Sometimes we include links to online retail stores and sales made through such links may earn us a small commission. For more info, go here.
If you own an iPad and wish to unleash your creative streak or just need to take notes, you’ll want an iPad stylus. Granted, you may not necessarily have the latest iPad to use the Apple Pencil itself, but fret not, as there are many other alternatives available in the market as well.
Best iPad Stylus You Can Buy
We take a look at the best styluses for iPad in this article. Including the Apple Pencil itself, you’ll find products from brands like FiftyThree, Adonit, Wacom, and more. Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide at the end for some additional insight.
If you have a compatible iPad and a $100 budget for a stylus, you shouldn’t even consider anything other than the Apple Pencil.
Apple has a way of creating a tight ecosystem so you’re encouraged to buy their products for the best connectivity, setup, and overall performance. It thus shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best iPad stylus overall is none other than Apple’s own Pencil.
Originally released in 2015, the Apple Pencil has seen a second iteration with improved performance. However, the original Apple Pencil has the best compatibility, working with more iPads such as the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (second and first-generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, and the latest iPad.
The Apple Pencil iPad stylus has a simplistic design that makes it exceptionally comfortable to use. Palm rejection is perhaps the best you could wish for in a modern capacitive touch stylus, and there is no tangible lag either. The ridiculous 4096 pressure levels make the Apple Pencil very precise as well.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of this Apple product is its versatility. Use it with a more vertical hold and you get the precision of a sharpened pencil. Use it at an angle and you can create broader strokes and even shade like you would with a pencil.
Like any Apple product, the Apple Pencil is expensive but also the best for its intended purpose. If you absolutely need an iPad stylus for work, this is the product to go for.
- Huge number of pressure levels
- Incredible versatility
- Gets the most out of iOS apps
- Easy to set up and use
- Comes with Apple tax
- Can only be used with specific iPad models
The Adonit Pixel is the second-best stylus for Apple devices after its own branded stylus. Even the Apple pencil has very limited devices that it can be connected to, however, the Adonit Pixel has a multitude of devices that it can pair up with, while multiple applications are giving support for.
Only topped by Apple’s own brand of the stylus, the Adonit Pixel is a great alternative for people who do not own Apple Pencil’s compatible devices.
With a really beautiful design, the Pixel rules the top of the stylus game when it comes to Apple devices. With more compatible models, it is in demand by artists who love to draw using professional apps like Procreate and Photoshop Sketch, which have a variety of tools for artists to use for their drawing purposes.
With features like pressure sensitivity up to 2048 levels and enhanced palm rejection, the Adonit Pixel is very comfortable for drawing on the iPad. The biggest strength of the Pixel is its pixel precision, the tip is not large at all and it can be used for precise strokes. We used it ourselves and found ourselves doodling using the stylus for hours because of how fun and easy to use it is.
There is an LED to indicate charging of the battery and when it is charged. The green light indicates a full charge, the orange light indicates a low battery while the red one indicates that the stylus is dead and needs recharge to work. It also features two shortcut buttons, which come in handy when switching tools.
While the stylus is great at drawing it can also be used to take notes, it has support with multiple apps and is only topped by Apple’s own stylus which only works on limited models. Thus making the Adonit Pixel the best stylus available in the market.
- Pressure Sensitivity
- Palm Rejection
- Great Design
- Shortcut Buttons
- Works on supported apps after pairing
The Apple Pencil demands a premium price and can only be used with a handful of iPad models, but the Adonit Jot Pro can be used with the device and is one of our favorites as an iPad stylus. This stylus comes with a cushioned tip which is becoming a more adopted design by other manufacturers. The cushioned tip provides protection and is transparent, so you can clearly see what you’re writing.
The tip design takes a while to get used to if you’re accustomed to more conventional designs, but after a while of use, it starts to provide great precision even to the newer user. The Adonit Jot Pro is designed primarily for drawing purposes, but you can utilize it for writing as well.
It is made of lightweight aluminum and comes in various colors such as copper, black, silver, blue, and rose gold. The carrying clip is also a great little feature to keep the stylus secure on your pocket or case when not using it.
- Disc tip provides precision
- Comes in lots of colors
- Convenient clip
- Easy to set up and use
- Quality control issues
- Not as great for writing
Logitech uses Apple’s own technology for the Crayon, the device is compatible with older models of the iPad, like the 3rd generation iPad Pro and iPad Air. It looks great, feels great, but since it is a cheaper alternative for the Apple’s own stylus, it does not have a lot of features that Apple Pencil does.
