There are stylus pens for iPad that can best fit people’s unique preferences at a much more affordable price. We have listed down the best Apple Pencil alternatives here.
The present time has progressed past the need for pen and paper. Thanks to the occurrence of capacitive touch screen devices and stylus pencils, people’s writing habits have transformed. Among the most famous duos that provide this experience is the iPad and the Apple Pencil. However, iPads don’t come with an Apple Pencil; you have to buy them separately and it’s not exactly cheap. Fret not for there are other styluses for iPad that are equally useful but a lot cheaper.
Inside This Article
- What Is a Stylus Pen?
- Best Apple Pencil Alternatives for iPad
- What Are the Different Types of Stylus?
- How Does a Stylus Work on an iPad?
- What Makes a Good Stylus?
- Benefits of Using a Stylus Pen
A stylus is a pen-shaped writing instrument specifically designed for digital use. People use this to swipe, sign, write, sketch, and draw on electronic and touch screen devices. Basically, you use a stylus to navigate through your gadget. It is an input device that sends a digital signal to a compatible touch screen. Now, this interprets the pressure as a drawing or any writing on a certain screen. A basic stylus is manufactured with conductive rubber tips and capacitive hard plastic.
Styluses are a good and precise substitute for your fingertips. It provides a smudge-free clicking and swiping experience on your gadget. Using a stylus will prevent you from scratching your iPad. It has a finer touch than your fingertip and provides better precision. Styluses are not just for larger screens like tablets and iPads. There are also other stylus pens for your phone.
This is an innovative and capacitive stylus that has a range of different features. It includes an exclusive brush tip, a micro-knit fiber tip, a ballpoint, and a precision disc. The brush tip acts like a real paintbrush that is perfect if you love painting on your iPad. It does not guarantee a fine-line drawing, but you can switch to using the disc or its other functionalities. The micro-knit tip and ballpoint pen are useful for regular stylus use. The stylus is made up of a solid aluminum finish. All its different functions and uses are convertible and replaceable. That means you can move the caps and use the longer or shorter end.
Besides these amazing features, Friendly Swede offers a lifetime warranty on the stylus. All you have to do is visit their website and register. Practically, this stylus is a good alternative for an Apple Pencil. It is perfect and fitting for either your typical needs or trying out artistic skills.
- It offers a lifetime warranty on the pen.
- Tips are replaceable.
- It is cheap for a stylus with many uses.
- There is a weak level of pressure sensitivity.
- There are no batteries of Bluetooth connection used.
This versatile digital pencil uses the same technology that supports the Apple Pencil; hence, it can seamlessly connect with your iPad. Moreover, it offers solid battery life for seven hours of writing time. The only downside is that Crayon is pressure-sensitive like the Apple Pencil. Despite this, it offers precision and great writing experience.
Exclusively produced for school purposes, the built best fits a student’s hands. It has a flatter and wider body compared to other styluses in the market. This style prevents your stylus from rolling off your desk. The cap is also attached to its stylus so you will not misplace or lose it. Before investing in Logitech Crayon, check its iPad compatibility.
- It has palm-rejection technology.
- It charges using a standard Lightning cable.
- Its design prevents it from rolling off any flat surface.
- There is no support for pressure sensitivity.
- It is only compatible with iPads that are released in 2018 or later.
Jot Pro is an Apple Pencil alternative crafted for architectural and graphic designing purposes. It is made out of steel and aluminum. Both of the tips have different uses. The one end has a plastic disc at the tip that allows the recognition of touch input even without Bluetooth. Its cushioned tip has a transparent plastic circle on the nib. The tool on the tip lets you see exactly where you are drawing. It also has this ball-and-socket joint, something that makes you enjoy the freedom of drawing angles and writing. The other end covers the stylus’s fragile tip with a screw-off cap. This protects your stylus when you are not sketching or writing.
The body of Jot Pro has a nice textured grip that makes it solid and comfortable to grip. Hold it upright for a flawless work effect. If you hold it at a canted angle, it effectively contacts the screen. You are still able to follow your own handwriting even without Bluetooth. The latest version has improved for a more convenient and quieter writing experience.
- Jot Pro is usable on most iPads and even on iPhone 4s and later.
- The transparent tip is replaceable.
- It has an accurate writing capacity due to the see-through disc tip.
- It’s not Bluetooth-capable.
- It easily skews to the direction the stylus is leaning on.
