Apple today announced an updated $79 Apple Pencil with USB-C connectivity, hover functionality, and more. The attractive price tag makes this latest model the most affordable stylus in Apple’s lineup.
Apple unveils budget-friendly Apple Pencil with hidden USB-C port, launch slated for November
“Apple Pencil has revolutionized note taking, sketching, and illustrating, unleashing endless possibilities for productivity and creativity,” said Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Combined with the versatility of iPad, the new Apple Pencil unlocks another great option to experience the magic of digital handwriting, annotation, marking up documents, and more.”
Familiar responsiveness and accuracy
The latest Apple Pencil offers the same low latency, tilt sensitivity, and overall accuracy that its expensive counterparts offer. In addition, the stylus is optimized for iPadOS as it supports Scribble, Quick Note, and collaborating in Freeform.
The affordable Apple Pencil features a convenient USB-C port that you can access by sliding the cap open. This means you can easily connect it to any USB-C iPad, including the iPad 10th Gen, the latest iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad mini.
The magnetic attachment feature, inherited from the second-generation Apple Pencil, securely affixes the stylus to the side of your iPad, putting it in a low-power state to conserve battery life – a small but handy addition.
Introducing Apple Pencil hover
One intriguing feature that sets the $79 Apple Pencil apart from its first-generation predecessor is the support for Apple Pencil hover. This function allows you to preview certain actions before committing to them, much like hovering your mouse cursor over an item.
Previously exclusive to the $129 Apple Pencil 2, this functionality is now accessible in a more budget-friendly stylus.
A trade-off to consider: Reduced pressure sensitivity
While the new Apple Pencil offers hover and magnetic attachment, there is a trade-off to keep in mind here. If you purchase the latest model, you will sacrifice the pressure sensitivity offered by the first and second-generation Apple Pencil. This means that the stylus will not excel at simulating a wide range of light and deep strokes while drawing.
For features like wireless pairing and charging, double-tap functionality for switching tools, and custom engraving, you’ll still need to opt for the high-end Apple Pencil 2.
The new Apple Pencil with USB-C is slated to become available in “early November.” For those who already own a first-generation Apple Pencil and plan to upgrade to a USB-C iPad, a $9 USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter is available.
Is the new Apple Pencil the right purchase for you?
In summary, the Apple Pencil USB-C is best suited for iPad Pro, Air, and mini users who need a quality stylus, complete with the convenient hover feature, without the need to invest in the $129 second-generation Apple Pencil. Additionally, it’s a cost-effective solution for 10th-generation iPad owners who do not want to deal with the adapter required to use their existing first-generation Apple Pencil.