Apple Pencil torn apart to find incredibly small logic board, folded in half to maximize space

Posted:
in iPad edited November 2015
The new Apple Pencil for iPad Pro packs a great deal of advanced technology into a tiny package, including a logic board that's actually folded in half to fit inside the writing tool.


Via iFixit.


In dissecting the new Apple Pencil, iFixit discovered what it called the smallest logic board the solutions provider has ever seen. The Pencil's logic board weighs in at just 1 gram, and features an ARM-based CPU, Bluetooth Smart radio, and more.

Accessing the innards of the Apple Pencil wasn't easy -- the repair experts were forced to cut the device's plastic casing into two parts, after they couldn't find an obvious point of entry to its internal components.

The plastic shell also houses a tube-shaped lithium-ion battery, rated at 3.82 volts and 0.329Wh. That's just 5 percent the charge of an iPhone 6s, though the Apple Pencil is rated for 12 hours of battery life, while 15 seconds of charging provides 30 minutes of uptime.


Apple Pencil logic board and battery, via iFixit.


iFixit also found that the Pencil's pressure sensor features a tiny board with a series of moving ticks, which are believed to help sense pressure when users press the stylus tip down onto the iPad Pro. The Pencil nib also has a tiny bit of metal that's suspected to aid in determining angle and orientation.

In what has seemingly become par for the course in Apple product teardowns, iFixit has given the Pencil a "repairability score" of 1 out of 10. Though the nib and cap can be replaced if lost, the rest of the device is not meant to be repaired, and the Pencil will be thrown away or recycled if and when its integrated battery can no longer hold a charge.


Apple Pencil logic board unfolded, via iFixit.


Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities indicated earlier this week that production of the Apple Pencil is extremely complicated, and assembly is not going as smoothly as Apple and its manufacturing partners had hoped. Kuo expects Pencil yields to improve as producers overcome inefficiencies associated with building a new format device.

Current ship times for the Apple Pencil are shipped at four to five weeks. The current shipping window of Dec. 23 through 30 suggests that new orders may not arrive until after Christmas Day.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    Pushing the boundaries of miniaturisation, nice. This bodes well for future revisions of the Apple Watch.

  • Reply 2 of 69
    I'll certainly not visit iFixit's web site to provide them with any additional traffic, but this represents more cutting-edge Apple engineering that goes unappreciated or simply ripped off by scumbags like Samsung.
  • Reply 3 of 69
    msanttimsantti Posts: 1,377member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post



    I'll certainly not visit iFixit's web site to provide them with any additional traffic, but this represents more cutting-edge Apple engineering that goes unappreciated or simply ripped off by scumbags like Samsung.

    Get over it already.

  • Reply 4 of 69
    msantti wrote: »
    Get over it already.

    Get over what?
  • Reply 5 of 69
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I find these iFixit teardowns to be insufferable these days. The amount of snark in the their comments take away from what they're actually reviewing.
  • Reply 6 of 69
    sog35 wrote: »
    And this is why the Apple pencil blows away the Surface pen.

    Now where is that joker that was arguing with me that the Surface pen was the equal to the Apple Pencil?
    No it doesn't.
    How people use it will, not the tech inside it.
  • Reply 7 of 69
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    ascii wrote: »
    Pushing the boundaries of miniaturisation, nice. This bodes well for future revisions of the Apple Watch.

    This is what Jony Ive said in that Wallpaper interview:
    I think this is certainly one of those occasions where at the end of this design and product development exercise, it really did yield two things. One was the Apple Pencil. But the other was a more significant understanding of how we do everyday things. We’ve learned a lot, which is actually useful beyond this project.
  • Reply 8 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by singularity View Post





    No it doesn't.

    How people use it will, not the tech inside it.

     

    Serenity Caldwell (@settern) at iMore tested/used the two difference stylus solutions in the same video.  I would not say "blows away" the competition since that is a very subjective comment, but the Apple pencil is definitely better overall.   