Zagg Pro, although cheaper than the Apple Pen, is one that falls on the more expensive side of this list. Despite that, it will be money well spent if you decide to get this stylus pen for your iPad because of its feature-rich offering.
Zagg Pro packs two of the most in-demand features in a stylus pen — palm rejection and tilt recognition. With palm rejection, you can rest your hand freely on your touch screen device while writing without fear of leaving marks. On the other hand, the tilt rejection gives you variety in the thickness of your writing based on the angle of your pen. This feature is especially helpful when you are sketching or shading. Aside from its main nib, Zagg Pro also has a capacitive back-end tip to help you with navigation and scrolling.
Because of its feature, Zagg Pro may seem hard to set up — only it’s not. With its instant Bluetooth pairing, you can simply put it near your iPad and it will connect automatically.
- Has palm rejection and tilt recognition.
- Connects automatically with a tablet.
- It has an excellent battery.
- It boasts positive reviews.
- It’s not exactly cheap.
Adonit Dash 4 is arguably one of the best Apple Pencil alternatives if you want a stylus for general use. It’s the jack of all trades of styluses — in a positive way — because you can use it for different purposes albeit not in a specialist way.
The Dash 4 offers a dual-mode, which let you switch between a smart universal use and a palm rejection pencil if you want to rest your hand on your iPad and write comfortably. Although using it with an iPad can be spotty when an Apple Pencil is also connected, its performance is considerably smooth and fine. However, it can’t be a specialist drawing pencil because it lacks pressure sensitivity — a thing that we consider its biggest letdown.
On the brighter side, it does not need a driver installation or Bluetooth pairing, giving it wide compatibility with touch screen devices. Its battery is also impressive; it lasts 15 hours on standby with one hour of charge time.
- No Bluetooth pairing is needed.
- It is compatible with other touch screen devices.
- Has palm detection compatibility.
- The battery is impressive.
- Lacks pressure sensitivity.
- On the pricier side of the shelf.
Wacom Bamboo Duo is a 2-in-1 stylus pen for those who want to keep their notes both digital and analog. It has two tips; from one end, it has a premium quality black ballpoint pen for jotting down notes on paper. On the other end, it has a smooth carbon fiber tip that is compatible with touch screen devices, including the iPad.
The Bamboo Duo, as an Apple Pencil alternative, is beautiful in a modern, yet lightly conventional way. It has a triangular tip design that lets you sketch and draw with a perfect balance. It also provides a soft-touch surface, although you may find it not very precise when writing in small font.
- Replaceable nib and ink cartridge.
- It works well with older iPad generations, iPhone 6, and later.
- It is affordable.
- Doesn’t have smart features like palm rejection and pressure sensitivity.
The MoKo Stylus Pen is made specifically to be the best stylus pen for iPad other than Apple Pencil; it even looks like one. From its weight and cuts, you can tell that this device took inspiration from a popular brand. However, its performance goes beyond what meets the eyes.
For its budget price, you’ll get premium features that anyone who wants an Apple Pencil alternative will be looking for. It has palm-rejection technology, which means you can rest your hand on the screen without smudging your writings. For those who love sketching on their iPad, it also has tilt sensitivity — a feature helpful for making thicker lines and shading.
Setting up the MoKo Stylus Pen is also very simple because it doesn’t require a Bluetooth connection or specific apps. Its battery is equally impressive, with a 10-hour capacity and less than an hour of charge time. However, although it can magnetically attach to an iPad, it uses a type-c cable for charging.
- One-press set up.
- Palm-rejection and tilt-sensitivity technology.
- Impressive battery.
- Draws considerably thick lines.
KECOW is a brand that doesn’t ring a bell, but its stylus pen is surely one you should check out if you want an alternative to Apple Pencil. It is suitable for whichever purpose you need it for, such as drawing, signing digital documents, and jotting down notes.
The KECOW stylus pen has a tip on both of its ends. Near the power button is a soft fiber mesh tip that can draw thick lines. You can also use it for scrolling when you are reading. On the other side is a 1.45mm fine point if you want to draw thinner lines, which you can’t easily find on a cheap stylus. Its tilt sensitivity is very subtle, though, and doesn’t work well for sketching.
It does not need downloaded apps and a Bluetooth connection to work. You just have to turn on the power button and you can use it directly. Its battery is also impressive on paper, although there are reports of power issues after days of usage. Thankfully, it has a 12-month warranty in the event that it malfunctions.
- It has two nibs for different writing experiences.
- The fine point draws fine and thin lines.
