When you are exploring tablets, you will stumble upon the word “Stylus,” and you might wonder what that is.

Stylus is a digital pen. Which can be used to point, swipe, write, and draw on all touchscreen surfaces.

But not all Stylus pens are identical. There are different types of Styluses with different technology and capabilities, and not all Styluses are compatible with all tablets.

How Do Stylus Pens Work?

Stylus pen is a tool that’s made to interact with a touchscreen surface. It essentially works as a surrogate for your finger on a touchscreen device. The exact mechanism can vary based on the type of stylus.

Different Types of Styluses

You will see two types of Stylus pens. Active pens and Passive pens are also often referred to as Capacitive pens.

  • Active Stylus – These are also called smart pens, and they use Bluetooth and power (battery). Often, these styluses have pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, and precise control. These pens are used for handwritten notes and drawing.
  • Passive/Capacitive – These pens work by mimicking the touch of your finger, and they don’t require batteries or power. Passive pens are good for more precise navigation and writing, but these pens don’t have palm rejection or pressure sensitivity.

Apple Pencil & Samsung S Pen are Active Styluses

Passive and Capacitive pens work with all touchscreen surfaces. No connection is required.

Stylus Technology

When you explore stylus pens, you will often see terms like tilt sensitivity, pressure sensitivity, palm rejection, and latency.

  • Tilt Sensitivity – the ability of the device to recognize and respond to the angle at which the stylus is tilted to the touchscreen. This feature allows for a more versatile and nuanced input experience, especially in activities like drawing and shading.
  • Pressure Sensitivity the ability of the device to detect the amount of force or pressure applied by the user when interacting with the screen. This feature allows for a more dynamic and expressive input experience, particularly in activities like drawing and writing. The harder you press on the pen, the bolder the line will be, just like in real life.
  • Palm Rejection – the ability to distinguish between intentional touches made by the stylus and unintentional touches made by the user’s palm or fingers.
  • Latency – the time it takes for the device to register an input and produce a corresponding output. In other words, the time it takes for your tablet to register a touch when the stylus pens touches the screen.

Often, styluses come with magnets, so you can attach the pen to your tablet and don’t lose it. Often, they have wireless charging, but all these features depend on a specific pen. Each pen has a different technology.

Do All Stylus Pens Have Replaceable Nibs?

No, not all stylus pens have replaceable nibs. The design and features of stylus pens vary depending on the manufacturer.

Interchangeable nibs allow users to swap them out when they wear down or for different drawing purposes (e.g., a finer nib for detailed work).

Apple Pencil and Samsung S pen have replaceable nibs.

Some stylus pens have fixed or non-replaceable nibs. In these cases, if the nib wears out or becomes damaged, the user needs to replace the entire stylus.

Most of the active styluses come with replaceable nibs and extra ones in the package.

Styluses Compatibility

Not all styluses are compatible with all tablets. The compatibility is very limited for each pen. I recommend checking the manufacturer’s websites and reading the compatibility table to avoid wasting any money.

  • Apple Pencil – Compatible with iPads.
  • Samsung S Pen – Compatible with Samsung Tablets.
  • Lenovo Pen – Compatible with Lenovo Tablets.
  • Microsoft Surface Pen Compatible with Microsoft Tablets.
  • Wacom Styluses Compatible with several tablets, including Android Tablets & iPads.
  • Adonit Styluses Compatible with several iPads and several Android Tablets.
  • Passive Styluses – Compatible with all touchscreen devices.

Recommended Articles:

Apple Pencil Compatibility List
Samsung S Pen Compatibility List
Apple Pencil Alternatives


Does Apple Pencil work on Android Tablets?

No, the Apple Pencil is designed exclusively for Apple’s iPad lineup, and it is not natively compatible with Android tablets and other tablets. It won’t also work with iPhones.

Does the Samsung S Pen work on iPads?

No Samsung styluses are designed to work with Samsung tablets and smartphones. They are not compatible with iPads or other Apple devices.

ernests embutnieks wolfoftablet
Founder & Chief Editor | +37122300405 | ernests@wolfoftablet.com | + posts

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.

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