Apple Pencil alternatives: The best non-Apple stylus for iPad in 2024

The Apple Pencil is a great way to get more out of the best iPads, but there is one glaring issue — it's very expensive. To fill the gap, there are some great iPad stylus options that cost less than the Apple Pencil, while also offering some great extra features. We've gathered all the best options for you below so that you don't have to search around for them yourself. There are styluses for Artists, note-takers, and budget options — so let's get going!

Why would I want an alternative to the Apple Pencil?

While each Apple Pencil model has its standout features, not everyone wants to pay the steep price for a stylus. Plus, Apple Pencils are not interchangeable; each model only works with certain iPad models. That's why there are so many third-party Apple Pencil alternatives out there with different features. Some are quite similar Apple's but for a fraction of the price.

One of the biggest selling features of the second-generation Apple Pencil is that it's capable of wireless charging on the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini 6. Some of the third-party stylus pens do have that feature but most do not.

The best alternatives to the Apple Pencil

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My current favorite is the ZAGG Pro 2 Stylus if you are looking for a recommendation. The color lineup is great, and it feels premium and hefty. The precise tip means you'll be writing and drawing accurately, and there is tilt sensitivity and palm rejection. Plus, it actually charges right on the iPad just like the Apple Pencil 2.

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.

Once you've bought one, think about snapping up one of the best note-taking apps for iPad and Apple Pencil to reap the benefits. 

The Apple Pencil: your official option

Apple Pencil 1 and 2

(Image credit: iMore)

Still, I wouldn't entirely discount the idea of an Apple Pencil. It is, after all, specially designed for your iPad by Apple engineers, so no stylus is going to work better. If you can get a good deal on an Apple Pencil, it can be pretty close in price to the alternatives. 

The second-generation and USB-C Apple Pencil models do offer some exclusive features, such as Apple Pencil hover. This feature allows you preview your mark before you touch the screen. 

Christine Chan

Christine Romero-Chan was formerly a Senior Editor for iMore. She has been writing about technology, specifically Apple, for over a decade at a variety of websites. She is currently part of the Digital Trends team, and has been using Apple’s smartphone since the original iPhone back in 2007. While her main speciality is the iPhone, she also covers Apple Watch, iPad, and Mac when needed.

When she isn’t writing about Apple, Christine can often be found at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, as she is a passholder and obsessed with all things Disney, especially Star Wars. Christine also enjoys coffee, food, photography, mechanical keyboards, and spending as much time with her new daughter as possible.

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