Apple Pencil Alternative? Comparable 1st Gen & 2 iPad Stylus?

10 Best Alternatives to Apple Pencil Stylus? [Solved]

So, your getting sick and tired of paying Apple’s eye watering prices and want a good alternative to their Apple Pencil? Let me stat by saying that the Apple stylus (1st & 2nd generation) is specifically designed to operate with Apple products including iPad mini 5, iPad Air 3 and standard iPad, and does a fantastic job! They are the undisputed best in class…

…However, for millions of people having to pay Apple’s extortionate price tags doesn’t make sense when the market is packed full of high quality substitute stylus providers boasting equivalent drawing, writing and note taking capabilities, similar ergonomic modern design, comparable precision, cheaper replacement accessories and are cross compatible with more tablet, cell phone and laptop operating systems.


Is there a cheaper alternative to Apple pencil?

Yes there is! If you’re looking for a an affordable Apple Pencil alternative, then your in the right place! Luckily, there are now a plethora of big brands making iPad compatible styluses, ones that are in no way cheap and tacky fake copycat dupes, but excellent replacements in their own right, often costing less than a third of Apples touchscreen pens.

Brands such as Wacom, Logitech and Adonit realized artists, graphic designers and everyday tablet users require a stylus with proportionate build quality, ease of use and be compatible with multiple technologies. They therefore jumped on the band wagon, applied their years of electronic expertise and engineered a range of brilliant digital pencil substitutes.

What can be used instead of apple pencil?

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to make your own Apple Pencil clone from items purchased at your local hardware store, and trust me many people have tried. Sticking a magnet to the end of a pen, in the hopes that will operate as a stylus just wont cut it! The hardware and software built into these devices requires expert manufacture and coding skills.

The lightning connector, hidden under a magnetic cap linked via Bluetooth, makes it almost impossible to recreate at home and you’ll never build a DIY hack that has comparable precision, user-ability or ruggedness of high end “off-the-shelf” alternatives. If you do figure out how to make your own Apple Pencil, please let me know! I’ll buy the rights in an instant!

Let’s review the best Apple Pencil alternatives on the market today:

1. Wacom Bamboo Fineline 2

Wacom Bamboo Fineline 2First up, and our favorite stylus we reviewed the 3rd generation Bamboo Fineline Smart by Wacom. The elegant iPhone and iPad compatible Wacom stylus is ideal for quickly jotting down notes digitally and by far the best tool for artwork, sketches and graphic design. Simply tether your new Bamboo Fineline via Bluetooth to your tablet, laptop or phone.

The beautiful ergonomic stylish design lies comfortably and securely in your hand, plus the soft touch outer shell provides a natural writing experience, pinpoint drawing experience and unparalleled graphic design precision. With a vernier adjustable fine tip this pressure sensitive smart pen will increase your efficiency and productivity. A very good stylus!


Does the Bamboo Fineline work with procreate?
Certainly! Every generation of the Wacom Bamboo fineline is completely compatible with ProCreate. People who work daily on illustrations, drawings or sketches will love using the stylus with their ProCreate design app. Even heavy handed artists will find it’s pressure sensitive system a breeze to work with, and is super simple to setup.
Will the Bamboo Fineline work with iPad pro?
Yes and no! The Bamboo Fineline provides full integration with older versions of iOS devices including iPhone’s, iPod’s and iPad’s. However, you cannot use it with Procreate, Adobe Draw or Adobe Sketch as they aren’t compatible with a 10.5-inch iPad Pro and Bamboo Fineline combination. Yet, it can be used with other drawing apps.
How do I connect my Wacom Bamboo?
It’s a fairly simple process to connect your Wacom Bamboo stylus. All you do is use the provided USB lead to connect to your iPad, activate Bluetooth wireless in the settings menu, open up the app and enable the stylus support. This video will help walk you through the process.

