The best Apple Pencil alternatives on a budget

No stylus can exactly replicate the magic of an Apple Pencil with your iPad. But the good news is, there are many that come quite close, and at a fraction of the price. If you’re a designer or artist, chances are you can’t do without your Apple Pencil. But for other tasks like notetaking, casual doodling, or browsing, an affordable Apple Pencil alternative is more than enough.

Check out the list below for our selection of the best Apple Pencil alternatives that come as close as possible to the real thing while perfectly fitting any budget.

Apple Pencil alternatives featured image

Best stylus for all iPads

Editor’s choice: Logitech Crayon

logitech crayon

If you’re looking for an Apple-approved stylus, the Logitech Crayon is an awesome and affordable option. It works like a dream on any iPad model and functions effectively across all Apple Pencil-supported apps. It connects instantly and can keep going for over 7 hours on a full charge.

Just like the Apple Pencil, you can tilt it to adjust line weights, which makes it great for digital artists. The palm rejection technology is pretty good, ensuring you can rest your hand comfortably while working. Moreover, I love the streamlined design that’s comfortable to hold even for long hours.  You can opt for an eye-catching orange one or the classic all-grey version.

Price: $69.95

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Programmable shortcut buttons: Adonit Note+

adonit note + stylus for iPad

Here’s a great stylus for your iPad that’s got a couple of tricks up its sleeve! The Adonit Note+ is slightly pricier than the Logitech Crayon but it offers some pretty cool features. When paired with compatible apps, you can program two of its buttons to perform quick actions like erase, redo, or scroll to zoom.

At the same time, advanced pressure sensitivity ensures every line, dash, swoosh, and letter appear exactly how you want it to. Natural palm rejection and tilt support add to the user-friendliness to make this a top-notch alternative to the much pricier Apple Pencil. The only limitation is the build quality, which could have been better at this price point.

Price: $69.99

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Dual tip: ZAGG Pro Stylus

zagg pro stylus

The ZAGG Pro stylus features a capacitive back-end tip for effortless navigation and easy scrolling, and an active stylus on the other end for error-free writing and sketching with smooth lines and clean strokes. It also comes with a spare tip, which increases the durability of the product.

While there’s no pressure sensitivity, it’s pretty good for note-taking, journaling, and marking up PDFs. Any app that uses the Pencil can work with the Zagg Pro Stylus. It pairs with any iPad from 2018 or later, and is comfortable to use for long hours. The battery will last a good eight hours or so and can charge in less than two hours via its USB-C connection. There’s an LED battery indicator that shows how much charge is left at any time.

Price: $49.99

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Best value: ESR Stylus

esr apple pencil alternative

At $25, ESR’s Apple Pencil alternative is a steal. It’s a highly sensitive stylus that provides a smooth writing experience complete with palm rejection and tilt sensitivity. It’s compatible with iPads released in 2018 and later. I especially liked the build quality that makes it feel like a real pencil in your hand.

It can also attach magnetically to the side of compatible iPads just like the original Apple Pencil does. However, it won’t charge this way like the original. One 90-minute charge gives you about 13 hours of use and it goes into power saving mode after 5 minutes of inactivity to maximize the battery life

Price: $24.99

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Fast-charging: JAMJAKE iPad pencil

jamjake apple pencil alternativeJust like an original Apple Pencil, this stylus from JAMJAKE can be tilted at different angles to draw different strokes of thickness and depth, which makes it perfect for drawing. The best part is how it charges within just twenty or so minutes to give you up to five to six hours of usability.

It’s easy to hold and you can put your hand comfortably on the screen when drawing or writing thanks to effective palm rejection. The product comes with a few additional pencil tips, with different hardness levels and point sizes for convenience. It also supports magnetic attachment to compatible iPads so that you won’t lose it.

Price: $26.99

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Lightweight and easy to use: Metapen Pencil A8

metapen stylus

Here’s an inexpensive Apple Pencil alternative that’ll leave you impressed with its capabilities. It’s lightweight yet power-packed.  The build quality makes it a delight to hold and the precise point allows a seamless writing and sketching experience. It works flawlessly with Procreate and GoodNotes, as well as all of my other iPad apps.

Moreover, the brand claims its tips are twice as durable as the original Apple Pencil. Its internal structure can withstand thousands of micro drops without affecting performance. Of course, it also features tilt support and palm rejection for effective workflow.

Price: $27.99

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Most affordable Apple Pencil alternative: MEKO

meko stylus for ipad

Want a truly versatile stylus at an unbeatable price? Check out the MEKO touchscreen pen that works not only with your iPad but also with iPhones and other capacitative displays. It doesn’t look like an Apple Pencil but performs quite similarly, allowing you to write with ease on your tablet.

Of course, this one lacks palm rejection and tilt sensitivity, so it’s not for the artists out there. But given the low price, it’s a no-brainer for anyone who wants a simple stylus for everyday use. I also appreciate its shape as an actual pen, which makes it much easier to hold and maneuver.

Price: $16.99 for three

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