Ten Best Apple Pencil Alternatives
There are plenty of good options available in the market as an Apple Pencil alternative for an aspiring artist. While the Apple Pencil remains the top choice for an iPad stylus, its price can be prohibitive, and there are great stylus options that don’t have to break the bank. Whether you’d like an affordable alternative, or just a stylus with a few unique features, you’ll find one to suit your needs. In this article we’ll take a look at the ten best alternatives to the Apple Pencil, so you can find the perfect one for your design endeavors.
Top Apple Pencil Alternatives List
No matter the budget or producer preferences, our top tier styluses list will help satisfy even the most demanding customer. So without further ado we present you with the ten best Apple Pencil alternatives:
Logitech Crayon Digital Pen
Logitech Crayon is a top pick for Apple-approved pens as it is affordable and well-designed. The gray and orange design is eye-catching, and it has long-lasting durability of up to seven hours of continuous use. The quick recharge feature offers 30 minutes of use from just two minutes charge, which is hard to beat.
The Logitech Crayon stylus works perfectly with iPads and Apple apps. It is especially effective for digital artists that need to move around the page quickly, thanks to its palm-rejection technology that prevents accidental marks. The tilt support allows for various shading in artwork, although the tech specks lack any pressure sensitivity. All in all, it is the best Apple Pencil alternative.
Most drawing and sketching apps: Amadine, Photoshop Sketch, Procreate, ArtStudioPro, Concepts, Autodesk Sketchbook and others as well as note-taking apps.
- iPad Mini 6th Gen
- iPad 9th Gen
- All iPad Pros back to 3rd Gen (12.9-inch) and 1st Gen (11-inch)
- iPad Air 3rd Gen.
Cost: 65–70 USD
The Adonit range has been around for eight years, and so they have developed some excellent styluses. The Adonit Pixel is one of its best for drawing and designing on the iPad. Bluetooth-enabled and compatible with many apps for creatives, the Pixel offers 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and a number of function buttons on its body that can be customized to your most used tools.
One possible caveat is these buttons can be accidentally knocked if you’re not careful. The palm rejection isn’t foolproof and there’s no tilt support, so that is something to be aware of. However, with 15 hours of battery life, you have plenty of time to get creative projects done without recharging.
Most drawing and sketching apps, like Amadine, Photoshop Sketch, Mediabang Paint and many others, including the writing and note-taking apps.
- iPad Mini
- iPad Air
- iPad 2017 (5th Gen) and later
Cost: 75 USD
Zagg Pro Stylus
The Zagg Pro Stylus has the typical essential features for drawing, such as palm rejection and tilt sensitivity, so it stands out from cheaper styluses. It does not have pressure sensitivity, a trait which may be a deal breaker for those looking for an Apple Pencil alternative. Nevertheless, it is quite comfortable to use for extended periods of time, and is compatible with any app that uses the Apple Pencil. The battery lasts up to 8 hours, with a quick charge time of 2 hours via USB-C.
- Most drawing and note-taking apps
- 12.9-inch iPad Pro 3rd Gen and later
- 11-inch iPad Pro 1st Gen and later
- 10.9-inch iPad 10th Gen and later
- iPad 6th Gen and later
Cost: 48–55 USD
Ankace Stylus Pen
Ankace Stylus Pen looks similar to the others, but doesn’t measure up to them in terms of performance. The key issue most find is that it has difficulty drawing a straight line, and the shakes are present no matter the screen protector. Nevertheless, it is easy to set up and write straight from the box, as it does not require bluetooth to function.
Additionally, the on/off switch is located on the side and is sensitive, making it difficult for those who hold it in unconventional ways. Moreover, the built-in palm rejection is a rare feature at this price. And the tilt function provides the real-life pen-and-paper effect. The pen also lacks pressure sensitivity, and therefore can’t produce thick and dark strokes when pressed harder. For many artists this means the Ankace isn’t a viable choice, but if your main tasks involve taking notes or writing, this might not matter to you.
- Most writing and note-taking apps
- Apple iPad 2018 and later
Cost: 25 USD
MEKO Universal Stylus
The MEKO is a highly affordable alternative to the Apple Pencil. It offers excellent utility, and is ideal for all touchscreen devices for writing or drawing. It’s weighted so it feels nice in the hand, and it comes with both mesh and precision tips which feature a transparent disc to view the mark being made. The mesh tips are meant to substitute for finger drawing. Do not let affordability hypnotize you out of cautious choice—the stylus lacks pressure sensitivity along with other proficient features, expected of the Apple Pencil.
As for the disc tip, it’s not a true fine point stylus, but it does offer a thin line. Though the disc is intended to sharpen accuracy, it can be difficult to adjust to if you haven’t used this before.
