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Customer Reviews

224
4.0 out of 5 stars
Pencil by FiftyThree Digital Stylus for iPad and iPhone - Walnut
Colour Name: WalnutChange
Price:£42.52+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2014
UPDATE: Just a word of caution to anyone who intends to buy this. If you don't see yourself spending money continuously to maintain this stylus then I urge you not to buy it. I have only had this Pencil for 3 days and have only used it to make a couple light sketches and a full drawing just yesterday. It seems that four hours of working on a full drawing was enough to wear the Pencil out completely. I now have two gaping holes on the rubber tip itself which makes it extremely difficult to draw as expected.

I feel that 53 has mislead their customers by advertising that the rubber tip is "DURABLE" on its website. I thought they had actually fixed this longstanding issue that their customers have had and that was why they were describing the tip so confidently like that. Turns out that it was still the same. I have tried my best to draw as carefully as possible to ensure that the tip did not wear that fast but it is inevitable that continuously swiping a thin piece of rubber that probably was of low grade quality against the iPad's screen that was heating up from use simultaneously with the friction would contribute to accelerated wearing. On top of that, every time the rubber tip slowly began to wear, pieces of black residue would leave trails on the screen and dirty my hands and the iPad's screen. I am not surprised if there are already scratches on the screen itself from all these.

I would have understood if they had a precaution on their website to warn potential customers on this matter or some form of advise to prevent the tip from wearing that easily but of course their greed comes into play as well. I should have heeded the comments from most of the people here who repeatedly mentioned how not durable this stylus was.

Nice, sleek design and the walnut material gives it a pretty decent grip but feature-wise, it does not exactly compel me to recommend it to people. Its features seem to encounter a lot of hiccups whilst using which I hope they can fix in future firmware updates. Because the tip is quite wide, drawing small dots or making finer details to a drawing seems like such an impossible feat. As a result, I always have to scale my drawing up to make it easier. There's also a noticeable 0.5s lag between the pen and the input on the screen which kind of kills the mood for me of drawing on an iPad as it does not make the experience more natural for the user even though that's what it promotes itself to do. Battery life is okay if you don't draw that much. All around, this pen is not worth the hefty price tag at all.
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64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2014
Having used Paper for a while now I couldn't wait to get my hands on pencil. At first I baulked at the price but a special-ish offer swayed me and I ordered one about a month ago. I went for the walnut version and in terms of looks and tactility it doesn't disappoint.

However it was a failure straight out of the box. The attached tip just wouldn't connect, so eventually I followed the manufacturers instructions and replaced with the included replacement tip - take note they know their tips are rubbish. The extra tips included not for when the first wears out but instead in case the first doesn't work. That doesn't inspire confidence. But, though I should have returned it then and there, stupidly, I persevered.

The replacement tip sort of worked on and off for shout two weeks. It had flashes of brilliance where everything was perfect - it responded to pressure, from the lightest to the firmest of touches. It worked with the finger blending option. Palm rejection worked. A dream.

I'd say from a total usage of around 20 hours (2-3 hours a day for a couple of weeks) it worked perfectly for about 2 hours.

The rest of the time it was nothing more than a bog standard stylus. No it didn't even work that well. It would disconnect. The tip wouldn't make a mark. The marks were wrong or unexpected i.e. It would blend unexpectedly rather than draw which would necessitate me having to turn off the finger blending option in the menu - very annoying.

Finally today it just stopped working altogether. The replacement tip won't connect at all and the original tip (tried as a last resort) does now connect but won't work unless I exert a ridiculous amount of force on the screen. Useless. Because of the flashes of brilliance I almost spent another £10.50 on a set of two replacement tips. Then I saw sense, finally.

Incredibly disappointing from such an expensive and promising product. And particularly from a brand that has been so careful about delivering great products thus far. Come on 53 get it sorted!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 30 November 2014
I opened the Pencil after breakfast and used it intermittently during that first day, really enjoying drawing with it and being able to flip it around and use the eraser. When not using it I kept it protected. By evening of that day the thin rubber at the end of the tip had already broken. I tried the replacement tip which it came with, but that one had a small divot on one side where it should make contact with some metal inside the body and it refused to work properly; if the pen was disconnected from the app I couldn't pair it, and if I tried to switch the tips after connecting with the old tip then it worked for a couple of lines before degenerating into odd behaviour, like the draw and erase functions switching ends. Against my better judgement I've ordered a set of replacement tips, but unless they're astonishingly good quality I'm going to give the whole thing up and return it.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2014
Update4 : Apparently an app called Noteself supports Pencil 53 , as I don't own the app I can't comment on how well it works.( Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus also supported)

Update3 : Procreate also supports Pencil 53 ( unless they decide to create their own hardware), works well but not as well as the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus.

Update2 : Added a star , since my review . Still use my other Bluetooth pen more(in other Apps) but this does work so well in the Paper 53 App.

Update1 : Pencil 53 Replacement Tips and Eraser are far too expensive for me.

