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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Best Apple Pencil Deals: Get an iPad Stylus for Less


$20 at Amazon

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Jamjake Stylus Pen for iPad: $20

Prime members save $10

$40 at Amazon

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Adonit Note Stylus: $40

No discounts currently available

If you’re looking for one of the best tablets around, then going with an Apple iPad is an excellent start. While they’re good out of the box, you can seriously improve their utility with a great stylus. There are a few Apple Pencils (and some alternatives) that can do the job well, and we’ve tracked down the best offers on them so you can save some money. 

There are now four Apple models to choose from, with prices normally starting at $79. You definitely don’t have to go with the Apple logo if you don’t want to, but no matter which stylus you choose, there’s no reason to overpay. We’ve rounded up all the best bargains so you can get the right product at the right price. Before you buy, just be sure to confirm that your chosen Apple Pencil or third-party stylus is compatible with your particular iPad.

Apple Pencil pricing 2024

Model Apple Store price Best price right now Best all-time price
Apple Pencil (1st gen) $99 $79 $70
Apple Pencil (2nd gen) $129 $79 $79
Apple Pencil (USB-C) $79 $69 $69
Apple Pencil Pro $129 $129 $129

an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil

Sarah Tew/CNET

Best Apple Pencil Pro deals

The brand-new Apple Pencil Pro is now here and compatible with the latest M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air. Both of the new tablets offer upgraded features, but the new Apple Pencil Pro brings with it its own array of improvements.

The Apple Pencil Pro includes support for a new squeeze gesture that can be used to quickly open the tools palette, while a barrel role gesture has users twisting the Apple Pencil Pro to change how lines are drawn.

Note that the Apple Pencil Pro is only compatible with the M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air.

Numi Prasarn/CNET

The brand-new Apple Pencil Pro is compatible with the latest M4 iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air only, but it includes new features such as squeeze and barrel roll gestures for improved and speedier tool selection and interactions.

Best Apple Pencil (1st gen) deals

Apple’s first-gen Apple Pencil was released in November 2015 and has stuck around since then. At its debut, it worked only with the first iPad Pro model before support was added to others. It has a Lightning connector built into the end for charging the Apple Pencil right from your iPad, and it has a removable tip that can be changed after your current one starts to get worn down.

The first-gen Apple Pencil is compatible with all pre-2018 iPad Pro models, the iPad Air 3, the iPad Mini 2019 and all base-model iPads since 2018. It’s also the one to get to use with the 2022 10th-generation iPad. Awkwardly, there are two versions of the first-gen Apple Pencil for sale at most retailers: one with a Lightning adapter and one with a USB-C adapter. Other than the adapter, the Apple Pencil is exactly the same, so the deciding factor between them is purely how you wish to charge the device. The USB-C version hasn’t been on the market as long and tends not to be discounted. Here are the best first-gen Pencil deals you can buy right now.

Apple

The first-gen Apple Pencil is now only $79 at Amazon. That’s a discount of $20 on this well-loved writing and drawing accessory.

Best Apple Pencil (2nd gen) deals

The second-gen Apple Pencil launched in October 2018 alongside the third-gen iPad Pro. While they look similar on the surface, there are quite a few differences between the two stylus models. One big difference is that the Apple Pencil 2 charges magnetically while attached to newer iPads, meaning there’s no Lightning connector. The design is slightly refined as well, with one flat side that’s used to charge and a sensor near the tip that enables double-tap features.

The second-gen Apple Pencil works with 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros (2018 and later models except the M4 model), as well as newer iPad Air (2020 and 2022, but not the M2 iPad Air) models and the iPad Mini 6. Here are the best Apple Pencil 2 deals you can get right now.

Apple/CNET

Apple Pencil (USB-C) deals

The Apple Pencil goes USB-C with this new, more affordable option that still attaches to the side of some iPads magnetically but doesn’t charge that way. Instead, a sliding cap reveals a hidden USB-C port for plugging a cable in to charge.

This is Apple’s latest stylus that sits somewhere between the other two options, taking some features from each. It has tilt sensitivity, low latency use, and pressure sensitivity but misses out on things like wireless charging and the iPad Pro’s hover feature. In terms of compatibility, the newest Apple Pencil works with all iPad models that have a USB-C port, including the iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad Mini.

Apple/CNET

The USB-C Apple Pencil is the most affordable yet and is compatible with all USB-C iPads. It comes with its own charging port. You can now buy this at Amazon for $69, which is $10 off its usual price.

Best cheap Apple Pencil alternatives

While the Apple Pencil offers one of the best experiences when paired with the iPad, it may not be the best choice for everyone. There are cheaper alternatives. Here are some of the best ones that are on sale right now.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Logitech Crayon works with just about every iPad out there — unlike the Apple Pencil, where you have to ensure you buy the right Pencil for your iPad model. It doesn’t have the fancy instant pairing or magnetic charging, but other than that it works in a similar way to the Apple Pencil for a fraction of the price.

Zagg/CNET

Zagg’s Pro Stylus 2 has been upgraded with wireless charging and a bunch of new colors. It has Apple Pencil-like palm rejection and tilt recognition, plus a round capacitive tip on the back. It lasts for 6 hours per charge and can be magnetically attached to your iPad.

Zagg/CNET

Zagg’s Pro Stylus also offers an Apple Pencil-like experience for less. It features palm rejection and tilt-recognition tech like Apple’s option, offers automatic pairing and even attaches magnetically to the side of your iPad Pro or iPad Air (although you’ll need to charge it via USB-C). It’s down to $40 right now.

Jamjake/CNET

This stylus is a great cheap alternative to the Apple Pencil if you want the overall style of the Pencil without the price tag. It has removable tips, can be turned on and off and even recharges via USB-C.

Adonit/CNET

Adonit’s Dash 3 stylus offers a paper-like drag for a more natural writing and drawing experience. It’s capacitive so there’s no need to connect via Bluetooth, and it offers up to 14 hours of continuous usage. Save $10 when you pick it up from Adonit directly.

Adonit

This stylus pen has a nice sleek design and offers a black option that Apple does not currently have for its Pencil models. It offers up to 12 hours of battery per charge, and a 4-minute charge can give you an extra hour of battery life. It uses Micro-USB for charging and can charge and write at the same time. There aren’t any discounts on this stylus at the moment, but it’s still a solid value at less than $50. 

Apple Pencil vs. Apple Pencil 2: Which should you buy?

The decision here is simple: You have to buy the one that’s compatible with your iPad. Apple doesn’t let you pick which Apple Pencil you want to use with which iPad. Instead, iPads are only compatible with a specific model of the Apple Pencil. 

As outlined above, the original Apple Pencil works with the first- and second-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 3 and fifth-gen iPad Mini, and all of the base-model iPads since the sixth-gen model. If you have a newer iPad Pro, fourth- or fifth-gen iPad Air or sixth-gen iPad Mini, you’ll need to opt for the Apple Pencil 2. 

If you want to avoid this confusion, you can select from one of the non-Apple alternatives listed above, which generally have broader compatibility.



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