- Doesn’t require a Bluetooth connection.
- Some reports of power issues.
- The brand name is not well known.
Adonit is one of the best and most famous manufacturers of styluses in the market. They have different models for a stylus, and one of them is the Adonit Mark. It provides precision with writing, drawing, and sketching on your touch screen. With the mesh-based round tip, you get a smudge-free experience with your activities. It is durable and provides enough resistance to write without irregularity.
The body is made of anodized aluminum. It is designed with a triangular shape and anti-roll feature. Also, Adonit Mark does not require battery charging. It is ready for use as soon as you take it out of the box. With all these features, Adonit Mark lets you write, draw, and navigate with ease.
- It’s priced reasonably at $9.
- It has replaceable batteries.
- The mesh tip can break easily from normal or intense use.
- In some instances, it loses connection with your iPad.
Made of aluminum and stainless steel, Meko is known to be an all-purpose stylus for a wide range of devices other than your iPad. It is suitable for writing notes, drawing, navigation, and most basic activities. It has a clear disc that lets you accurately see where you put your drawing marks with precision. The fiber tip is 6mm, while the disc diameter is 6.8mm with a 2mm rubber point. It makes up a good experience for drawing, browsing, and overall navigation.
The Meko Universal Stylus is the best precision stylus on the market. It has good compatibility, multiple tip functionality, and a fair price.
- It is cheap for its precision functionality.
- It includes replaceable tip ends.
- There are no plastic parts.
- Its disc is not a fine point stylus.
Cosmonaut is the ultimate stylus for marker and whiteboard artists. Its built may not be enticing to the majority as it is huge and bulky, but it gives out a nice and solid line. It is perfectly round, not delicate, and made with a heavy-duty wide grip wrapped in rubber.
Aside from this appearance, the rigid tip is one of its most remarkable features. It is not as mushy as all the other rubberized stylus tips on the market. When you use it, you have to press down harder as it inks out very straight lines and smooth curves. The capacitive rubber tip glides on your iPad screen with ease.
It works on any app and is compatible with all capacitive touchscreen devices. Cosmonaut is the right stylus for those who like to doodle, take notes, and diagram lectures in a visual style.
- It has a great design and a nice rubber coating.
- It is compatible with touch screen tablets other than the iPad.
- Its embedded rubber tip does not easily smush.
- The tip is a bit thick.
There are different types of styluses for different uses. Before you pick a stylus pen for your iPad, it’s essential that you first check for what purpose you need it, so that you would know what type to purchase. Styluses can be categorized into two: active and passive.
Passive / Capacitive
A passive or capacitive stylus is like an extension of your finger. It conducts static energy from your tips to the screen and, therefore, doesn’t depend on a battery. The stylus makes screen contact through electrostatic field disruption. Like an active stylus, you can still write and tap on the screen with this kind. However, it lacks more advanced features that one might need for graphics and animations.
An active stylus allows for more precise handwriting and strokes but needs a constant connection with a tablet — usually via Bluetooth. It just has more features that make it more enticing to the creative user. It comes with internal electronic components and different features like electronic erasers and pressure sensitivity. The shade of the lines depends on how much pressure you apply while writing. It also normally has palm rejection that allows you to rest your palm on the screen without worrying that you might cause interference. However, you cannot use an active stylus for a longer period because it relies on a battery.
How a stylus works depend if the function of a touch screen is capacitive or resistive. Capacitive screens are like two electrical conductors separated by an insulator; they easily detect electric currents from the physical human body to operate. Resistive touch screens need two conducting layers to produce a successful contact. These resistive screens register through pressure while capacitive connects through electricity.
The iPad’s touch screen is capacitive. It looks for a kind of electric signal in your body to be able to register a touch. For this to happen, the stylus must be made out of a conductive material. Styluses with a soft material like a conductive foam at the tip are more preferred. They make the writings smoother. There is also a lesser chance for you to scratch the screen’s surface.
Aside from the capacitive function, an iPad also requires a certain size of stylus nibs. They have to be big enough to register as a fingerprint. Different manufacturers have come up with many unique styluses. Their creations are categorized depending on what type of nibs will be effective on an iPad.
It includes pressure sensitivity, customized buttons, palm rejection, and greater precision. These features only work with certain apps. App developers are responsible to add model-specific support. It is important to note that Apple does not provide access to third-party styluses. A Bluetooth stylus works in its own way and is usually the most expensive kind.
