Apple Pencil Comparison

Compare Apple Pencil 1, Apple Pencil 2, Apple Pencil USB-C and Apple Pencil Pro. See their compatibility. Find out how long is their battery life and how long it takes to charge them, how to connect them to iPads, and the top reasons why people buy Apple Pencils, and Troubleshoot with the FAQ at the bottom.

People love to compare. It gives us a better perspective and helps us understand products better. Apple now has 4 Pencils. Apple Pencil Gen 1, Apple Pencil Gen 2, Apple Pencil USB-C, and Apple Pencil Pro.

There are differences between these pens and one of the most important parts is that not all Pencils work with all iPads. In this article, we will compare these, learn the differences between them, go through the reasons why people buy them, show compatibility, and do a little troubleshooting at the bottom.

Apple Pencil 1 vs Apple Pencil 2 vs Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil Pro

Apple Pencil 1Apple Pencil 2Apple Pencil USB-CApple Pencil Pro
DesignCircularFlatFlatFlat
Length6.92-inches6.53-inches6.10-inches6.53-inches
Diameter8.9 mm8.9 mm8.9 mm8.9 mm
Weight0.73 ounces(20.7g)0.73 ounces(20.7g)0.72 ounce(20.5g)0.68 ounces(19.2g)
Magnetic Caps
Tilt Sensitivity
Pressure Sensitivity
Pixel Precision
Double Tap(Touch Sensitive)
ConnectivityBluetoothBluetoothBluetoothBluetooth
ChargingLightning PortMagneticUSB-CMagnetic
Pricing$99$129$79$129
Free Engraving

Choosing the right Apple Pencil depends on your specific needs and preferences. For those seeking a more budget-friendly option with essential features, the Apple Pencil USB-C at $79 is a great choice. For enhanced functionality like double-tap and magnetic charging, the Apple Pencil 2 and Pro are excellent options, with the Pro offering the lightest design and professional features. The original Apple Pencil remains a solid choice for those using older iPads that require a Lightning connector.

Most importantly, you need to check compatibility before making a decision.

Key New Features in the Apple Pencil Pro

  1. Lightweight Design:
    • Weighs only 0.68 ounces (19.2g), making it the lightest in the series for comfortable extended use.
  2. Enhanced Precision and Sensitivity:
    • Improved pressure and tilt sensitivity for more natural and accurate drawing and writing.
  3. Double Tap Functionality:
    • Enhanced touch-sensitive areas for easy tool switching with a simple double tap.

Apple Pencil Compatibility

Not all iPads are universally compatible with Apple Pencils, as each iPad model is designed to work with a specific generation of the Apple Pencil.

Make sure your iPad works with the Apple Pencil you are buying.

Which iPad Works with Apple Pencil Gen 1

ModelRelease DateApple Pencil 1 Compatibility
iPad Pro 9.7-inch (1st gen)November 11, 2015Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st gen)November 11, 2015Yes
iPad Pro 10.5-inch (2nd gen)June 13, 2017Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd gen)June 13, 2017Yes
iPad (6th gen)March 27, 2018Yes
iPad Air (3rd gen)March 18, 2019Yes
iPad Mini (5th gen)March 18, 2019Yes
iPad (7th gen)September 25, 2019Yes
iPad (8th gen)September 15, 2020Yes
iPad (9th gen)September 14, 2021Yes
iPad (10th gen)October 26, 2022Yes

All of these iPads will be compatible with Apple Pencil 1, but there’s a thing you need to know in case you have the newest iPad 10th generation.

Apple Pencil 1 is charged through the Lightning port. All classic iPads from 1 to 9 had a lightning port, but iPad 10th Gen has a USB-C port, and you won’t be able to charge it without a special adapter that’s now included in the Apple Pencil 1 box.

