Stress Testing Rock Paper Pencil v2 for Durability

In cased you missed it, we recently launched Rock Paper Pencil v2!

Since we first launched v1 last August, we’ve read every bit of user feedback and quickly iterated on an improved design. Now, not only is Rock Paper Pencil more durable for heavy-duty use, it’s still the most realistic pen-on-paper feel for iPad. 😌

Textured iPad screen protector + ballpoint Apple Pencil tips
v1 💬 User feedback v2 ✨ Product upgrades!
Dulling tip: Some heavy-duty users said the Pencil tip wore down over time.Stronger Pencil tip: Copper alloy core, palladium coating, and a wider internal anchor.
Doesn’t stay in place: Magnetic screen protector sometimes moved out of place.NanoCling: Bonds your screen protector to your iPad using static cling. ⚡️ Stronger than magnets, no residue, removable & reusable.
Raised edge: Magnets created an annoying raised ridge on the screen protector edge.40% thinner edge: The screen protector sits fully flat on the surface of the iPad.

Behind the scenes: Quality testing v2 in the lab

We knew that v2 looks and feels great, but can it withstand heavy everyday drawing and notetaking on iPad? To verify, we went back to the lab to run a series of experiments to test v2’s durability.

Test #1 – Image quality under the microscope

It’s inevitable that a textured matte screen protector will impact the crispness of the iPad screen to some degree. With Rock Paper Pencil, we wanted to make sure the impact is minimal while still feeling like paper.

But does v2 have just as minimal of an impact on image quality as v1? To compare, we looked at both screen protectors under the microscope at 200x magnification.

🔬 Results: Under the microscope, we can see that the v2 screen protector has a finer, more uniform grain than v1. To the naked eye, there is no noticeable difference between image quality with v1 versus v2.

Because v2 has a more uniform texture, its wear and tear over time is less noticeable than v1. That means a heavy user might see a greater impact on image quality with v1 versus v2 over a period of extended use.

Test #2 – Wear and tear over time

How does v2 withstand heavy everyday use? To test it out, we built a stress test machine to see how v1 versus v2 held up over time.

Stress test machine setup:

  • A screen protector placed on top of spinning disk. The disk also moved forward (horizontally) while spinning to create a series of rings.
  • The Pencil tip was positioned in the middle of the disk using cables.
  • ~1 kilogram of weight was applied to the top of the Pencil tip. That’s about twice the pressure typically applied while a human draws on an iPad.

The stress test machine was run for 24 hours, once with the v1 tip and screen protector, and again for v2.

Our stress test machine to measure v2 durability

Results: After 24 hours in the stress test machine, v2 had ~50% fewer scratches than v1.

☝️ It’s important to note that Rock Paper Pencil is not immune to wear and tear. Just like a pair of running shoes, if you use it frequently over an extended period of time, it will need to be replaced.

But v2’s combination of a more uniformly textured screen protector, plus a finer Pencil tip can hold up better under extended use.

v1 and v2 screen protectors after 24 hours in the stress test machine

Test #3 – Durability of Pencil tip enclosure

In v1, the Pencil tip was enclosed in a hard polycarbonate casing. With v2, we replaced the casing with a more flexible POM plastic to prevent the enclosure from cracking.

Drop Test:  To test this, we did a series of drop tests with the v1 and v2 Pencil tips. The Apple Pencil was dropped repeatedly from table height in a variety of ways – tip down, tip up, and sideways. While the v1 tip cracked during some drops, the v2 tip stayed intact.

🦷 Bite Test: We also pitted v2 against the untamed bite of Enzo, the two year old son of Giovanni (Astropad’s cofounder and Head of Product). Despite his repeated chomps, v2’s flexible enclosure bent but did not crack (see photo below).

Results: Under stress, v2’s flexible POM enclosure is more likely to bend than crack.

v2 Pencil tip after repeated bites from a 2 year old 🦷 🚼

Ready to take Rock Paper Pencil for a spin?

Rock Paper Pencil is the best iPad drawing accessory for artists who are looking to ditch their slippery glass screen and get a realistic pen-on-paper feel for their iPad. 

This product includes a reusable, paper-feel iPad screen protector and two ballpoint Apple Pencil tips. Built with nano-texture technology, Rock Paper Pencil adds subtle friction between your screen and Pencil, giving you more control while drawing or writing.

  • NanoCling Screen Protector: Securely bond your screen protector to your iPad using static cling. Easy application, non-adhesive, removable and reusable.
  • Matte Texture: Subtle friction mimics the feel of paper (no more slippery glass!)
  • Precision Apple Pencil Tips: Smoother, more controlled strokes