I set myself on a mission to practice professional sketching - either for doodling, taking quick notes or even industrial product design. So I researched setups or combos I can use in my advantage and I come up with the following formula: the iPad Mini with 53's Paper and Pencil.
Pencil is a Bluetooth connected stylus shaped as a classic graphite... well... pencil. It's easy and comfortable to use and the built quality is top notch. 53 really outdone themselves. The stylus' design really encourages you to explore more and more. One 90-minute charge can last you up to a full month of use. Moreover, you can use the top back end as an eraser, feature available only with 53's Paper. Yes, Pencil was designed to go hand in hand with Paper.
Paper is 53's top quality drawing iPad app. It won several awards including App of the Year & Apple Design Award Winner. Basically, Paper is so easy and smart to use that everyone can draw without excusing themselves - from pencil-like sketches to watercolor digital masterpieces.
Besides this, two features attracted me the most: Think Kit and Book. With Think Kit you can draw in seconds a simple interface or an application flow. It's like it has been built with designers in mind for them to explore their ideas and create digital products. And I enjoy every minute with it.
Moreover with Book you can transform your sketches into a real notebook. 53 partnered with Moleskine and now you can select your sketches to appear in a customized 15-page foldout you can order and have it delivered at home. I already have some crazy ideas for my very own Moleskine, so stay tuned.
Bonus: I invite you to watch Small Empire's episode at 53's office
Regarding the iPad, there's nothing new to review. I bought the Mini 2 version (it has the same specs as the Mini 3, only the fingerprint sensor is missing - I can live with that). For its safety I got a blue Smart Case and a protective screen. It's the perfect combo if you want to go full portable, especially when traveling.
If you want to practice sketching, I simply recommend two books for you to read:
The first is Drawing Ideas - I already talked about it, but still haven't found the energy and time to completely finish it. Hope to do so very soon.
Final Rating ★★★★☆
(rating available for the whole setup)
From now on all my reviews will feature a five-star rating system.
☆☆☆☆☆ - Better off buying a Shake Weight.
★☆☆☆☆ - Again, buying stuff I don't need.
★★☆☆☆ - Good... to give it as a gift.
★★★☆☆ - OKish. You won't regret it.
★★★★☆ - It's worth every penny!
★★★★★ - Awesomedary!
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