2. Logitech Crayon

Logitech CrayonProbably the most stylish stylus on our review list, the super cool Logitech Crayon. This funky digital pencil is connective to iOS 12.2 operating systems and above. Fully compatible with iPad Mini 5, iPad Pro 12.9-Inch (3rd Gen), iPad Pro 11-Inch, iPad (7th Gen), iPad (6th (Gen) and iPad Air (3rd Gen).

This stylus allows you to write and draw naturally, includes palm rejection technology so your able rest your palm on the screen while being creative or taking notes and simply tilt the intelligent tip to adjust line weight automatically making it thinner or thicker. The awesome Logitech Crayon instantly connects to your iPad… Just switch on and draw!


What is a Logitech crayon?
The Logitech Crayon is a digital graphic design and writing pencil with comparable functions and versatility of an Apple Pencil stylus. Unleash your creativity by using the stylus on popular art apps, such as Procreate and Photoshop and enjoy an intuitive writing experience using it’s impressive advanced technology. Can also be used with Non Apple branded products.
Does Logitech crayon have palm rejection?
Yes! This function allows the users hands and fingers to make contact with the tablet screen while working. This means when using the Logitech Crayon you can place your hands and arms in a natural comfortable position, providing a more precise design capability. Get creative without the constant worry of accidentally touching the screen!
Is Logitech crayon compatible with iPad pro?
Certainly! Ever since the iOS 12.2 operating system update rolled out, the Logitech Crayon has been fully compatible with the entire lineup of (2018 releases and later) Apple products. This pixel-precise digital pencil stylus is also much easier to connect to an iPad than many of it’s rivals, making it perfect for the less tech savvy among us.

3. Adonit Pro 4

Adonit Pro 4Now, introducing the latest offering from Adonit, the Pro 4. This disc stylus provides user a very high degree of precision, is compatible with all Android, Kindle, and Windows touchscreens plus various iPad and iPhones including Xs Max/XS/XR/X/8/Plus models. Specially engineered for stability and ergonomic comfort.

The Pro 4 is manufactured from a single piece of high quality lightweight aluminum, making it feel much more like an actual pen that it’s competitors, has a scratch resistance nib to protect your touchscreens and improved textured grip makes drawing and writing a joy. It’s sleek grooved hook is great for pocket or bag storage.


Does Adonit Pro 4 have palm rejection?
Sorry no! Unfortunately the Adonit Pro 4 (and Pro 3) doesn’t come equipped with palm rejection technology. This can make using the stylus with Apple, Windows and Android apps fiddly if your use to having a palm rejection system. Having to hover your hand clear of tablet screens can get quite annoying.
What is a disc tip stylus?
A disc tip stylus is made from aluminum and steel with one end of the tip attached to a uniquely designed plastic disc. This disc provide an excellent contact surface, allowing your digital pencil to glide across your iPad screen effortlessly. On the other end of the Pro 4 there’s a screw-off cap helping to protect the fragile nib.
What is capacitive stylus?
Glad you asked! A capacitive stylus, also know as a “passive stylus” is a digital pen designed to act very similar to a human finger. Special active pens or passive stylus provide advanced functionality to achieved a super tactile writing and painting experience. However, be warned… This option is only available for compatible devices fitted with “DirectStylus” or equivalent software.

4. Penoval

PenovalFourth on our list, the high-precision digital pencil by Penoval. The Penoval pencil is constructed using the most up to date technology professionally designed for zero lag precise fluid writing. This stylus is compatible with hundreds of Apple iOS creative writing and drawing apps, providing the ability to learn at school, collect important data and produce beautiful artwork.

Another great feature, which is lacking in several rivals, is the built in palm rejection system and with no perceptible stylus lag time performing pixel precise design edits feel very natural. Works just like pencil on paper and hooking it up to your iPad (6th Gen), IPad Pro (3rd Gen), iPad Air (3rd Gen) and iPad mini (5th Gen) is super easy.


