Next Story

Apple Pencil (USB-C) review: The Pen(cil) is mightier than most other styluses

Send Push
The Apple Pencil has long been a meaningful accessory for iPad users, enhancing the way users interact with their tablets. With the introduction of the third-generation Apple Pencil featuring a USB-C connector, Apple aims to enhance the user experience further. For many iPad users, there might not be a burning desire for an Apple Pencil. The price (Rs 11,900) of the second-gen Apple Pencil may also have been a deterrent. To solve that conundrum, Apple’s third-gen Apple Pencil comes in with an all-new USB-C port while retaining a lot of functionalities of its predecessor. We have been using the Apple Pencil (USB-C) for a while now and here’s what we think of the iPad’s new companion:

Apple Pencil (USB-C) review: Design

The design of the Apple Pencil (USB-C) remains unmistakably Apple — sleek, minimalist, and well-crafted. The matte finish provides a comfortable grip, preventing the stylus from slipping during extended use. The pencil's streamlined cylindrical shape has been maintained, offering a balanced weight distribution that feels natural in hand. The absence of buttons or switches on the exterior maintains the simplicity that Apple is known for. The seamless integration of the pencil with the iPad is again in sync with how Apple does connectivity for all its devices.

The new Apple Pencil introduces a significant change — the inclusion of a USB Type-C port at its end for charging and pairing. Apple has paid meticulous attention to the tactile experience of interacting with this accessory, evident in the cap mechanism. To charge the Apple Pencil, just pull out the cap, which magnetically snaps into the open position with an easy glide.

However, the USB-C charging port brings about a departure from the seamless pairing process seen in the Apple Pencil (2nd generation). Instead of the effortless placement on the iPad's side, users now have to initiate the pairing process manually. While a bit more tedious, this change is unlikely to be a deal-breaker for most users, as the pairing is typically a one-time setup. We must admit that it did take us a bit more time than we expected to pair the Pencil with the iPad Pro.

The USB-C port doesn’t come as a surprise as Apple is gradually making the shift from lightning ports for its devices. This transition not only future-proofs the accessory but also simplifies the charging process for users who have already embraced USB-C as the standard for their other devices, primarily the iPad.

Apple Pencil (USB-C) review: Performance

The Apple Pencil — all three generations — has been an efficient and handy tool. Granted, it won’t turn you into an artist overnight but it makes working on the iPad a whole lot of fun. The USB-C Pencil isn’t no different in that sense as it retains many of the hallmark features of its predecessors. It sports the same precise tip found in other Apple Pencil models, ensuring accurate tracking. The ultra-low latency, a mere 9 ms on iPads with 120Hz ProMotion displays, continues to provide a responsive and smooth writing experience.

If you have the M2 iPad Pro, the hover feature remains intact, offering a preview of the tap location with additional information in supported apps. Though very few third-party apps offer support for the hover feature, which is why as useful it is, we ended up rarely using it.

The replaceable tip remains a practical feature, offering users the flexibility to swap out a broken tip easily. Tilt support and pressure sensitivity work well, with tilt being the more prominent feature, influencing stroke thickness based on hand movement for more natural-looking handwriting.

Notably, pressure sensitvity is absent in this model, a compromise for those opting for the more affordable USB-C version. The Apple Pencil (2nd generation) retains all the bells and whistles—pressure sensitivity, double-tap gestures, and wireless charging. If you want all the bells and whistles, then the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil is the one you should buy.

One of the standout features of the new Apple Pencil is its impressive battery efficiency. The shift to USB-C not only facilitates a faster charging process but also extends the stylus's usage time. The long-lasting battery life will be appreciated by professionals and creatives who rely heavily on the Apple Pencil throughout the day.

The Apple Pencil (3nd Gen) with USB-C is compatible with a range of iPad models across Apple’s lineup.

Apple Pencil (USB-C) review: Verdict
The Apple Pencil with USB-C builds upon the functionality of its predecessors, introducing meaningful improvements in design, battery efficiency, and compatibility. The shift to a USB-C connector not only aligns with industry standards — grudgingly for Apple we guess — but makes users life convenient as well.

The design remains quintessentially Apple, embodying the company's commitment to aesthetics and simplicity. The Apple Pencil (USB-C) is available at Rs 7,900 which might be considered steep by some users, especially when compared to third-party alternatives. However, for those deeply entrenched in the Apple ecosystem and seeking a seamless and reliable stylus experience, the price may be justified. It is very likely that Apple could end up ditching the first-gen Apple Pencil for good sooner or later.

Apple Pencil (USB-C) stands out as a well-designed stylus, combining accuracy and comfort in a more affordable package. While it introduces some changes to the charging and pairing process, its overall performance and tactile experience make it a compelling choice for iPad users seeking a reliable and relatively budget-friendly option.
Loving Newspoint? Download the app now