Apple Pencil alternatives: The best non-Apple stylus for iPad in 2023

As far as tablets are concerned, it's hard to beat the iPad. To optimize your best iPad, you will want to grab an iPad stylus because it adds another dimension to the tablet experience. While Apple does have two variations of the Apple Pencil for different models of iPad, many consider the pricing to be a little steep and they are not interchangeable: each only works with certain iPad model. Thankfully, there are cheaper styluses that still work great, many of which can be used on any iPad model. Here are some fantastic Apple Pencil alternatives that you can find on the market right now. 

Why would I want an alternative to the Apple Pencil?

While both the first-generation Apple Pencil and the newer Apple Pencil 2 are amazing, not everyone wants to pay the steep price for a stylus. Plus, the Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 are not interchangeable; each only works with certain models. That's why there are so many third-party Apple Pencil alternatives out there with 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. 

Another fantastic option is the Adonit Neo Pro, especially if you're a power user. This is one of the few third-party styluses with tilt sensitivity, 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)

While buying a third-party iPad stylus can help save you money, the official Apple Pencils are still worthwhile, especially if you can find one on sale, since they offer the best pressure sensitivity and work best with iPad drawing programs

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. 

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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