Which iPad Works with Apple Pencil Gen 2

ModelRelease DateApple Pencil 2 Compatibility
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen)November, 2018Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen)November, 2018Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd gen)March, 2020Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th gen)March, 2020Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd gen)May, 2021Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th gen)May, 2021Yes
iPad Air (4th gen)October, 2020Yes
iPad Air (5th gen)March, 2022Yes
iPad Mini (6th gen)September, 2021Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (4th gen)October, 2022Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th gen)October, 2022Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (5th gen)May, 2024Yes
iPad Pro 13-inch (7th gen)May, 2024Yes
iPad Air 11-inch (6th gen)May, 2024Yes
iPad Air 13-inch (1st gen)May, 2024Yes

Apple Pencil 2 is an updated version of Apple Pencil 1. It has a double-tap feature, and you can attach it magnetically to your iPad—no need for a pencil holder or a specific case.

The design is also a bit different. It has a flat edge, unlike gen 1, that’s circular.

Which iPad Works with Apple Pencil USB-C

ModelRelease DateApple Pencil USB-C Compatibility
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen)November, 2018Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen)November, 2018Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (2nd gen)March, 2020Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (4th gen)March, 2020Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (3rd gen)May, 2021Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (5th gen)May, 2021Yes
iPad Air (4th gen)October, 2020Yes
iPad Air (5th gen)March, 2022Yes
iPad Mini (6th gen)September, 2021Yes
iPad Pro 11-inch (4th gen)October, 2022Yes
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (6th gen)October, 2022Yes
iPad (10th gen)October, 2022Yes

Basically, the new Apple Pencil USB-C (Budget Apple Pencil) works with all the same iPads that work with Apple Pencil 2 and also with iPad 10. Gen.

It’s cheaper than other Apple Pencils, and the drawbacks are no pressure sensitivity, no double tap, no wireless charging, and no magnets.

Which iPad Works with Apple Pencil Pro

ModelModelApple Pencil Pro Compatibility
iPad Pro 11-inch (5th gen)May, 2024Yes
iPad Pro 13-inch (7th gen)May, 2024Yes
iPad Air 11-inch (6th gen)May, 2024Yes
iPad Air 13-inch (1st gen)May, 2024Yes

Which iPad Don’t Work With Any Apple Pencil

There are a few older iPads that don’t work with any of the Apple Pencils.

ModelRelease DateCompatible with Apple Pencil?
iPad Mini (1st gen)November, 2012No
iPad Mini (2nd gen)November, 2013No
iPad Mini (3rd gen)October, 2014No
iPad Mini (4th gen)September, 2015No
iPad (5th gen)March, 2017No
iPad Air (1st gen)November, 2013No
iPad Air (2nd gen)October, 2014No

Identify Your iPad (How To Know Which iPad You Have)

Before you buy the right Apple Pencil you need to identify your iPad Model.

If you don’t know which iPad model you have, no worries. Follow my steps, and you will find out. You can see that information on your iPad.

  • Open ‘Settings’
  • Tap ‘General’
  • Tap ‘About’
  • Model Name will explain which iPad you have.
my ipad model
this is my iPad model

Apple Pencil Battery Life – How Long Does It Last?

The battery life of all three Apple Pencils is consistent, lasting up to 12 hours on a full charge. This allows for a continuous 12 hours of usage on your iPad, although it’s worth noting that iPads themselves typically last an average of around 10 hours on a single charge.

Apple Pen ModelBattery Life
Apple Pencil 1Up to 12 hours
Apple Pencil 2Up to 12 hours
Apple Pencil USB-CUp to 12 hours
Apple Pencil ProUp to 12 hours

All the Pencils have tiny internal Li-ion batteries built inside them.

How Can You Charge Apple Pencils?

You can charge Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil USB-C with a USB-C charge cable and you can charge Apple Pencil 2 wirelessly, just by attaching the pencil on the side of the iPad.

Apple Pen ModelCharging Method
Apple Pencil 1USB-C
Apple Pencil 2Wirelessly
Apple Pencil USB-CUSB-C
Apple Pencil ProWirelessly

How Long Does It Take to Charge?

All the Apple Pencils charge from 0 to 100% in around 30 minutes. It can take a bit faster, from 15-20 minutes, but it depends on the power source but the average full charging cycle should take around 30 minutes.

GenerationCharging Time
Apple Pencil 1~30 minutes
Apple Pencil 2~30 minutes
Apple Pencil USB-C~30 minutes
Apple Pencil Pro~30 minutes

You don’t need to charge your Apple Pencil completely to use it. A minute of charging can give you ~45 minutes of usage. The charging time is incredible. The charging speed is incredible; it’s too bad Apple hasn’t found a way to make the iPad charge as quickly.

