Apple Pencil has just announced an exciting update to their popular Apple Pencil stylus – a new model that features USB-C charging. This new Apple Pencil will be compatible with all recent iPad models that have a USB-C port, bringing fast and convenient charging to the excellent iPad stylus experience.
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Overview of the New Apple Pencil
The key features of the new USB-C charging Apple Pencil include:
- USB-C Charging: The new Apple Pencil attaches magnetically to iPad Pro and iPad Air models and charges through the USB-C port. This allows for quicker and easier charging without having to remove or awkwardly connect the end cap.
- Compatibility: The new Apple Pencil works with all iPad models with a USB-C port, including the latest 10th generation iPad and iPad Air 5th generation. Older iPad Pro models are also supported.
- Available in November: The new USB-C Apple Pencil can be purchased separately for $129 starting in early November 2022. It will likely ship with new iPad Pro models as well.
- Same Great Stylus Experience: Apple says the new Apple Pencil delivers the same performance as existing models, with low latency, tilt and pressure sensitivity, hover functionality and great feeling on the screen.
While the switch to USB-C charging is the major change, the new Apple Pencil seems to provide the same excellent digital drawing, writing and control experience that Apple Pencil users rely on. For iPad owners with USB-C ports, the new model is a long awaited upgrade.
USB-C Charging is Faster and More Convenient
The Lightning connector on the original and 2nd generation model worked fine, but required carefully connecting and removing a cap each time you needed to charge. The new magnetic attachment and USB-C charging simplifies the process drastically.
Users can now simply attach the Apple Pencil magnetically along the side of the iPad to initiate wireless charging. This is the same Apple experience as on the Apple Watch and some MacBook models. The USB-C port provides faster charging too, allowing users to get back to work or creating more quickly.
Apple claims the new Apple Pen cil can go from 0 to 100% battery in just 45 minutes. That is 3 times faster than the 90 minutes required with the Lightning connector models. Having an Apple Pencil ready to go when you need it is super convenient and USB-C charging makes that possible.
Works With iPad Pro, iPad Air and 10th Gen iPad
The big advantage of the new Apple Pencil with USB-C charging is compatibility. While older Apple Pencil models only worked with certain iPads, the new version supports any iPad model with a USB-C port for charging.
Here are the iPad models that will support the new USB-C Apple Pen cil:
- iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
- iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
- iPad Air (4th generation and later)
- iPad (10th generation)
This means the excellent stylus experience is now available on Apple’s lowest cost iPad. The 10th generation iPad offers strong performance, a bright display and all day battery life making it great for illustrations, note taking, markup and other Apple Pencil uses at just $329.
The new support opens Apple Pencil to many more customers and reflects the continued grow of USB-C across all new mobile devices. For creatives or students especially, having full Apple Pencil support on the lower cost iPad is awesome.
Purchase Starting in November for $129
It has set the purchase price of the new USB-C charging Apple Pencil at $129. That matches the cost of the 2nd generation, while being $30 more than the 1st generation model.
Orders will kick off in early November 2022, likely alongside new iPad Pro models. The Apple Pencil with USB-C charging will be available direct through Apple and at other retailers that carry iPad accessories.
While $129 is not cheap, it delivers immense value if you use your iPad for drawing, illustrations, taking notes, marking up documents or othercreative work. The precision, pressure sensitivity, tilt support and low latency make Apple Pencil feel like writing with an actual pen or tool.
For those with USB-C iPads, upgrading to the new Apple Pencil with the magnetic charging case seems well worth the price. Just being able to quickly top up before your next meeting or class can be game changing.
Performance Matches Existing Apple Pencils
Apple clearly focused on the new charging method and broader device compatibility with this release. The company says users can expect the same precise stylus performance as current models.
Key features and capabilities that remain consistent include:
- Low Latency: IT has imperceptible lag when writing or drawing, making it feel instantaneous and natural.
