Apple has introduced its latest iteration of the Apple Pencil, priced at $79 ($69 for education purposes). This new model conveniently connects and charges via a USB-C cable. Scheduled for release in early November, it is compatible with all iPads equipped with a USB-C port.
Remarkably, this marks Apple’s most budget-friendly Apple Pencil to date, coming in $20 cheaper than the original and a $40 saving compared to the second-gen Apple Pencil. The updated version boasts pixel-perfect precision, minimal latency, and tilt sensitivity.
However, it’s worth noting that this time around, there is no pressure sensitivity. If this feature is essential to you, your best option would be to stick with one of the previous models. Although you can magnetically attach the USB-C Apple Pencil to the side of your iPad for storage (which will put it in a sleep state to extend battery life), it lacks wireless charging support. To recharge the Pencil, you’ll need to slide back a cap to reveal a USB-C port and connect it to a charging cable.
In contrast to the second-gen Pencil, the latest version does not support the double-tap feature for switching drawing tools. Additionally, Apple has opted not to provide free engraving this time. However, if you own an M2-powered iPad, you can benefit from the hover feature, which is compatible with the second-gen Pencil. This feature allows you to preview any marks you plan to make before applying them to your notes, sketches, annotations, and more.
This move represents Apple’s continued shift away from the Lightning port, primarily driven by European Union regulations. The company started integrating USB-C into iPads a few years ago and eliminated the Lightning port in all iPhone 15 models. While it will take some time for Apple to completely phase out the Lightning port, several of its devices, including older iPhones, AirPods Max, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and the first-gen Apple Pencil, still rely on this charging port. Nevertheless, this marks another stride towards an all-USB-C future, reducing the number of charging cables you need to carry around.