Apple Pencil alternatives: The best non-Apple stylus for iPad in 2023
The best stylus for you might not be an Apple Pencil.
As far as tablets are concerned, it's hard to beat the iPad. For the optimal iPad experience, you will want to grab an iPad stylus because it really completes the tablet. While Apple does have two variations of the Apple Pencil for different models of iPad, many consider the pricing to be a little steep. Thankfully, there are cheaper styluses that still work great. Here are some of the other fantastic Apple Pencil alternatives that you can find on the market right now.
When we reviewed the ZAGG Pro Stylus, we enjoyed its sleek gunmetal color and hefty feel. It's cylindrical but with a flat side as well, which attaches magnetically to an iPad Pro but works with all newer iPads. The tip is very precise with tilt sensitivity and palm rejection. It charges via USB-C with a long-lasting battery. There is also a regular capacitive tip on the other end to use with your iPhone and other devices.
The Andonit Note-M is a unique Apple Pencil alternative since it also doubles as a mouse for your iPad. It's magnetic so it can attach to your iPad for easy storage and it features a precise tip and tilt sensitivity. The mouse functionality includes left and right click buttons and a touch panel for scrolling. The multi-angled mouse sensor also works up to 5mm away from the surface.
The SwitchEasy EasyPencil Pro 3 looks just like the Apple Pencil 2 but has a much friendlier price point and is compatible with all newer iPads. The tip is precise and has palm rejection, charges via USB-C, and has a long-lasting battery. The EasyPencil can instantly pair with your iPad but, according to an iMore review, you should try to avoid touching the cap unless necessary since that turns it off.
The Adonit Note+ is an advanced stylus with a precise tip, palm rejection, and both pressure and tilt sensitivity. Our iMore reviewers were delighted with the two programmable shortcut buttons that allow you to customize the Note+ to the most-used tools, but this only works in supported apps. It is also compatible with many iPads so double-check but make sure yours is supported first.
Entertain the kids
The Logitech Crayon is a little chunky-looking but in our review, we contest that it actually feels great to hold in hand and is roll-proof. It works with all iPads from 2018 and later and has a precise tip with palm-rejection technology and tilt sensitivity. It charges up via Lightning as well, so you don't need a new cable — just use the one with the iPad or iPhone.
Simple and professional
The Adonit Pro 4 features a highly luxurious and professional aesthetic; in our review we found this to be the perfect stylus to take with you to business meetings. It has a precision tip with a soft touch precision disc to help you get the most accurate lines possible. When you're not using it, just use the grooved hook to attach the stylus to your pocket, bag, and more, just like a high-end pen.
The best alternatives to the Apple Pencil
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While both the first-generation Apple Pencil and its more recent sibling, the Apple Pencil 2, will always be the absolute best stylus for iPads, not everyone wants to pay the steep price for it. That's why there are so many third-party Apple Pencil alternatives out there with features that are just as good as Apple's, but for a fraction of the price.
Of course, the biggest selling feature of the second-generation Apple Pencil is that it's capable of wireless charging on the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and the new iPad mini 6. It has pressure sensitivity, which is what you need for digital art. But if you don't mind not having those features, then the savings are worth it.
My current favorite is the ZAGG Pro Stylus if you are looking for a recommendation. The dark gunmetal color is sleek and it feels premium and hefty. The precise tip means you'll be writing and drawing accurately, and there is tilt sensitivity. Plus, it even works with your best iPhone thanks to that capacitive tip, which is a bonus!
Another fantastic option is the Adonit Note+, especially if you're a power user. This is one of the few third-party styluses with pressure sensitivity and tilt sensitivity, even though it's only for supported apps. And there are also two programmable shortcut buttons so you can really make the Note+ your own.
For those who want something like the Apple Pencil 2 but are on a tight budget, the SwitchEasy EasyPencil is a great alternative. It has the same design as the Apple Pencil 2 with a precise tip, and it can attach magnetically to your iPad Pro, but at a fraction of the cost.
The Apple Pencil: your official option
While buying a third-party iPad stylus can help save you money, the official Apple Pencils are honestly better than any alternatives you can get since they offer the best pressure sensitivity and work best with iPad drawing programs. The only drawback is their high expense, but if you use them often enough it will be worth it.
The newer version is known as the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) and offers a magnetic flat side that attaches to the sides of compatible iPads for wireless charging. Meanwhile the original is known as the Apple Pencil (1st generation) and charges via a male lightning connection that's hidden under a cap at the bottom of the pencil. These styluses only work with specific iPads, so you must check compatibility to ensure that they will work with the iPad model you own.
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Jaclyn Kilani is a content writer at iMore. She's a longtime Apple addict with a flair for creating (written works, design, photos; you name it!) on her devices. Jaclyn has also worked in the marketing sector for over 16 years, dabbling in a bit of everything from writing to graphic design and digital marketing. In her heart of hearts, however, she is a born writer and an avid reader who adores everything about the written word. Someday she may even churn out a book or two.
Throughout her career, Jaclyn has also developed something of an addiction to all things Apple. Her professional and personal life is enhanced by an ever-growing collection of iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple Watches, and even AirTags. Luckily, this expensive habit is of great use to her work at iMore, where she writes with authority on Apple products and the accessories that go with them.
- Karen S FreemanContributor