Hands-On With the New USB-C Apple Pencil

Apple last week began shipping out the new USB-C Apple Pencil, so we thought we'd check it out for MacRumors readers who might be interested in purchasing one. The USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ is compatible with all iPads that have a USB-C port and that are running iOS 17.1 or later.


When it comes to design and feel, the USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ is much like the second-generation ‌Apple Pencil‌, featuring a matte finish and a flat side where it can attach to the iPad, but it's worth noting that it's shorter. Unlike the ‌Apple Pencil‌ 2, it is not able to pair with an ‌iPad‌ automatically, and you'll need a USB-C cable for pairing purposes.

If you pull on the bottom of the ‌Apple Pencil‌, you'll reveal a USB-C port, but Apple does not include a cable so you will need to use your own. Pairing can be done by attaching a USB-C to USB-C cable to the ‌iPad‌ and the USB-C port.

Though the USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ can be placed on the top of the ‌iPad‌ thanks to the magnetic connection, it is not able to charge magnetically like the ‌Apple Pencil‌ 2. As with pairing, charging is done via USB-C.

The USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌ is the most affordable ‌Apple Pencil‌ option at $79, but it lacks Double Tap for swapping tools, and there is no pressure sensitivity for varying line thickness. It does support tilt functionality and the ‌Apple Pencil‌ Hover gesture that's available on the M2 ‌iPad‌ models.

What do you think of the USB-C ‌Apple Pencil‌? Let us know in the comments.

Related Forum: iPad Accessories

Top Rated Comments

boss.king Avatar
4 weeks ago
This is such a weird, bad product. The charging solution is awkward, the price isn't nearly low enough to justify the compromises, and it further complicates the already convoluted iPad buying process.

They should have planned ahead with their designs to make all iPads compatible with the 2nd gen Pencil, dropped it's price to $80, and then launched an actually improved 3rd gen that's backwards compatible. There's no need for this confused 1.5 gen to exist.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
stiligFox Avatar
4 weeks ago
For all the people complaining about it, I really like the idea of this Pencil - I rarely use my Pencil 2, and I can’t leave it attached to my iPad as it just sits there and drains the battery. I have to leave the pencil somewhere else, and manually toggle the Bluetooth off and on, on the iPad so that it doesn’t stay connected and just drain the Pencil’s battery all the time.

That and I never use the pressure sensitivity and actually find it horrendously annoying. I could actually see myself “upgrading” to this - letting it charge with a USB C cable and not having it leech off my iPad sounds amazing.

All I mean by this is - don’t knock it too hard. Everyone has different needs and for some, this is perfect!
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
osofast240sx Avatar
4 weeks ago
I have two kids that are homeschooled. They currently use the iPad 10th generation. This new pencil replaces the logitech crayon for sure. Which would be a significant upgrade. This is specifically targeted to the education market.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
N1jl Avatar
4 weeks ago
Soooooo, it begs the question - what is the point in this stupid device that is a worse product than its predecessor?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spock Avatar
4 weeks ago

Soooooo, it begs the question - what is the point in this stupid device that is a worse product than its predecessor?
This is not a replacement for the Apple Pencil 2, this is a lower cost Apple Pencil with USB-C charging.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
4 weeks ago

Soooooo, it begs the question - what is the point in this stupid device that is a worse product than its predecessor?
More profit!

What is the point of swapping 2 performance cores for 2 more efficiency cores in a “new” M3 Pro chip. What is the point in cutting RAM bandwidth in the new M3s below M1s? Why still clinging to Lightning accessories with M3 iMac? Etc.

All moves that don’t make sense to us consumers are very likely about more profit.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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