     

    https://youtu.be/IUvgKXwc8oo

     

    She is also doing a series of videos/reviews (day 1 to day 7) of using the iPad Pro as an attempt to see how well it "replaces" a Mac (or PC) solution - which she says is going much better than expected.  She was expecting extreme frustration.... which she expected since her work use case is very focused on the Mac.  

  • Reply 9 of 69
    IFixit is not about fixing anything. Someday they'll be trying to tear down molecular nano machines and complaining that it can't be done with 19th century screwdrivers.
  • Reply 10 of 69
    indyfxindyfx Posts: 319member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by singularity View Post





    No it doesn't.

    How people use it will, not the tech inside it.



    That is just nonsense. You are either just trolling or have never used/compared the two. Besides the surface stylus missing the tilt parameter (which truly make it more of a consumer/hobbyist product than a pro one) the difference feel, tracking (& lag) between the two is significant (even on the much more expensive i7 based surface) You can argue that that is because of the superiority of the iPad Pro over the surface, however using each as a system, The MSsurface/stylus isn't even in the same league as the iPadPro/Apple Pencil.

  • Reply 11 of 69
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

    IFixit is not about fixing anything. Someday they'll be trying to tear down molecular nano machines and complaining that it can't be done with 19th century screwdrivers.

     

    Why is something like this even scored? It's embarrassing.
  • Reply 12 of 69
    rogifan wrote: »
    I find these iFixit teardowns to be insufferable these days. The amount of snark in the their comments take away from what they're actually reviewing.

    I think they did a joke tear down of the Apple II and praised it for being easy to service. After that, it knew that if iFixit had their way, we'd advance no further than the 20th century in tech and manufacturing to appease the amateur DIY crowd.
  • Reply 13 of 69
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by IndyFX View Post


    That is just nonsense. You are either just trolling or have never used/compared the two. Besides the surface stylus missing the tilt parameter (which truly make it more of a consumer/hobbyist product than a pro one) the difference feel, tracking (& lag) between the two is significant (even on the much more expensive i7 based surface) You can argue that that is because of the superiority of the iPad Pro over the surface, however using each as a system, The MSsurface/stylus isn't even in the same league as the iPadPro/Apple Pencil.

     

    It seems to me like Microsoft's pencil is more geared towards marking up documents or for notetaking whereas Apple Pencil is geared towards artists for drawing.
  • Reply 14 of 69
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    IFixit is not about fixing anything. Someday they'll be trying to tear down molecular nano machines and complaining that it can't be done with 19th century screwdrivers.

     

    Some people seem to be taking iFixit ( read I as in DIY) to task because they give poor repairability scores to many of the new devices.... the fact is that they are right... and yet generally irrelevant at the same time.  There are advantages to not building things to be "repairable".  Being able to break things down and replace components leads to devices that are more likely to break (each "plug" in component etc. is more likely to be a point of failure).  It also means that the device will typically be more clunky than it would otherwise be.  Manufacturers save money on warrantees by doing this (less repairs but higher cost ... but still overall lower repair cost over all devices).  

     

    iFixit (and many people who like building or upgrading their devices) have a specific point of view that irritates some people... but their point of view is valid to those that are in that camp.  If you are part of the majority of buyers - it is pretty meaningless.

     

    Early in the PC business I earned a fair amount of money custom assembling clones (when they were called clones).... but when I look back the build quality of the cases and the components are extremely bad by todays standard. 

  • Reply 15 of 69
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,821member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

     

     

    Serenity Caldwell (@settern) at iMore tested/used the two difference stylus solutions in the same video.  I would not say "blows away" the competition since that is a very subjective comment, but the Apple pencil is definitely better overall.   

     

    https://youtu.be/IUvgKXwc8oo

     

    She is also doing a series of videos/reviews (day 1 to day 7) of using the iPad Pro as an attempt to see how well it "replaces" a Mac (or PC) solution - which she says is going much better than expected.  She was expecting extreme frustration.... which she expected since her work use case is very focused on the Mac.  


     

    Both the Samsung Note and Microsoft Surface use Wacom technology for their stylus input, which was considered to be the gold standard in stylus based digitizers. Which is fine. Samsung promotes their stylus for taking notes. And Microsoft's Pen is clearly designed for marking up Office documents.

