If you’ve coveted one of Apple’s exquisite Pencils for your iPad but were deterred by the steep price of $129 / £119 / AU$219, your patience has been rewarded. Apple has introduced a wallet-friendly $79 / £79 / AU$139 Apple Pencil compatible with all iPads supporting digital styluses. However, this price cut comes at a cost, as some crucial features have been omitted.
A Hidden USB-C Surprise
Apple’s latest offering, the Apple Pencil (USB-C), marks a milestone as the first Apple Pencil to embrace USB-C charging. Unlike the cumbersome protruding USB-C plug in the original design, this version has a cleverly concealed port hidden within the Pencil. Simply slide the cap, revealing the USB-C port, allowing you to charge the Pencil by connecting it to your iPad via a USB-C-to-USB-C cable or a USB-C charger.
Regrettably, this is the exclusive method to recharge the more budget-friendly Apple Pencil. While it still magnetically attaches to your iPad Air, iPad Pro, or iPad Mini (those with flat edges and contact chargers), it enters sleep mode instead of charging, conserving power.
It’s essential to note that this new Pencil will not function with iPads still equipped with the classic lightning port.
Notable Features Missing
Visually, the Apple Pencil (USB-C) resembles the Apple Pencil (2nd Generation), but it falls short in several key areas. It lacks pressure sensitivity, a crucial feature for artists looking to vary line thickness. This absence may deter many artists who rely on pressure sensitivity for a seamless drawing experience.
Moreover, the Apple Pencil (2nd Generation) does not include the double-tap-to-change-tools functionality. While some users might not miss this feature, seasoned artists may find it frustrating.
The Silver Lining: An Affordable Option
Despite the omissions, the Apple Pencil (USB-C) offers a more affordable alternative that checks most essential boxes, including tilt sensitivity. This provides a viable option for those seeking a capable digital drawing tool without breaking the bank. Alternatively, some users might consider the $69.99 Logitech Crayon digital Pencil. The new Pencil is available for educational buyers at a discounted price of $69 / £69 / AU$119.
The Apple Pencil (USB-C) will hit the market in early November, just in time for the Black Friday deals season. While it may not cater to all artist’s needs, it does make digital drawing more accessible to a wider audience.