First of all there is no pressure sensitivity, which is a bummer, it works just like the FiftyThree Pencil that requires you to tilt the pen’s angle if you want thicker strokes. The design is similar as well, however, the FiftyThree Pencil is way too broad and its nib is a thick rubber nib, while the Logitech Crayon is less thick and comes with replaceable plastic nibs that can be replaced if this one becomes too coarse or runs out.
There are no buttons except the power on button, which turns on the stylus after you press it for 2-3 seconds. The best thing about this stylus is its power conservation, it turns itself off after you have not used it in a while. This can also be annoying if you are used to not turning your pen on again and again, but nonetheless it will conserve the battery of the stylus.
The stylus body shape keeps it from rolling off a table, it looks like a pencil from afar due to the rubber latch which looks like an eraser. It uses the normal Apple charger cable to charge, the rubber latch on top which looks like an eraser is where the charging point for the Logitech Crayon is.
- Easy connectivity/does not require connectivity
- Great design
- Pixel Precision
- No pressure sensitivity
- Compatibility with limited models
Wacom is a well-known brand for iPad stylus, and our favorite model from them is the Bamboo Fineline 3rd Generation. This iPad Stylus is elegantly designed with a precision tip that is ideal for writing. It has an ergonomic triangular design with a skid-proof soft-touch surface for ultimate grip in the user’s hand.
The pressure-sensitive iPad stylus has Vernier adjustment to avoid damage to the tip. The stylus is designed like a formal ballpoint pen, which is a prelude to its intended purpose. It is primarily designed for writing and taking notes. Several apps support this pen, but the key aspect of the stylus is the superior palm rejection.
There is also a programmable button built on the side of the pen for various functions, which we love. Finally, the clip is handy and well-designed, allowing the user to secure the stylus to a pocket or an iPad cover when not in use.
- Ergonomic design
- Great for taking notes and writing
- Convenient clip
- Additional programmable button
- Connectivity issues
iPad Stylus Buyer’s Guide
While you could sketch with a fountain pen, it’s not the most convenient tool to draw with. Similarly, not all styluses are designed to do everything equally well.
Some styluses are designed to be used for drawing, doodling, and rough note-taking. Others are designed with very high precision and feature an extremely fine tip, making them excellent for graphic design and precision drawing, but not great for shading or sketching.
You need to design what your intended purpose for an iPad stylus is and buy one accord to that. Need one for doodling and taking notes roughly? The FiftyThree Pencil will serve you well. Need one for precision and a finer tip? Consider the Wacom Bamboo Fineline 3.
If you’re not sure and want to use a stylus for all purposes, then save up a hundred bucks and get yourself the Apple Pencil, provided your tablet is compatible with it.
The pressure levels determine the accuracy and density of what you draw or write on your iPad. The more pressure levels there are, the more accurately an iPad stylus is able to replicate a real pen or pencil. When you press a pen/pencil harder while writing on paper, the lines are thicker. Similarly, a lighter writing style results in finer lines, ideal for sketching.
The same is true for styluses with varying pressure levels. Currently, Apple Pencil has the highest number of pressure levels among iPad styluses, which offers an unparalleled application. Make sure to review the stylus you plan to buy for your iPad and see how many pressure levels it has.
Unfortunately, despite the advancement in stylus technology, lag is still a problem across all capacitive based digital pens on the market. Some manufacturers offer high precision styluses that will not lag as much as others, but you should expect some sort of lag in all of them.
The most lag-free experience for any iPad is with the Apple Pencil. Unfortunately, the Apple Pencil isn’t compatible with all iPads, so you’ll have to resort to third-party manufacturers. In that case, our second-favorite is the FiftyThree Pencil as it doesn’t have much lag.
Is writing with a stylus comfortable?
Ever had to write for an extended period and feel soreness in your fingers? Fatigue from writing is real, and it applies to styluses as well. However, touchscreens don’t offer the same kind of resistance as paper, so it isn’t as bad as writing for hours with a pen or pencil. Just make sure the stylus you have is comfortable for your grip.
Do I need a stylus for my iPad?
If you like taking notes on your iPad, signing documents digitally, drawing, or just doodling, chances are you’ll find great joy and purpose in an iPad stylus. Just make sure you get one that is intended for the purpose you wish to use it for.
What about brush type styluses?
Brush type styluses do exist, and they offer exceptionally broad strokes that mimic painting on a canvas. However, they are designed for a very specific, single-purpose and don’t offer the kind of versatility that more conventional styluses would. This is why we haven’t considered any brush type stylus in this article.