Will this work for older generation iPads?
Yes! You can use the stylus with older generation devices with iOS update 12.2 and above. This includes iPad model numbers: A1893, A1954, A1876, A2014, A1895, A1983, A2152, A2123, A2153, A2154, A1893, A1954, A2133, A2124, A2126 and A2125. Simply update your iPads operating system to the newest version and your good to go!
Do Penoval pens attach to the iPad similar to Apple Pencils?
The Penoval pencil can be connected to the Apple iPad with ease, with a very similar connecting style to the Apple Pencil. There is no technical pairing required. It’s as simple as clicking the power button to start using the stylus. However, the connection is made via Bluetooth, not a cable… So will need recharging from time to time.
Does the Penoval stylus have palm rejection?
It does! The Penoval digital pencil does come with palm rejection technology preinstalled. This handy addition allows the user to naturally rest their hand and fingers on the screen without the worry of leaving unsightly lines or accidentally opening setting menus. A comparable writing and graphic design experience to good old pencil and paper.

5. Mixoo 2-in-1

Mixoo 2-in-1Now time for one of the cheapest styluses on the list, the capacitive touch compatible 2-in-1 high precision stylus by Mixoo. This affordable touch screen pen is constructed from stainless steel and lightweight aluminum, void of easy to break plastic parts. Enjoy a smooth natural writing experience on touchscreens and smart phones.

It’s possible to use this stylus with a huge range of devices including Apple iPad, iPhone, Android Tablets, Samsung Galaxy, Android Phones and Smart phones. The see through transparent disc allows you to view exactly where your pointing, providing excellent flexibility and accuracy when writing and drawing. Comes with multiple replacement tips.


How to use Mixoo stylus?
The Mixoo stylus is fairly easy to install and this quick video will walk you through installation and basic use. As for learning how to use the Mixoo digital pen… The device comes with a full instruction manual and handy guide to get you started. If your still having problems simply contact their responsive support team.

How to change tip on a Mixoo stylus?
Another video for you! This one showing you how to change the tip on a Mixoo stylus. This replacement method works on both 1st and 2nd generation stylus models and unlike many digital pencils the Mixoo comes with substitute tips, so you can easily practice swapping the nib once you’ve received the stylus.

Does it work with Kindle and Amazon Fire tablet?
Yes, the Mixoo pen is universally compatible with most phone, tablet and reading device operating systems. It’s also ready to use out-of-the-box with many top painting and writing apps. Even thought the stylus lacks palm rejection technology, it more than makes up for this with it huge range of compatibility and low price.

6. Milemont

MilemontDropping in at sixth place, is the fine point stylus pen created by Milemont. This electronic stylist pencil is compatible with most iPhone and iPad models plus a range of other tablets. The slim sleek ergonomic design is ideal for professional artists and everyday use alike, enhancing your graphic design capabilities and improving technique.

The stylus comes with ultra fine pen point integration, making selection of even the smallest icons, brush strokes and lettering a breeze. Boasting the latest capacitive software technology the stylus is usable with (almost) all touchscreen devices and comes delivered ready for immediate use without the need for a Bluetooth connection.


Can the Milemont stylus be used with any tablet?
Yes! However we have heard complaints from customers who suggest when used with the iPad Air they experienced unmanageable lagging issues. It is compatible with the Samsung Galaxy, Nexus 7, Sony Xperia, and others such as Apple iPad, iPad Mini, and iPad Pro without lag problems.
Can you use the stylus with procreate?
The Milemont stylus pen does work in combination with Procreate on your iPad. Some artists have mentioned that they struggle when using the pressure sensitivity system of Procreate with the Milemont stylus, but other than that does a fantastic job. If you find any other issues please let us know, and we’ll include then in this review.
Is the stylus good for drawing on iPad?
Milemount have worked really hard to develop a stylus with precise accuracy. The ultra-fine pen point allows you to write, draw, and create content on you iPad in a smooth, reliable and intuitive fashion. Let’s face it, for well under $20 for the digital pencil you can’t expect perfection, but it does stack up well to comparable options.