- Tilt & Pressure Sensitivity: The nib detects angle and pressure variation, allowing you to shade or draw lines of different thickness.
- Hover Functionality: The iPad display detects when Apple Pen cil is nearby but not touching for added control.
- High Precision: It remains extremely accurate for writing and drawing with pinpoint precision.
- Lighting Fast Response: The display updates at 120Hz providing liquid smooth response.
Existing the owners will find the new model very familiar. For new users, they can expect an extremely responsive and natural digital writing, drawing and control experience powered by Apple Pen cil tech.
Missing Features Compared to 2nd Generation
While performance is maintained, the new USB-C Apple Pencil does lack a few features compared to the 2nd generation which will remain in the lineup.
Most notably, the new model does not support:
- Wireless Charging: Magnetic wireless charging and pairing is available on the 2nd gen but not the new model.
- Double Tap Shortcut: You cannot double tap the new Apple Pencil barrel to quickly switch drawing modes.
- Pressure Sensitivity: The new stylus provides tilt support but not pressure sensitivity like the 2nd gen model.
- Engraving: Personalized free engraving is available on the 2nd generation Apple Pen cil only.
For most users the core drawing, writing and control capabilities are what matters most. But those who rely on pressure sensitivity for art creation or shortcuts via double tap may want to consider the 2nd gen model instead.
Should You Buy the New USB-C Apple Pencil?
The new Apple Pencil delivers some excellent upgrades, most importantly the faster and more convenient USB-C magnetic charging method. For iPad owners with USB-C ports, it’s an easy recommendation if you want the best stylus experience.
There are a few cases where you may want to consider the older 2nd generation Apple Pencil instead:
- You need wireless charging and pairing.
- You use the double tap shortcut regularly.
- Pressure sensitivity is essential for your artwork.
- You want a personalized engraving.
For everyone else who wants the magic of Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro, iPad Air or 10th generation iPad, the new model with USB-C charging looks like the perfect upgrade. Being able to attach magnetically and charge rapidly will be game changing.
The broader compatibility is also outstanding, making It accessible to many more entry level iPad owners. If you rely on your iPad for handwritten notes, illustrations, technical drawings, markup or other design work, the latest Pencil is a great investment.
The new Apple Pencil with USB-C charging brings welcomed upgrades for iPad users who rely on the excellent stylus for work and creativity. The magnetic attachment and rapid 45 minute charge time solve two pain points of previous models.
While powerful 2nd generation features like pressure sensitivity and wireless charging are missing, the core Apple Pencil capabilities remain for a great writing and drawing experience. Support across the new 10th generation iPad, iPad Air and iPad Pro lines is outstanding.
If you have been waiting for the magic of Apple Pencil on your USB-C iPad, the wait is over. The new elevates the experience further and is easy to recommend for digital artists, creatives and technical workers alike.
|Feature||1st Gen Apple Pencil||2nd Gen Apple Pencil||New USB-C Apple Pencil|
|Charging Method||Lightning Connector||Magnetic Wireless||Magnetic USB-C|
|Battery Life||12 hours||12 hours||Up to 12 hours|
|Recharge Time||15 minutes (30% charge)<br>90 minutes (100% charge)||15 minutes (30% charge) <br> 90 minutes (100% charge)||5 minutes (20% charge) <br> 45 minutes (100% charge)|
|Pairing Method||Lightning to iPad||Automatic wireless||USB-C to iPad|
|Supported iPads||iPad Pro 12.9″ (1st & 2nd gen)<br>iPad Pro 9.7″||iPad Pro 12.9″ (3rd gen & later)<br>iPad Pro 11″||iPad Pro 12.9″ (3rd gen & later)<br>iPad Pro 11″ (1st gen & later)<br>iPad Air (4th gen & later)<br>10th gen iPad|
|Double Tap Shortcut||No||Yes||No|
|Replacement Nibs||1||4 (2 are pre-installed)||2|