A stylus with a disc nib adds precision when you are writing or drawing on your iPad. The transparent plastic disc tip allows you to see clearly where you’re drawing or writing. It smoothly glides across your iPad or any touchscreen device at any angle.
This type is a fabric-based nib that provides better resistance on the screen. Mesh nibs are bulky and could easily tear up. In some instances, you can also experience slow touches with excess resistance.
Rubber is the original design and approach for a capacitive stylus. It is made to imitate the size of a finger and is measuring 5 to 6mm. This provides more resistance than disc or plastic nibs when pressed against the screen. The downside, though, is the bigger the rubber nib, the poorer the accuracy. This is because bigger nibs tend to obscure the starting writing point. Rubber also has a greater chance of tearing. Manufacturers often offer replacements for this.
One of the most important factors to consider in looking for a good stylus is its functional features. The pressure sensitivity, which is essential for artists, can mimic pen and brushstrokes. The palm rejection technology is responsible for recognizing unnecessary contact. This helps in overall responsiveness and precision. Other minimal factors are the protective cap, convenience strap, and a built-in eraser. Also, make sure to check if the stylus supports certain apps that you frequently use.
It is important to check the compatibility function of your stylus. Not all styluses are engineered to work universally. It is important to check if your stylus works well with your iPad or any touchscreen device that you use. It is also equally important to make sure that your stylus works with the apps on your gadget. If you are the type that loves drawing on your iPad, check out the best drawing apps and see if they are compatible with your stylus.
Styluses are generally small in size and are prone to bending and breaking. That’s why, before purchasing one, you should do a background check about it. Your stylus should be well-manufactured with long-lasting materials. Some of the strongest and sturdiest are made of metals and robust plastics.
Aesthetic and Comfort
A stylus’ functional features are the top priority in looking for a good stylus. But its appearance and the comfort it brings are also essential factors that must be looked upon. Users have different preferences when it comes to choosing a stylus. Some want a thicker body while others prefer angled or rubberized grips. Other people also consider the color and texture of their stylus. It is different for everyone. Make sure that you choose a stylus with a good aesthetic and is functional at the same time.
It is versatile and efficient.
A stylus pen is useful for everyone in a different profession. You can be a student who needs it for educational purposes or a businessman who uses it for meetings. It is also fitting for artists, designers, or even just for personal use. Different types of styluses are specifically made for certain functions. They are constructed out of unique materials and come in different shapes and sizes. It is a great alternative to your fingertip for you to achieve more precise linework.
It is easy to use.
Using a stylus pen is not complicated as you only need to hold and grip it. It only needs enough pressure when being pressed against the screen of your iPad or any gadget. The parts of a stylus are just basic and not difficult to analyze. Some styluses have tweaks, caps, straps, clips, and buttons. If you haven’t touched or used a stylus ever, familiarizing yourself with the tool is so easy. It has basic functionalities and operates similarly to a traditional pen.
It offers precise contact.
It is difficult to create a perfect line using your fingertip, whether you are using an iPad or any device smaller. With a stylus, you can write or draw with more accuracy and precision. It is able to deliver more pristine linework. It is beneficial to use a stylus as it offers fine-point exactness. This helps you create a seamless finished product.
It is weather-resistant.
You get to prevent chilly fingers if you live in a place with cold temperatures. It is difficult for your iPad or any gadget to register contact when your fingertips are frigid. A stylus is made of conductive materials that it adjusts well no matter the state of your finger. It is equally functional for all weather conditions — snow, shine, sleet, or rain. If you are wearing gloves or just finished drying your hands, a stylus is still able to register contact. All you need is to tap on your iPad or any gadget and everything works fine.
It is more sanitary than bare fingers.
When you touch a portion of food or something greasy then proceed with using your iPad, the dirt and smudges come with it. With a stylus pen, you do not need to sacrifice your gadget’s smooth and supposedly-tidy screen. Also, you can always wipe your stylus with cotton to clean it.
Get in Style With the Right iPad Stylus
In a technology-advanced environment, convenience and work efficiency is a top priority. A stylus has functional features that are helpful for people with different professions. There are many types for certain purposes. You can use it for your career, hobby, or even personal interests. They provide a faster means of taking notes, drawing, sketching, and other pen and paper-oriented activities. The benefits it brings will surely make a world of difference in your work.
There are several options in the market and it is hard to choose the right alternative for Apple Pencil. It is important to choose a stylus for your iPad depending on your needs and personal preference.