7. Zspeed

ZspeedAre you looking for a quality stylus pen that’s compatible with all Apple devices including iPad, iPhone, iPad Pro and iPhone X, plus Android and Windows touchscreen phones and tablets? Then this zero Bluetooth or APP digital pencil, with 10+ hours “active use” battery life by Zspeed could be a great choice! Automatically turns off when not in use to save power.

The super fine 1.45mm tip provides excellent accuracy and superior smooth control. Made from long lasting copper the stylus will last a lifetime and off set and lag time is reduced with the active stylus technology. The handy magnetic closure cap protects USB ports from dirt and damage, plus the sensitive fiber mesh tip has a natural drawing feel artists will love!


Does the Zspeed stylus write like a pen?
Yes, this styluses fine point makes writing very easy and precise.
How do I connect the Zspeed pen to my iPad?
The stylus comes with full installation instructions.
Does the Zspeed stylus work with all tablets?
Yes, the Zspeed works on all modern tablets. You may struggle with older variants.

8. Yoyomax

YoyomaxNext, another great stylus for iPad and iPhone developed by Yoyomax. Draw pictures, edit movies or flip book pages with ease with this digital pencils innovative highly sensitive and very precise tip, keeping annoying fingerprints off your tablets shiny screen. With only 60 minutes of charging you can use the stylus for a whopping 8-10 hours.

The pen comes ready to use straight out of the box, doesn’t require a Bluetooth connection and connects universally to all capacitive touch screen devices including iPad, iPhone, Samsung plus Android Phones. Yoyomax offer a generous 12 month warranty and 30 day money back guarantee, allowing you test the stylus before fully committing.


Does the Yoyomax turn off automatically?
How durable is the pen tip?
How does a capacitive stylus pen work?

9. Ciscle Stylus

Ciscle StylusOur penultimate stylus review is for the 2 in 1 digital pencil by Ciscle. This innovative stylus is very comfortable to hold and easy to draw with, thanks to it’s varnish baked exterior. Art and writing apps don’t required connection via Bluetooth and the 2-in-1 nib design delivers a touchscreen protective realistic drawing experience.

The stylus comes with USB charging cable Included, an impressive 15 hrs plus continuous use and automatically saves on battery consumption with a 5 minute inactivity power down mode. All Android operating system devices are supported including Samsung and Lenovo tablets, plus as you’d expect the iPad Pro, iPad 2018, iPhone X, iPhone 8/8 Plus.


Is the Ciscle stylus pressure sensitive?
Does it scratch touchscreen surfaces?
Will this work with a Huawei mediapad t3?

10. Meko Universal

MEKO UniversalLast but not least and cheapest stylus on our list the 2 in 1 “Precision Series” by Meko. This stylus works out cheaper than the rest as you get 2 digital pens for the price of one and your provided with 6 disc stylus replacement tips. Enough to keep you writing and drawing for months. Low cost and effective!

The Meko stylus uses a capacitive system, so is compatible with most touchscreen cell phones, tablets and laptops. It’s lightweight being made from aluminum and stainless steel, the accurate fine point is ideal for everyday use including taking notes and producing artwork on popular drawing apps.


What are the discs for?
What do the fiber tips do?
How sensitive is the Meko stylus?

Buyers FAQ’s Guide

Simple apple pencil alternative buyers guide

So, your sick and tired of creating art or taking everyday notes with just your finger and are looking for a sensible alternative? While operating your tablet in this manner is not impossible owning a professionally designed stylus will greatly improve your coordination and accuracy. Innovative developers continue to improve the iPads limitations for drawing and painting!

However, once you’ve decided to buy a digital pencil, more questions are raised! These may include trying to understand all the technical jargon, which stylus brand is suitable for your intended end use and what digital painting and writing apps are available to download for artists, students or teachers. In the sections below we’ll outline what certain words actually mean, providing you a better understanding of these (sometimes) alien terms.

