The best Apple Pencil alternative used to be quite an easy answer to give. It was acknowledged that you would have to sacrifice some features like pressure sensitivity for a much cheaper price tag. Even so, there were steals to be had.
But now the alternative iPad pencil lineup has been truly shaken by the newly announced Apple Pencil USB-C. Instead of a new range of iPads, Apple’s new stylus does away with pressure sensitivity and wireless charging in favour of more affordability.
Whilst the Apple Pencil 2 remains pricey, the Apple Pencil USB-C’s $95 (£79) price tag makes choosing an alternative more difficult. If you don’t need pressure sensitivity, then are any Apple Pencil alternatives worth it anymore?
Luckily for you, this article will explore just that! Read on for the five best Apple Pencil alternatives, taking into both account features and value for money.
1. Logitech Crayon
The Logitech Crayon is often cited as the best Apple Pencil 2 alternative. And it does have its merits.
It offers a comfortable enough drawing experience, although the shape doesn’t naturally fit your fingers. The lightning-quick recharge of just 50 minutes is also seriously impressive. The Logitech Crayon is compatible with all iPads from 2018 onwards, whilst there is palm rejection and tilt sensitivity support across a large range of apps, including Procreate.
However, there are limitations. Mainly the fact that it costs nearly as much as the new Apple Pencil USB-C at $84.75 (£69.95) with no advantageous features. There is no pressure sensitivity, which is fine for the majority of users, but now you can get Apple’s own tech for the same price.
It also doesn’t magnetically attach which is a small but significant difference. You’d be surprised how many times you misplace your Apple Pencil!
Verdict: There are better options for far less money.
2. Adonit Note+ 2
The Adonit Note+ 2 makes a more interesting case for being the best Apple Pencil alternative.
It boasts 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt sensitivity and palm rejection, ensuring accurate and interference-free drawing experiences. However, there’s always a catch. The pressure sensitivity only works with selected apps. And Procreate is NOT one of those apps.
This is a blow for those who use iPads for drawing, where Procreate is the most popular app of choice. There are compatible drawing apps that work with the Adonis Note+ 2, but no Procreate means it is not a viable choice for artists.
That being said, if you just want to write with the Adonis Note+ 2, then there is little to grumble about. It handles that very well. One of its unique features is the two programmable shortcut buttons, which can be customized for different apps. These allow you to quickly access frequently used functions. Although again the buttons only work with selected apps.
The Adonit Note+ 2 is compatible with all iPad types after the iPad 6 and magnetically attaches, but does so without wirelessly charging.
Verdict: Does the basics very well. Pressure sensitivity, even though restricted for Procreate, is still a good deal at $69.99 (£57.70).
3. Wacom Bamboo Sketch
The Wacom Bamboo Sketch is seriously getting on a bit after being released in 2018. But even so, it can hold its own in 2023.
The Bamboo Sketch has pressure and tilt sensitivity, as well as palm rejection with support for Procreate on iPads past 2018 apart from iPad Pro models and, uniquely, the iPhone 6 onwards.
There are some latency issues on iPad Pros, but on normal iPads, the lag between the stylus and screen is not noticeable. Additionally, the palm rejection is not as perfect as it could be, with regular instances of interruptions, especially on iPad Pros.
The Bamboo Sketch is also not the most user-friendly. You have to use a special software to enable its features. In other words, it is not plug-and-play.
Ultimately though, the Bamboo Sketch does actually work with key apps like Procreate, although not as precisely as the Apple Pencil.
Verdict: You can pick them up for about $110 (£90) second-hand. Whilst a good drawing stylus, at this price you can justify spending that bit more for an Apple Pencil 2.
4. SwitchEasy EasyPencil Pro 4
The EasyPencil Pro 4 looks like an Apple Pencil 2, but its features more closely resemble the upcoming Apple Pencil 3.
There is no pressure sensitivity, but other features like tilt sensitivity are compatible with Procreate. It also magnetically attaches whilst charging via USB-C. It also more ergonomically resembles an Apple Pencil 2 and markets for below the Apple Pencil USB-C’s price at $69.99 (£57).
Verdict: A good basic stylus that works with Procreate. No pressure sensitivity however makes the price tag harder to justify when compared to the next stylus…
5. Benks Pen
Now, the Benks Pen has its limitations. It is not the best choice for those wishing to use Procreate, although it does have tilt sensitivity and palm rejection so you can still draw with it.
But it excels elsewhere. It easily matches the Apple Pencil 2 for writing and magnetically attaches to your iPad. And, most impressive of all, it wirelessly charges whilst attached. That is something no other Apple Pen alternative can do.
For those not concerned with drawing, this is a huge convenience. Instead of having to plug in your Apple Pencil between scribbles, you can just clip it on and off of your iPad at a whim.
Best of all? It currently retails for $42 (£35.99)!
Verdict: For a note-taker that matches all the above in that department, the Benks Pen is an absolute bargain that you can buy here.
Apple Pencil Alternatives Conclusion
Choosing the best Apple Pencil alternative for you depends entirely on what you want to use it for.
If you are an artist who needs to use Procreate, then the Bamboo Sketch or Logitech Crayon would be the options for you.
However, if you need a good all-rounder without the need for heavy design work, the Benks Pen or EasyPencil Pro 4 are both excellent options for a fraction of the price of an Apple Pencil 2.
With all of that being said, the Apple Pencil USB-C release date is in November 2023. So, if you really want an Apple-made stylus, then waiting a month or two to see how it performs may be worth your while.
What is your favourite Apple Pen alternative? Let us know below!
Buying Guide: Apple Pencil USB-C or Apple Pencil 2?
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