How Do I Know When My Apple Pencil is Fully Charged?

When you attach your Apple Pencil to your iPad, a pop-up will appear showing you that the Apple Pencil is connected and the battery percentage. You can also add a widget that will display all devices connected to your iPad and their battery levels.

How To Add Apple Pencil Battery Widget To iPad

  • Hold your finger on the home screen until the apps start to wiggle.
  • Tap on the plus button ‘+’ on the left top corner.
ipad home screen wiggling
  • Tap on ‘Batteries’ and add The Widget
battery widget on ipad

Can You Use iPhone To Charge Apple Pencil?

Yes, you can charge your iPhone with your Apple Pencil Gen 1 as long as your iPhone has a Lightning port. Your iPhone will start charging your Apple Pencil automatically. It usually takes about 15 minutes to charge the Apple Pencil to enough capacity for 30 minutes of use. Keep in mind that charging your Apple Pencil with your iPhone might use up more of your iPhone’s battery power than usual. It will take significantly longer to charge the Apple Pencil with an iPhone.

Most Common Reasons Why Apple Pencil Is Not Charging

  1. The Apple Pencil is not correctly connected to the iPad.
  2. The iPad’s Lightning port is dirty or damaged.
  3. The Apple Pencil is not compatible with the iPad.
  4. Third-party iPad cases not made by Apple may interrupt Apple Pencil from charging. (This only applies to Apple Pencil generation 2)

Is It Okay To Leave Your Apple Pencil Attached When It Is Fully Charged?

Yes, you can leave Apple Pencil attached to your iPad without concerns. Apple’s smart technology ensures that once it’s fully charged, the Apple Pencil stops drawing power from your iPad, preventing overcharging or overheating.

Can Apple Pencil Battery Be Replaced?

No, the battery inside the Apple Pencil is sealed and cannot be replaced by users. If you leave your Pencil unused and uncharged for a long time, the battery can get damaged due to deep discharge. Like all Li-ion batteries, it’s important to keep them charged to some extent.

Even brand-new Apple Pencils, if they’ve been sitting on shelves for a long time, might show signs of battery issues.

Reasons To Buy Apple Pencil

Let’s now take a look at some use cases. What can you do with Apple Pencil.

Drawing & Art:

  • Exceptional precision for artists, illustrators, and designers.
  • Mimics the sensation of drawing on paper, especially with a Paperlike screen protector.

Note-Taking:

  • Enhances note-taking during lectures and study sessions.
  • Turns handwritten notes into searchable, editable text with compatible apps.

Photo Editing:

  • Offers pixel-precise control for photo and video editing.
  • Ideal for photographers using apps like Lightroom on iPad.

More Precise Navigation:

  • Provides more accurate navigation than fingers, especially on websites with small buttons.

PDF Markups:

  • Enables highlighting and annotating PDF files.
  • Popular among professionals who work with documents and contracts.

Whiteboard:

  • Transforms your iPad into an interactive whiteboard for meetings.
  • Use the default Freeform app to share notes and drawings in real-time.

Gaming:

  • Enhances drawing games like “Draw Something.”
  • Useful for puzzles and other interactive games.

How Does Using Apple Pencil Not Scratch the Screen?

The Apple Pencil is designed to interact with your iPad screen without causing scratches. Here’s how it works:

  1. Soft Tip Material:
    • The tip of the Apple Pencil is made from a soft material that won’t scratch the screen.
  2. No Screen Protector Needed:
    • You can safely use the Apple Pencil on your iPad without a screen protector. However, using one can provide added protection and a different writing experience.

Tip: don’t add too much pressure. Extensive strength can damage the display.

How To Pair Apple Pencil To iPad

Many people have asked me how to pair an Apple Pencil with an iPad, so I created a step-by-step guide to eliminate the confusion.

How To Pair Apple Pencil Gen 1 To iPad

  • Remove the cap on the top of the Apple Pencil.
  • Insert the Pencil into the iPad’s lightning connector.
  • Ensure your iPad is unlocked.
  • A Bluetooth Pairing Request will appear. Tap on it to pair.
  • Your Apple Pencil is now ready to use.
  • Once paired, your Apple Pencil will stay connected. You can pick it up and start working anytime.

