Which Apple Pencil should you buy in 2023? It’s complicated

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Apple Pencil and iPad while utilizing FreeForm and FaceTimeApple

Apple caused a operation this week by launching a third type of its Apple Pencil. Although it’s not different for tech companies to merchandise updated versions of their products, it’s somewhat confusing arsenic nan caller Apple Pencil joins nan 2 existing models successful nan lineup. This intends 3 Apple Pencils are disposable now, each of which look very similar. Despite nan 3 input devices performing akin tasks, they disagree successful cardinal areas, arsenic their value differences suggest.

Here’s a comparison of nan Apple Pencil, Apple Pencil (2nd generation), and nan all-new Apple Pencil (USB-C). If you aren’t judge which 1 to buy, you’ve travel to nan correct place.

Apple Pencil (1st generation)

Apple Pencil.Malarie Gokey / Digital Trends

It’s difficult to believe, but almost 8 years person passed since Apple released nan first-ever Apple Pencil. The instrumentality quickly revolutionized nan integer stylus industry. It looks for illustration a regular pencil but is achromatic and soft connected each sides. Like early Apple Pencils, it was designed to connection debased latency erstwhile writing, sketching, and drawing. This intends location is minimal hold betwixt nan activity of nan Apple Pencil connected nan iPad surface and nan mark’s appearance. Additionally, it is pressure-sensitive, making nan consequence to ray and dense touches consciousness much natural. And pinch tilt exertion built-in, you tin adhd various shading and different cool effects to your work.

Charging nan first-generation Apple Pencil is an absorbing process involving removing nan bottommost headdress to expose its Lightning connector. Once nan connector is exposed, you tin plug it into nan Lightning larboard connected supported iPads aliases usage an adapter to complaint nan Pencil utilizing a USB powerfulness adapter. Either way, it whitethorn look a small unusual charging this Apple Pencil.

An Apple Pencil pinch its charging headdress off.Joe Maring / DIgital Trends

When nan first Apple Pencil was released, each iPads had Lightning connectors, not USB-C for illustration nan later models. However, successful a astonishing move, Apple added support for nan USB-C-based iPad (10th generation) successful 2022, making it nan only iPad compatible pinch nan first-generation Apple Pencil that uses USB-C. As such, you request to usage nan included USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter to complaint nan Apple Pencil pinch this peculiar iPad model.

If you’re successful nan marketplace for an Apple Pencil and person a supported Lightning-based iPad, this is nan only 1 that will activity pinch your tablet.

The supported iPads for nan Apple Pencil (1st generation) see nan iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad Air (3rd generation), iPad mini (5th generation), and iPad (6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th generation).

Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

The 2nd gen Apple Pencil laying connected a table.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

In 2018, Apple released nan first iPad models pinch a USB-C larboard alternatively of nan Lightning port. These were nan first-generation 11-inch iPad Pro and nan third-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro. As a result, Apple had to make changes to nan Apple Pencil. Instead of creating a USB-C to Apple Pencil Adapter (introduced later), Apple launched nan Apple Pencil (2nd generation).

The second-generation Apple Pencil offers nan aforesaid features arsenic nan first, specified arsenic debased latency, tilt, and unit sensitivity. However, it has immoderate further features that make it guidelines out. One of nan astir notable is its wireless charging and pairing capability, which is exclusive to this model. It tin beryllium conveniently charged by attaching it to nan broadside of a compatible iPad.

Apple Pencil hover connected nan iPad Pro (2022).Apple Pencil hover showing colour blending Joe Maring / Digital Trends

The 2nd procreation of nan Apple Pencil comes pinch a comparatively caller characteristic called “Apple Pencil hover.” This characteristic only useful pinch nan 11-inch (4th generation) and 12.9-inch (6th generation) iPad Pro models. With this feature, you tin preview different Apple Pencil devices and controls earlier you really usage them connected nan tablet. It allows you to preview various colors, brushes, and statement thicknesses, among different options. Hold nan Apple Pencil supra nan iPad show up to 12mm to usage nan hover tool.

The 2nd Apple Pencil has 1 last feature: nan double-tap gesture. You tin quickly move betwixt devices by simply double-tapping connected nan broadside of nan Pencil.

