Best iPad stylus pens that cost less than the Apple Pencil in 2023

The Apple Pencil is a fantastic stylus, no doubt. However, it's not inexpensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of less expensive options out there for your drawing, sketching, and note-taking needs. Here are some of our favorite iPad stylus pens that cost less than the Apple Pencil.

The best iPad stylus pens that cost less than the Apple Pencil

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Pencil alternatives for less

The Apple Pencil and later the Apple Pencil 2 completely changed iPad users' workflow. The Apple Pencil's ability to sketch, draw, and paint with pressure sensitivity helps make the iPad perfect for artists. Likewise, the inclusion of a stylus for note-taking and document signing makes an iPad perfect for students and business persons. However, the Apple Pencil is expensive, and there are excellent alternatives that cost less.

Our top pick is the Adonit Note-M because it has so many cool features. It manages to be both a fully functional stylus and a mouse in one slender device. Left click, right click, and scroll, just like a mouse. You can even adjust the functions to suit you best in the stylus' settings. The Note-M has palm rejection, so you can rest your working hand on the iPad while you write or create and not worry about your hand creating stray marks. Get 10 hours of drawing or five hours of mouse function on a single charge.

Since it was developed in conjunction with Apple, the Logitech Crayon is one of our favorites. It has many of the same features as the Apple Pencil for less money. This is the only alternate stylus built on Apple Pencil technology, so you know that it will be a seamless experience with your compatible iPad. Just be sure to check that your model is included in the Logitech Crayon's list of compatible iPad models.

The Apple Pencil: your official option

Apple Pencil 1 and 2

(Image credit: iMore)

There are plenty of helpful third-party iPad styluses out there, but when it comes to compatibility and function Apple Pencil really is the best option by far. Those looking to simply make notes are fine to use an alternative stylus, but if you're specifically looking for a drawing tool to use with drawing apps, then you really ought to get the official Apple Pencil that works with your iPad. 

The official Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 offer excellent pressure sensitivity and are specifically kept in mind when coding iPad drawing apps. Not to mention, the convenient magnetic charging of the Apple Pencil 2 makes it incredibly easy to keep juiced up and next to your tablet. 

Just remember that these styluses are designed to work with specific iPads, so make sure to purchase the one that's compatible with your model. 

Karen S Freeman

Karen is a contributor to as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.

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