Update, 2/28/23: Article updated and expanded for 2023.
What to Look For in an Apple Pencil Alternative
Finding the right Apple Pencil alternative for you can be a difficult task. To ensure you get the best Apple Pencil alternative, consider the following factors:
- Pressure Sensitivity: Apple Pencil alternatives with pressure sensitivity enable you to make finer lines and more precise sketches—a must for artists and creatives.
- Tilt Sensitivity: A tilt-sensitive stylus allows for more natural and accurate drawing. Tilt sensitivity allows you to recreate the experience of using a physical pencil to craft more intricate details in your drawings.
- Palm Rejection: When using a stylus on a tablet, it’s natural to lean your palm against the screen. Palm Rejection allows your stylus to reject the unwanted inputs generated by your hand on the touchscreen.
- Charging: The iPad features a magnetic strip to hold and charge the Apple Pencil. While it will hold an Apple Pencil alternative, it won’t charge it like the Apple Pencil. The products featured in this list all charge via USB cable.
- Battery Life: Look for an Apple Pencil alternative with a long-lasting battery, so you don’t have to worry about it dying on you during a project.
- Customizable Buttons: Digital pens with customizable buttons are a great way to customize your workflow.
- iPad Compatibility: There are two generations of the Apple Pencil; the first generation only works with older iPads. Check to see if the iPad stylus you want is compatible with your tablet.
- App Compatibility: Make sure the digital pen you buy is compatible with the apps you use.
Best Overall: Logitech Crayon Digital Pencil
- ✓ Only Apple Pencil Alternative sold by Apple
- ✓ Durable, comfortable design
- ✓ Connects to iPad instantly
- ✗ No pressure sensitivity
It’s not a coincidence that the best Apple Pencil alternative is the only one that’s endorsed and sold by Apple. The Logitech Crayon is compatible with all iPad models released since 2018 and works with hundreds of Apple Pencil-supported apps. It also features Palm Rejection, so you can lean your hand on your tablet without worrying about unintended inputs. It also includes tilt functionality to help you draw thicker lines easily. Unfortunately, however, it doesn’t have pressure sensitivity.
On a full charge, the Logitech Crayon delivers about seven and a half hours of continuous usage. Plus, it automatically syncs with your iPad with no complicated Bluetooth setup required. All you have to do is turn it on, and you’re ready to start taking notes, sketching, or marking up PDFs. Plus, its durable, comfortable construction means you can use it for hours without wearing out it or your hand. And it can take a bit of punishment and withstand accidental drops up to four feet.
Logitech Crayon Digital Pencil
Check out the only Apple Pencil alternative endorsed and sold by Apple.
Best Budget: MEKO Universal Stylus
- ✓ Compatible with all capacitive touchscreen devices
- ✓ Comfortable rubber grip
- ✓ Changeable tip
- ✗ No pressure or tilt sensitivity
- ✗ No Palm Rejection
If just a basic stylus will do for you, check out the MEKO Universal Disc Stylus. This digital pen works not only on iPad but also on any capacitive touchscreen device. Its elegant aluminum construction and rubber grip make it both durable to use and comfortable to hold for long periods of time. Plus, its second-generation precision tip lets you see exactly what’s happening on your screen. And you can change the tip whenever you need to.
The best thing about the MEKO Universal Disc Stylus is its price. For under $20, you get three styli and six replacement tips. However, the inexpensive nature of the device means that you trade off some more advanced features, such as tilt and pressure sensitivity, as well as palm rejection. Plus, it’s anybody’s guess if it will work as well as an Apple Pencil with whatever artistic apps you want to use it with. This stylus is primarily geared toward navigating and scrolling web pages on your mobile device. However, the tip is ideal for artistic tasks like coloring.
MEKO Universal Disc Stylus Touch Screen Pen
Stock up on iPad styli for a low price.
Best for Taking Notes: Adonit Pro 4
- ✓ Sleek, handsome design
- ✓ Works with all capacitive touchscreen devices
- ✓ Precision engineered to deliver precise lines
- ✗ No tilt or pressure sensitivity
If you just want a handsome, durable digital pen to take notes with, look no further than the Adonit Pro 4. This Apple pencil alternative is precision engineered as a single piece and delivers both stability and precise lines every time you use it. Its soft-touch precision PET material tip won’t leave any scratches on your iPad. And it’s clip and copper twist cap give it the look and feel of a regular pen. It’s perfect for putting in your pocket just like you would a pencil or pen when you’re not using it.
This stylus is compatible with all capacitive touchscreen devices. When you’re using it in Universal Mode, it works with all iPads, smartphones, and non-apple tablets. In Dedicated Mode, however, it only works with iPads made after 2018. Unfortunately, it lacks pressure and tilt sensitivity, so artists will have to look elsewhere for their Apple Pencil alternative.
Adonit Pro 4 (Black) Luxury Capacitive Stylus Pen, High Sensitivity Fine Point and Precision,Stylus for iPad, Air, Mini, Android, iPhone, Surface, Other Touch Screens, Compatible for All Touchscreens
Take note: The Adonit Pro 4 is great for writing on your iPad.
Best for Artists: Adonit Note+
- ✓ Features tilt and pressure sensitivity
- ✓ Includes Palm Rejection
- ✓ Programmable buttons
- ✗ Doesn't work with pre-2018 iPad models
When shopping for an Apple Pencil alternative, pressure and tilt sensitivity are a must for artists. For these two features alone, the Adonit Note+ is the ideal buy for those interested in making the most of the artistic power of their iPad. The Note+ features 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity so you know each line, dash, swoop, and letter is exactly as you intended. Plus, it has two programmable buttons that you can use to perform quick functions like erase, redo, scroll, zoom, and more.
Even better is the incision of Palm Rejection, so you can draw on your iPad the same way you would on a physical note pad. Plus, this Apple Pencil alternative is compatible with many of the top creative apps such as Noteledge, Concepts, and Zen Brush 2. And it’s 10-hour battery life means you can draw all day without worrying about running out of juice. Unfortunately, it’s only works for iPads that have been released since 2018.
Everything a digital artist needs!
Best for Multiple Devices: Adonit Dash 4
- ✓ Compatible with all touchscreens
- ✓ Dual modes for iPad and other devices
- ✓ Whopping 15-hour battery life
- ✗ No tilt or pressure sensitivity
If you haven’t noticed yet, Adonit makes several appearances in this list of best Apple pencil alternatives. That’s because they make so many and equip them with everything you need in a great digital pen. The Dash 4 is no different. This iPad stylus is great for the iPad and any other touchscreen device you happen to own. It features dual modes, one for iPads and one for all other touchscreens.
Plus, it has magnetic charging for a totally portless design. You can expect the Dash 4 to last for a whopping 15 hours of continuous on a full charge. And when it does run out of juice, you can recharge it to maximum power in just an hour. Additionally, this digital pen automatically syncs with your iPad, so you don’t have to go through the rigamarole of pairing it via Bluetooth. Just a single push and you’re ready to go with the Dash 4.
Adonit Dash 4
If you have multiple touchscreen devices, this is the Apple Pencil alternative for you.