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Works nicely with in the Paper 53 App, you could use it as a normal stylus outside of the App but I wouldn't as the cost of replacing the nibs will likely be quite high.( Would be nice to how much are the replacement nibs going to cost, they don't have them on Amazon UK yet)

Build quality is good. Looks and feels nice to use.

Would be nice if they included a carry case/ pouch ( for the price )

If you use the App often then it might be something to consider, there are other Bluetooth pens available that work in multiple Apps. Paper 53 don't plan on adding compatibility with for other products except for the Pogo which was already implemented.

So essentially it's a gadget and unless you actively use Paper 53 I would not recommend it as it's pricey and limited (at this point anyway) to the App Paper 53.

To Sum Up

If you use Paper 53 and absolutely must have it , then you might find it useful.

If you use other Note Taking / Drawing Apps then best to move on and find another product.(e.g Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus )

Only 3 stars as it's expensive for what it is.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 24 March 2015
I've been using this product for about a fortnight now, and have to say I'm not impressed by the quality of the nib. I bought it to use for drawing on an iPad, but after four sketches the silicone tip has worn through and is showing two separate holes in it. I have also noticed that the material peels off onto my iPad while drawing, so clearly it hasn't been built to last. I shouldn't have buy new tips every month, so unless 53 come up with a good explanation, I cant recommend this to anyone. For a stylus that is marketed as a "Pencil" one would expect the tip to be engineered for better durability. Shame really, because otherwise it would be perfect.
review image
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2015
The rubber tip is too imprecise, I'm sure there is a technical reason for this (as it's the same with all stylus' as far as I can tell) I needed the supplied replacement tip quite quickly as the first one wore through due to the metal sensor inside. Not overly impressed with the response of the Pencil either, sometimes not sensitive enough, other times over sensitive. The eraser end of the Pencil sometimes behaved like the tip and sometimes didn't. There's no battery charge indicator, which is annoying as charging it is a faff and not something you'd do by default. Great hype around a product which doesn't (in my opinion) live up to it (or it's price tag)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2015
Very nicely designed. I find the 'surface pressure' extremely misleading.
For the record - If you press harder, the line doesn't get thicker.
They should call it 'angle sensitive'. ie you tip the pencil sideways and the line gets thicker.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 March 2015
I like this - especially the eraser on the top. Unfortunately, as others have mentioned, the tip has issues with longevity / abuse. Needs a redesign I think. I also have a couple of other 'fine tips' like the Bamboo which I use more now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2015
Very poor. Not pressure sensitive and point is too fat and squidgy for neat technical type drawing - more like a small paintbrush than a pen. Once you try using it the tips won't last very long either. Also only seems to try do very much with Paper as opposed to a range of Apps. Piece of junk really; wish I'd kept the packaging and would have returned it. Oh well, suppose I need to go look for a proper pressure-sensitive styles to use with multiple applications on Mac and PC. Anyone know of anything decent?
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Pencil has been created by app developer FiftyThree who created the much loved Paper iOS app. Designed specifically to work with the Paper app, the manufacturer kindly sent me a sample to review. Before you even see Pencil you know it's a premium product, it comes well packaged in a really nice cylindrical tube and has instructions and a couple of replacement parts (the 1 replacement nib and 1 replacement eraser).

Rather than a rounded design Pencil takes a flat, carpenters pencil, approach. Aside from being easy to hold this is due to housing the USB charging connection, just pull the tip and Pencil comes apart ready for charging. If it does run out of power it will still work as a stylus, it just means you don't get all the additional features such as palm rejection.

Setup was very simple, just a matter of letting the Paper app know you're using Pencil by pressing the nib against a special icon and you're ready to get creative. This approach means you don't need to worry about going into Bluetooth pairing menus, you the app handles everything for you. The brilliant thing about Pencil is that, like Apples iPad, it's each to use, you don't really need to think about it it just does what you expect it to and this makes it a must have purchase if you've never really gotten use to using your finger to draw.

It's this intuitive use that makes this a must have over low cost stylus's that are just replacements for your finger. For example the app recognises which end of the Pencil is in use, use the nib and you'll draw, use the eraser it'll smudge or erase (depending on the tool). Using Pencil also activates the apps palm rejection, which means you can put your hand on the screen while drawing without causing the app to respond, giving a more natural experience than if you have to watch what you're doing.

You're finger isn't made totally useless, it becomes it's own tool that you can now use to smudge, or blur, your artwork, as you might do if drawing using charcoal. The entire experience feels very natural, you don't need to keep digging into menus to select tools or features.

If there is one thing that can get a little frustrating it's the size of the nib, which at times can feel a little too big at times and can cause it to be tricky to see exactly where you are drawing if using a very thin tool. As the iPad is so portable it also would've been nice to have had a case included, but I suppose you could use the tube it comes in.

Now Pencil has been available for some time it's great to see that other app developers have integrated Pencil into their apps, giving you the flexibility to use this outside of Paper.

Overall this is a really nice product, especially for those who love to use the Paper app.
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