Electronic pencil terminology:

There’s a wide range of stylus size on the market, from dainty ones that fit in your pocket to chunky magic marker sizes. It’s recommended to pick a style that’s ergonomically comfortable to use, naturally fits in your hand and suits your drawing style. Many designers find bigger styluses easier to handle and are great for vector based design, while others require light weight portability with more precision.
Many styluses are deceptively heavy and can be made from stainless steel to provide an extra lifespan and durability. On the flip side you can also buy very light digital pencils, made from plastic. I’d suggest going with an aluminum stylus, which are in the Goldilocks zone, offering a balanced pen like feel and manageable weight.
Yes, there’s a lot of cheap and tacky stylus options on the market, ones where your in constant fear of the clips or nib snapping and from experience it’s worth investing those few extra dollars for peace of mind. All of the stylus brands reviewed on the list have taken great steps and vigorously tested hard wearing designed products that last.
Accuracy and Responsiveness
Generally speaking the finer your stylus tip, the more accurate. Having a responsive nib becomes more important for tablet with touchscreen capabilities like the Apple iPad, as usually these inherently lack precision. However, you also want a stylus with little lag and quick touch responses. Size isn’t everything… In this case at least!
Foam/Rubber Tip
These type of stylus nibs are designed to imitate the natural size and contact area of your finger. They do not have a sharp point like an everyday pen and this can decrease overall accuracy. However, foam and rubber tips do help with hand-eye coordination as there usually smaller than an average fingertip. The make a very responsive stylus and glide across tablet screens with ease.
Plastic Disk Tip
Plastic disk tipped styluses use specifically designed circular flat disks rather than rubber. The see-through plastic point make seeing your on-screen contact point much easier. The downside of this style of tip is they can be less responsive, producing more drawing lag and the hard metal or plastic nib increases the chance of screen damage.
Brush Tip
Brush tips are super responsive and are excellent at reproducing the feel of a paint brush, a great choice for digital artists. The conductive fibers offer a fluid painting experience and are very kind to your iPad screen. While not ideal for general writing professional graphic designers swear by them. Everyday use… maybe not! Artwork… a big yes!

Digital painting app terminology:

Tools are in built components designed to help the user perform digital editing and artistic tasks. These include resizing, color alteration, photo manipulation, text editing and brushes of various thicknesses and styles. Most apps have tools listed conveniently in the side bar for easy access and usually you can download extra to tools for more creative flexibility.
How easy has the developer made it to navigate the user interface? In an ideal world you want the digital painting software applications toolbox to be super simple to access. This in turn speeds up your creative work flow, helping you to achieve clients deadlines and preventing annoying stop-start artwork design.
Pixels or Vectors
Choosing a pixel or vector based app for your tablet depends on the type of art you want to create. Pixel based art software builds up images from minute dots and vector images are defined from connected 2D points. Painting apps are usually pixel based, making color blending, lighting and shading feel more natural. Vector based graphic design apps are made from shape combinations and end artwork can be scaled to any size without loss of quality.
Universal Apps
Quite often customers who own multiple devices such as an iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone need to buy separate art apps for each. A universal app can be used across all operating systems and platforms, making then highly adaptable for artists. They negate the need to learn the tools of several apps and make data storage much more convenient.
Do you want the ability to record your screen when writing or sketching? A video app can record and playback you painting, supports video editing and playback, plus let’s you upload your videos to popular social media site including: Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit and Twitter. Share your design process with friend or clients.

Things to do with an Apple Pencil alternative for ipads?

Once you’ve selected which comparable digital pencil stylus you prefer, it’s time to let your imagination run wild. I’ve put together this simple infographic to illustrate the wonderful things possible with your new found creative options. The possibilities are quite literally endless! Remove your artistic limitations!

apple pencil alternative infographic


When all is said and done, no third party stylus can beat the Apple Pencil. It is built to higher standards and is more compatible with present and future IOS devices. Still, there are some really good alternatives that you can purchase for a fraction of the cost that can serve your needs admirably.

It appears that most alternatives excel in one area or another. Some are great at drawing, others will give you an unbelievable battery life among others.

The best Apple Pencil alternatives given here will most likely be more than enough for your purposes. Get any of them from Amazon and see how well they work.