Something to note is that the fiber tip will eventually wear off after extended use, but replacement tips are easy to swap in. Overall this is a good budget option that allows you to draw and write, right out of the box.
- Most drawing, note-taking and sketching apps
- Entire iPad range and all the touch screens
Cost: Less than 20 USD
The Adonit Mark is the budget option among the Adonit brand pens. Made of anodized aluminum, the Mark has a triangular design so it won’t roll away.
This pen will provide smooth, effortless browsing, writing and drawing on your tablet or mobile device. It is a budget option, and while it’s not a true Apple Pencil alternative for creative designing, it gets the job done for writing, simple sketching and navigating the screen. Being almost dirt cheap it’s useful for everyday browsing, but don’t expect any high end pressure sensitivity or palm rejection. It’s ready to use out of the box and requires no connectivity.
- Most note-taking and writing apps
- Most touch screen devices, Apple iPads not an exception
Cost: 10 USD
Adonit Pro 4
The Adonit Pro is a sleek lightweight pen that comes in 3 color options. It’s a non-Bluetooth stylus with no need for charging or pairing. This pen works for everyday tasks, like scrolling, liking, sharing, and note-taking on any device.
It does not feature pressure sensitivity, palm rejection or tilt support, which are available in similarly priced styluses, so that is a clear drawback for designers and artists. It’s not the least expensive option for a writing stylus, but if you like the cool aesthetics and want something easy to set up, it may be a good pick.
- Most note-taking and sketching apps, like Notability and Sketchbook
- Most touch screen devices, including iPads
Cost: About 30 USD
JamJake K10 Stylus Pen
The JamJake K10 pen is lighter weight than the Apple Pencil, and features a magnetic side for attaching. This pen works right out of the box, and it offers palm rejection and features tilt sensitivity, so it’s accurate when writing. It lacks pressure sensitivity, so if you’re an artist or designer who relies on your stylus to draw, skip this option.
If you simply want to write or use the pen to navigate your screen, the JamJake is a good choice.
- Most writing and note-taking apps
- iPad 6th Gen and later
- iPad Air 3rd Gen and later
- iPad Pro
- iPad Mini 5th and 6th Gen
Cost: 25 USD
This stylus pen offers a reliable, seamless writing and drawing experience with no lag and a quick response. It comes in 12 color options, and comes with a pen sleeve case and an extra replaceable fine tip. Provides decent 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity, while having full support of palm rejection and tilt sensitivity. This pen can be used on a screen with or without a plastic or tempered film. It also features one-button operation, with no need to pair, and it supports a 20-hour playing time after charging for 100 minutes.
The pen has intelligent power saving, so it powers off after 5 minutes of inactivity. Artists will like the accurate writing/drawing experience, with great responsiveness and sensitivity, with no Bluetooth needed. This is a solid budget option for a range of tasks.
- Most writing and note-taking apps, as well as most drawing apps
- Most touch screens, including iPads
Cost: 21 USD
Zspeed Stylus Pen
The Zspeed product line looks similar to the Apple pencil, and also comes in several colors. This pen offers a great way to get a highly sensitive stylus with palm rejection and tilt function without breaking the bank. It features a capacitive tip that is compatible with all capacitive touchscreen devices, with superior control and traction with its 1.45-millimeter extra-fine tip.
It lasts 8 to 10 hours of continuous use after being charged and will automatically turn off after 30 minutes of inactivity. There’s a magnetic cap to protect the USB charging port, which can be swapped out for a rubber or mesh tip when needed. Artists or designers looking for a budget-friendly alternative with precise pen control and good pressure sensitivity will find the Zspeed worth a look.
- Most writing and drawing apps, like Procreate, Adobe Sketch, Amadine, etc.
- Most touch screens and of course iPads
Cost: 20–40 USD
In conclusion, there are quite a few Apple Pencil alternatives available on the market for designers and artists. Aside from the options listed above, most tablets, like the Wacom or other competitors, come with their own tablet pencil, which can be used when working on an iPad. While these might not have all the features of the above alternatives, these pencils still serve the same purpose: to control pressure and give a paper-like texture effect while drawing.
Each of the items listed in the article above has its own unique features and drawbacks, but the Logitech Crayon stands out as the best overall choice when you consider price, durability, the quick recharge feature and its wide compatibility with devices. Our runner ups would be the Adonit Pixel, with high pressure sensitivity, or the more budget friendly options like the Zagg Pro with the palm rejection, or the MEKO, with its choice of mesh or precision tips.
While the alternatives may not have all the features of the Apple Pencil, they offer a range of options for designers with different drawing and writing needs, at every price level.