     

    Apple's last foray into this area was a plastic stick for the Newton on a resistive touch screen. The Apple Pencil + iPad Pro combination is in fact more advanced than even Wacom's technology. First they advanced their capacitive touch digitizers to scan at a higher rate in order to sense the smaller tip of the Pencil. Second, they included a tilt sensor to create a more natural-acting tool. And finally, the predictive path tracing allows the "ink" to flow with less latency and feel more natural. All this lends itself to creating an extremely natural feeling tool for artists, not a pointing device.

     

    There was a review by an actual artist of the new iPad Pro and Pencil... Who is going to replace his older iPad and Wacom Cintiq, because the iPad Pro is better than both combined...  Real world, iPad Pro vs. traditional tablet 

     

     

     

    As far as Serenity's test, at least she's considering a wide range of use cases for the iPad... Unlike most reviewers, who've basically complained about typing and editing text (which is a pain in the ass and always has been). 

  • Reply 16 of 69
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,821member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post



    IFixit is not about fixing anything. Someday they'll be trying to tear down molecular nano machines and complaining that it can't be done with 19th century screwdrivers.



    Uh... I consider iFixIt's repair guides to be an indespenible resource for working on Macs. I've taken apart everything from iPhones to Mac Pros. Their numbering system is basically telling someone whether something is going to be a difficult repair job or not.

     

    I'm actually surprised the Apple Pencil didn't get a 0 !!!

  • Reply 17 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bkkcanuck View Post

     

     

    Serenity Caldwell (@settern) at iMore tested/used the two difference stylus solutions in the same video.  I would not say "blows away" the competition since that is a very subjective comment, but the Apple pencil is definitely better overall.   

     

    https://youtu.be/IUvgKXwc8oo

     

    She is also doing a series of videos/reviews (day 1 to day 7) of using the iPad Pro as an attempt to see how well it "replaces" a Mac (or PC) solution - which she says is going much better than expected.  She was expecting extreme frustration.... which she expected since her work use case is very focused on the Mac.  




    This is indeed a good video that shows the real life superiority of the Apple Pencil.

    The Hermès Watch ain't too shabby either. :)

     

    image 

     

    image

  • Reply 18 of 69
    mjtomlin wrote: »
    Both the Samsung Note and Microsoft Surface use Wacom technology for their stylus input, which was considered to be the gold standard in stylus based digitizers. Which is fine. Samsung promotes their stylus for taking notes. And Microsoft's Pen is clearly designed for marking up Office documents.

    Apple's last foray into this area was a plastic stick for the Newton on a resistive touch screen. The Apple Pencil + iPad Pro combination is in fact more advanced than even Wacom's technology. First they advanced their capacitive touch digitizers to scan at a higher rate in order to sense the smaller tip of the Pencil. Second, they included a tilt sensor to create a more natural-acting tool. And finally, the predictive path tracing allows the "ink" to flow with less latency and feel more natural. All this lends itself to creating an extremely natural feeling tool for artists, not a pointing device.

    There was a review by an actual artist of the new iPad Pro and Pencil... Who is going to replace his older iPad and Wacom Cintiq, because the iPad Pro is better than both combined...  Real world, iPad Pro vs. traditional tablet 



    As far as Serenity's test, at least she's considering a wide range of use cases for the iPad... Unlike most reviewers, who've basically complained about typing and editing text (which is a pain in the ass and always has been). 

    Surface uses NTrig, MS bought them a while ago.
  • Reply 19 of 69
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,976member
    msantti wrote: »
    Get over it already.

    Get over what?

    The bitterness.
  • Reply 20 of 69
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,720member
    I'll certainly not visit iFixit's web site to provide them with any additional traffic,
    What's that all about? IFixit is at least useful as a web site.
    but this represents more cutting-edge Apple engineering that goes unappreciated or simply ripped off by scumbags like Samsung.

    Very much unappreciated. Just like the A series chips that literally make iOS devices possible.
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