The new Apple Pencil is cheaper but confusing

Apple Pencil header
Pictured: Apple Pencil (USB-C)
//Apple is slowly getting rid of Lightning on more products.
Alex Choros
Oct 19, 2023
Icon Time To Read1 min read

Published on October 18, 2023

Apple today announced a new more affordable Apple Pencil for iPad owners, that will retail for $139. Known as the Apple Pencil (USB-C), the new stylus undercuts the first-generation Apple Pencil which is sticking around $159, and is a good deal cheaper than the $219 second-generation Apple Pencil.

Much like the new iPhone 15 family, the Apple Pencil (USB-C) charges via USB-C. A sliding cap hides the USB-C port, which is also used to pair the Apple Pencil with an iPad. It's a much more elegant solution than the Lightning port on the first-generation Apple Pencil.

The Apple Pencil (USB-C) uses the same kind of matte, squared-off design as the second-generation Apple Pencil, rather than the glossy circular aesthetic of the first. It also has magnets for snapping to an iPad, but it won't charge wirelessly.

The other big omission is the lack of pressure sensitivity. While both previous Apple Pencils can detect how hard you're pressing them, the USB-C model doesn't support this functionality. Given pressure sensitivity is one of the key reasons you'd go for an Apple Pencil over a third-party stylus, it's an odd choice. The Apple Pencil (USB-C) still has the same low latency and tilt sensitivity as other Pencils, however.

There's one other quirk being aware of. While the Apple Pencil (USB-C) is the manufacturer's cheapest first-party stylus, it isn't compatible with the cheapest iPad currently available. If you're looking to buy the ninth-generation iPad, you'll need the more expensive $159 Apple Pencil.

The Apple Pencil (USB-C) is compatible with all iPad models that have a USB-C port, including the tenth-edition base model iPad. Most of these iPads were previously only compatible with the $219 second-generation Apple Pencil. 

You'll be able to get the new USB-C Apple Pencil will launch in early November. Apple isn't taking pre-orders yet.

This article was originally published on our sister site WhistleOut.

Alex Choros
Written by
Alex Choros
Alex Choros is the Group Reviews Editor for Clearlink Australia's local websites - Reviews.org, Safewise, and WhistleOut - and the Managing Editor for WhistleOut Australia. He's been writing about consumer technology for over eight years and is an expert on the Australian telco sector, to the point where he knows far too many phone and internet plans by heart. He also contributes to Gizmodo and Lifehacker, and makes regular appearances on 2GB. Outside of tech, Alex loves long hikes, red wine, and death metal.

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