s a stylus that actually looks like a pencil. It also works like one, as Apple claims that it actually feel like a writing or drawing instrument. Users can press harder for wider strokes, or lighter for thinner strokes.
Other than that, it also works in tandem with finger inputs, and it charges via a Lightning connector. It will be interesting to see how the Apple Pencil compares against Wacom’s offerings, seeing how the latter are very popular among artists. It’s also rather ironic how Steve Jobs dismissed the stylus back in 2007 (though that’s for a phone input, not for a tablet).
Apple mentioned that the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard will retail for US$99 (about RM425) and US$169 (approximately RM730) respectively. These accessories will ship in November along with the iPad Pro. As usual, no word yet on the Malaysian availability of these accessories.