If you own a new iPad/iPhone, you are probably familiar with the Apple Pencil. It’s the ultimate pen for writing notes and creating digital art. The downside to, the Apple Pencil is the very high price. Don’t worry, there are plenty of great Apple Pencil alternatives out there.
Once the Apple Pencil hit the market, it raised the standard for all the Pencils available for the tablet. Sleek and easy to use, it’s designed for both memo-writing lovers and professional digital artists. But with a price tag between $90 and $130 — for the first and second generation Apple Pencil, respectively — buying an Apple Pencil can be a pain.
That’s why third-party manufacturers are required to create their own Apple Pencil replacements. Some of these devices are almost identical to the Pencil, while others add additional features, such as shortcut buttons. And while you might assume these pens are expensive or crazy, they are really cool. In some cases, the third-party Pencil can be more useful to you than the Apple Pencil.
However, the Pencil market is full of thin brands who want to make a quick buck. That’s why we took the time to find the best Apple Pencil alternatives, to meet everyone’s needs.
By the way, if you’re using an old iPad that isn’t compatible with the Apple Pencil, you’ll want to buy a Pencil that uses Bluetooth. It’s an annoying problem, but the Apple Pencil relies on special on-screen hardware to communicate with iPads. Older iPads don’t have these onscreen hardware, so they only work with the Bluetooth Pencil.
So there are a large number of iPad owners who use tablets that are not compatible with Apple Pencil. Many of these users are looking for a pen to help add a new layer of interest to their experience. So we’re highlighting five great alternatives to the Apple Pencil that are compatible with most iPad models.
1. Adonit Pixel
If you are looking for an Apple Pencil-like experience, Adonit Pixel is a great choice. Notably, the 1.9mm stylus tip provides increased precision and a more natural writing experience.
The stylus is not compatible with the iPad Pro, but it works with most other recent iPad and iPad mini models. And iPhone 5 and later users can have fun. The built-in grip sensor will automatically activate when you pick it up, so the pen is ready to go.
When connected to an iPhone or iPad via Bluetooth, the stylus can react to 2,048 levels of sensitivity on the screen. You can create borders of different widths and sizes. There’s also a palm rejection feature, where the drawing stylus only makes marks on the screen.
Two programmable shortcut buttons give users quick access to features such as Erase and Redo. This is something that is definitely not found on the Apple Pencil.
You can use the stylus with a wide range of different applications such as Goodnotes, Procreate, AstroPad, and others.
Buyers can choose from a black or bronze version of the Pixel. It features a brushed aluminum body.
2. FiftyThree Pencil
There is more than one Pencil available for the iPad, but the FiftyThree Pencil takes the name a little more literally from Apple. The exterior is made of real wood while the bezel with a beam hole makes it look more like a real writing instrument.
On the other end is the eraser. Simply flip the pen over to erase anything on the tablet screen when using a supported app like FiftyThree’s Paper. Other cool features that are unlocked when using a Bluetooth connection include palm rejection and the ability to use your finger to smooth out jagged edges and blend colors directly on the page.
And there’s no need to worry about the pen being placed on your desk or other surface. The design was inspired by a carpenter’s pencil, so the flat design helps the pencil stay in place.
The Pencil is compatible with most iPad models, including the iPad Pro, as well as iPhone 4s and later. Its battery lasts for about a month of normal use and it gets fully charged in less than 90 minutes.
You don’t have to worry about pairing, because pressing the screen will connect the stylus via Bluetooth. Even if you don’t use it with a supported app, it will still work on any other app and any touch screen.
3. Wacom Bamboo Duo
Wacom created input devices long before the iPhone and iPad hit the market. The Wacom Bamboo Duo is a stylus for the iPad (or iPhone), but it also lets you practice with the included ballpoint pen.
Bamboo Duo requires no power, so it is compatible with any touch screen device.
On the side of the stylus, the smooth carbon fiber tip which features a mesh end is fully replaceable. The pen tip is compatible with standard D1 ink refills.
The triangular ergonomic design makes the pen fit well in your hand during use. While on the go, the magnetic cap stays secure on the stylus and even attaches to the iPad case.
4. Moko Active Stylus Pen
Anyone on an average budget looking for a great pen for writing and drawing should have a look at the Moko Active Stylus Pen.
One end of the stylus features a 1.5mm metal tip that provides a realistic stylus feel when writing on the screen of most iPad models and newer iPhones. This requires the use of the built-in battery which can be charged in about an hour. Which provides up to eight hours of continuous use and will automatically shut off after 30 minutes of inactivity to conserve energy.
The other end has a soft rubber tip for battery-free use, which works on any touch screen. With a built in clip that allows you to place it on your tablet cover or in your pocket while on the go.
5. Studio Neat Cosmonaut
Don’t let Studio Neat Cosmonaut’s size fool you. Although it looks more like a dry erase marker rather than a fine stylus, the stylus features a solid aluminum core and a soft rubber exterior. The good thing about the pen is that it is very responsive on any iPad or iPhone touch screen.
The large size makes the pen an ideal choice for anyone who wants to let their children turn to writing or coloring. It can also be used by anyone who has problems accommodating smaller alternatives. You do not need to charge the pen and it is compatible with any application.
Getting to the Final Point: The Best Alternatives to Apple Pencil
With one of the stylus options, almost any iPad user can unlock a new level of productivity. Whether you are using a note-taking app on the iPad, getting creative while drawing, relaxing with an adult coloring book, or something else, one of these options is sure to help.