Not surprisingly, you tin only usage nan Apple Pencil (2nd generation) pinch supported USB-C iPad models. These see nan 11-inch (1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation) and 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th procreation iPad Pro models, iPad Air (4th and 5th generation), and iPad mini (6th generation). It does not work pinch nan iPad (10th generation)

Apple Pencil (USB-C)

Apple Pencil (USB-C) utilizing Goodnotes app.Apple

This brings america to nan latest Apple Pencil (USB-C) model. Apple calls this nan “most affordable Apple Pencil” to date. While this is correct, what Apple doesn’t show you is nan little value intends less features.

There are immoderate affirmative aspects to nan Apple Pencil (USB-C). For instance, it supports debased latency and tilt sensitivity for illustration nan different Apple Pencils. It besides connects magnetically to supported iPads and supports Apple Pencil hover connected supported iPad Pro models.

The sliding headdress being shown connected nan Apple Pencil (USB-C).Apple

It’s overseas that unit sensitivity, a characteristic introduced 8 years agone connected nan first Apple Pencil, is not supported connected nan newest model. Additionally, nan latest Apple Pencil does not person nan double-tap characteristic that allows you to move betwixt tools. Another downside is that nan Apple Pencil (USB-C) doesn’t support wireless charging and pairing. To complaint it up, you’ll request a USB-C cable, which isn’t included successful nan box. The USB-C connector is nether nan headdress astatine nan bottommost of nan Pencil.

The little costly Apple Pencil (USB-C) useful pinch immoderate iPads that besides activity pinch nan Apple Pencil (2nd generation). These see nan 11-inch (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th generation) and 12.9-inch (3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th generation) iPad Pro models, iPad Air (4th and 5th generation), and iPad mini (6th generation). It besides supports nan iPad (10th generation), which besides useful pinch nan Apple Pencil (1st generation).

Is that confusing capable for you yet?

Which Apple Pencil is for you?

Using an Apple Pencil to draw, color, and edit connected an Apple iPad.Joe Maring / Digital Trends

For owners of iPads pinch Lightning connectors, nan only compatible Apple Pencil is nan first-generation model. This makes nan determination easy for those individuals.

If your iPad is equipped pinch USB-C, choosing nan correct Apple Pencil tin beryllium a spot much confusing. The Apple Pencil (USB-C) costs $79, which is $50 little than nan Apple Pencil (2nd generation), which is priced astatine $129. While nan value quality is not insignificant, you will request to determine whether nan missing features are basal for your situation.

The 2 biggest features you’d beryllium giving up by buying nan Apple Pencil (USB-C) are wireless charging and pairing. Maybe this isn’t overmuch of a large woody since charging an Apple Pencil takes conscionable a fewer minutes, sloppy of nan version. And yet, wireless charging and pairing do prevention immoderate clip successful nan process.

When buying an Apple Pencil (USB-C) alternatively of nan Apple Pencil (2nd generation), it’s besides worthy considering that you’ll suffer nan unit sensitivity and double-tap features. The nonaccomplishment of unit sensitivity whitethorn beryllium significant, depending connected really you intend to usage nan Apple Pencil. However, it’s difficult to find whether this is simply a awesome rumor aliases a insignificant inconvenience until reviews of nan Apple Pencil (USB-C) go available. Losing double-tap is astir apt nan slightest consequential.

All 3 versions of nan Apple Pencil lined up adjacent to each other.Digital Trends

If money is little of a concern, it’s astir apt wiser to get nan Apple Pencil (2nd generation). If money is tight, spell pinch nan Apple Pencil (USB-C) and spot really you for illustration it. You tin ever return it if it doesn’t unrecorded up to your expectations.

Before you make a determination to bargain an Apple Pencil, support successful mind that discounts are often disposable for nan second-generation exemplary astatine third-party retailers. Therefore, it would beryllium wise to comparison its value pinch nan newer Apple Pencil (USB-C) and return into relationship immoderate imaginable discounts. While it’s improbable that nan second-generation exemplary will beryllium disposable astatine nan aforesaid value arsenic nan USB-C model, you whitethorn find a $10-$20 discount which could make a important quality erstwhile deciding betwixt nan two.

The bottommost line: nan person successful value those 2 products are, nan much apt nan Apple Pencil (2nd generation) is nan 1 for you.

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