If you’ve ever had to buy a $40 iPhone dongle for your headphones that probably costs all but $0.50 to make, you’re probably not surprised that the Apple Pencil is $120. But don’t worry, you don’t have to take out a second mortgage just to have a stylus that will work with your iPad or iPhone. There are plenty of Apple Pencil alternatives that are just as great as the Apple one, and will save you quite a bit of coin as well. That said, don’t jump on the first Apple Pencil alternative you see. There are plenty of awful imitations out there, which is why we did some digging and found a handful of Pencil alternatives that are worth your time and money.
The best Apple Pencil alternatives have palm rejection, so you can comfortably rest your hand on the surface of your iPad while you write and draw, a long battery life, and programmable shortcuts. Apple Pencil, Apple schmencil — who needs the name brand when you have great alternatives that are far more affordable. Take a look at our top six picks below to get the quality you want at a reasonable price.
1. Adonit Note+
The Adonit Note+ has exceptional features, a great battery life and is half the price of the Apple Pencil. The stylus is compatible with both the sixth generation 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro as well as third generation iPad Air and iPad Mini 5. The Note+ has a couple of nifty shortcuts you can use to speed up your writing. You can quickly erase, undo and redo with a push of a button. And the palm rejection lets you comfortably rest your hand on your iPad as you write without any issues. And you’ll be able to use the Adonit Note+ for a lengthy 10 hours before it needs a recharge. When it is time to refuel, a quick five minutes on the charger will give you an hour of usage time. It’s a great alternative to the Apple Pencil.
2. Logitech Crayon
The Logitech Crayon is the closest thing to the Apple Pencil there is. It’s also around $70 cheaper. It uses the same technology as the Apple Pencil, so there isn’t any need to pair it using Bluetooth. Simply turn it on and you can start writing on your iPad. The stylus has the same compatibility as our best overall pick, the Adonit Note+. There isn’t pressure sensitivity like there is with the Apple Pencil, but if you angle the Crayon as you draw you’ll be able to change the thickness of your lines. For the price, it’s hard to beat this iPad Pencil alternative.
3. Xiron Stylus
BEST BUDGET OPTION
Xiron might not have as many features as other stylus replacements for iPad, but it connects automatically to your iPad and is super affordable. The Xiron is great for taking quick notes as it doesn’t need to connect through Bluetooth, just turn it on and go. It does lack pressure sensitivity and palm rejection, but the Xiron comes with a glove so you can still rest your hand on the display as you write or draw. Beyond the inexpensive price tag, the other advantage of going the Xiron route is the long 12-hour battery life. It’s not the best by any stretch, but it is a viable, affordable option.
4. Adonit Pixel Stylus
The feel of actually writing on paper is what many digital artists want, and the Adonit Pixel delivers. The tip of the Pixel provides a natural drag like you’re writing on real paper. Plus with 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity and palm rejection, you can draw comfortably and with incredible accuracy and detail. To speed up your writing, there are programmable shortcuts to erase, undo and redo when needed. You’ll need to connect to your iPad via Bluetooth though, as it doesn’t automatically connect like the Note+ or Logitech Crayon. The other downside is it is almost $100, which is still $20 off compared to the Apple Pencil, but not exactly cheap.
5. Moko Active Stylus Pen
Not many styluses have a metal tip for writing on a touchscreen, but the Moko Active Stylus does, and it makes it feel like you are writing on paper. Don’t worry though, the tip has a tiny rubber end that protects your screen from getting scratched. What’s really nice about the Moko though, is it’s compatible with virtually any touch screen. For only $27, you can have a stylus available for any digital surface. When the battery life finally runs out after eight long hours, you can flip the stylus over and use the rubber end to continue to maneuver your touchscreen. It’s a solid pen option especially if you switch from your iPad to iPhone often.
BEST WIDE GRIP
While it’s not as elegantly slim as other styluses, the wide body of the Cosmonaut is surprisingly comfortable to grip. This is a great Apple Pencil alternative, especially for children; it works on any iPad or iPhone surface and the wide grip is great for a kid to maneuver and manipulate. Without any pressure sensitivity or undo, redo features, it’s might not be as useful for more detailed oriented digital artists, but it’s a comfortable option, and certainly a smart one for those with kids.