Note: Your Pencil could disconnect when you go to Airplane Mode. If that happens, just plug it back in and it should reconnect.

How To Pair Apple Pencil Gen 2 To iPad

  1. Unlock your iPad.
  2. Find the side with the magnetic strip.
  3. Place your Apple Pencil on the magnetic strip.
  4. When the Bluetooth Pairing Request appears, tap “Pair.”
  5. If the Apple Pencil doesn’t connect, go to Settings > Bluetooth > Apple Pencil.
  6. If it disconnects, place it back on the magnetic strip to reconnect.

How To Pair Apple Pencil USB-C To iPad

  1. Unlock your iPad.
  2. Locate the USB-C port on your iPad.
  3. Connect the Apple Pencil to the USB-C port using a compatible USB-C cable.
  4. Wait for the Bluetooth Pairing Request to appear on your screen.
  5. Tap “Pair” to complete the connection.
  6. Start using your Apple Pencil.

If the Apple Pencil disconnects, simply reconnect it to the USB-C port to re-establish the connection.

How To Pair Apple Pencil Pro To iPad

  1. Unlock Your iPad: Ensure your iPad is unlocked and ready for pairing.
  2. Remove the Magnetic Cap: Take off the magnetic cap from the top of the Apple Pencil Pro.
  3. Attach Apple Pencil Pro to iPad: Place the Apple Pencil Pro’s flat side against the side of your iPad. It will magnetically attach to the iPad’s side.
  4. Wait for Pairing Prompt: A Bluetooth pairing prompt should appear on your iPad screen.
  5. Tap “Pair”: Tap on the prompt to initiate the pairing process.

Why Won’t My Apple Pencil Pair With my iPad?

These are the most common reasons why your Apple Pencil is not connecting to iPad:

  1. Bluetooth is Off 🌐: Ensure that Bluetooth is turned on your iPad.
  2. Apple Pencil is Not Charged 🔋: If your Apple Pencil is out of battery, it won’t pair.
  3. Apple Pencil is Already Paired 🔗: If your Apple Pencil is already paired with another iPad, it won’t connect to a new one until it’s unpaired from the previous device.
  4. Incompatible iPad ✏️: Ensure that your iPad model is compatible with the Apple Pencil.
  5. Software Update 👨‍💻: Make sure your iPad’s operating system is up to date. An outdated iOS may have compatibility issues.
  6. Apple Pencil is Damaged 💔: Physical damage to your Apple Pencil, such as a broken tip or internal components, can prevent it from pairing.

Things To Try If Your Apple Pencil Keeps Disconnecting

Experiencing disconnections or pairing problems with your Apple Pencil? Here are 7 quick fixes to try before seeking customer support:

  1. Check Compatibility:
    • Ensure your Apple Pencil is compatible with your iPad model. Newer iPads may not pair with Apple Pencil 1.
  2. Turn On Bluetooth:
    • Swipe down from the upper right corner to access Control Center and verify Bluetooth is on. If not, enable it in Settings.
  3. Secure the Tip:
    • Check if the tip of the Apple Pencil is secure. Tighten it with your fingers if loose, as loose tips can cause malfunctions.
  4. Monitor Battery Levels:
    • Monitor the battery percentage using the battery widget on your iPad. Charge the Pencil if low, as low battery can cause connectivity issues.
  5. Update Software:
    • Ensure your iPad has the latest iPadOS installed. Navigate to Settings > General > Software Update to check for updates.
  6. Disconnect & Reconnect:
    • In Bluetooth settings, forget the Apple Pencil device and reconnect it to the iPad. Remove other unused devices for better connectivity.
  7. Restart iPad:
    • Restart your iPad to refresh the connection between devices.

If issues persist, consult a local specialist or utilize warranty services for further assistance. If none of the above solutions work, there may be a hardware issue.

Where To Buy Apple Pencil?

