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. 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.

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

Apple Pencil 1 and 2

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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.

Jaclyn Kilani

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.

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