You can buy an Apple Pencil from various sources, including:

  1. Apple Store: You can purchase Apple Pencil directly from Apple’s official website or visit a physical Apple Store.
  2. Authorized Retailers: Many authorized Apple retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, sell Apple Pencil. This includes stores like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target.
  3. Online Retailers: Websites like Amazon, eBay, and Newegg often have Apple Pencil available for purchase. Just make sure you’re buying from a reputable seller to ensure authenticity.
  4. Electronics Stores: Large electronics retailers often carry Apple products, including the Apple Pencil. Stores like Fry’s Electronics or Micro Center might have them in stock.
ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Apple Pencil Pro

Apple Pencil Pro

  • Pressure Sensitivity
  • Pixel Precision
  • Tilt Sensitivity
  • Double Tap
9.9
Check Price on Amazon
Apple Pencil 2

Apple Pencil 2

  • Pressure Sensitivity
  • Pixel Precision
  • Tilt Sensitivity
  • Double Tap
9.8
Check Price on Amazon
Apple Pencil USB-C

Apple Pencil USB-C

  • Pressure Sensitivity
  • Pixel Precision
  • Tilt Sensitivity
  • Double Tap
9.2
Check Price on Amazon
Apple Pencil 1

Apple Pencil 1

  • Pressure Sensitivity
  • Pixel Precision
  • Tilt Sensitivity
  • Double Tap
9.2
Check Price on Amazon

FAQ

What Apple Pencil works with Procreate?

The Procreate app supports all 4 Apple Pencils. Apple Pencil Gen 1, Apple Pencil Gen 2, Apple Pencil USB-C and Apple Pencil Pro.

Are Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2 Tips The Same?

Yes, the tips for both Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2 are identical. You can effortlessly switch tips between the two without encountering any complications or difficulties. Apple Pencil gen 1 has one extra tip in the box, Apple Pencil 2 doesn’t.

Are Android Tablets Compatible with Apple Pencil?

The Apple Pencil strictly functions with iPads only. The build is such that it requires a special set of hardware that won’t connect otherwise. Apple Pens don’t even work with iPhones.

Does Apple Pencil reduce iPad’s Battery Life?

No, an Apple Pencil does not have a tangible effect on your battery life. In most cases, if your battery life is being drained, it is due to some other issue. This is because the Apple Pencil does not take up much charge in the first place.

Which Is The Cheapest iPad That Works With Apple Pencil?

The latest and the cheapest iPad is the 10th gen. You can buy a new 10th gen iPad for $349 from Apple. You will have to pay an extra $99 for the Apple Pencil Gen 1. Or you can get the new Apple Pencil USB-C for $79.

Do Apple Pencils work on iPhones?

No, Apple Pencils do not work with iPhones. Apple Pencils are designed specifically for use with iPads and certain iPad Pro models, but you can get some Alternative stylus pens that will work with your iPhone.

How Many Years Will Apple Pencil Last?

The lifespan of an Apple Pencil can vary depending on usage and care, but with proper maintenance, it can last for several years. You will have to replace the Pencil tips once in two years, depending on your usage patterns. iPads last 7 years until they are no longer supported, you can expect your Apple Pencil to outlast your iPad.

Why Are Apple Pencils So Expensive?

Apple Pencils are equipped with advanced technology, including pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition, and palm rejection. These features require precision engineering and specialized components, which contribute to the overall cost.
Other components that increase Apple Pencils’ price are marketing, branding, seamless integration with iPads, research and development, high-quality materials, warranty, and support.

Can Apple Pencil 2 charge without an iPad?

Yes, there are magnetic charger docks that can charge your Apple Pencil 2. They support wireless charging. We recommend buying these magnetic charger docks in case your Apple Pencil 2 can’t be charged through your iPad due to some hardware error. Other than that it’s a lot easier and more convenient to charge your Apple Pencil 2 with iPad.

How Do I Reset an Apple Pencil?

If you want to connect your Apple Pencil to a different iPad, you should disconnect it from the device it is currently paired with. Go to Settings and open the Bluetooth tab. You will see the list of the connected devices, and your Apple Pencil should be there too.

Tap on the info button next to the Apple Pencil and select Forget This Device. It should do the trick, and you will be able to pair your Apple Pencil to a new device!

ernests embutnieks wolfoftablet
Founder & Chief Editor | ernests@wolfoftablet.com

I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.