Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil 2nd Generation: 2024 Comparison

Apple Pencil USB C vs Apple Pencil 2nd Generation 2

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil 2nd Generation. The Apple Pencil has gained immense popularity among iPad users, offering a seamless and precise drawing and writing experience. Choosing the right Apple Pencil for your needs is essential to optimize your creative workflow.

Today we will explore the similarities and differences between the Apple Pencil USB-C and the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, helping you make an informed decision. From their charging mechanisms to their compatibility with different iPad models, we will cover all the crucial aspects to consider.

Whether you’re an artist, student, or professional, understanding the features and capabilities of these two Apple Pencil versions is key.

Pros and Cons

Pencil USB-CPencil 2nd Gen
Easy to hold and useWireless charging and pairing
Supports hover on iPad ProDouble tap gestures
Tilt sensitivityPressure sensitive
Charges via USB-CCharges while attached to iPad
Tip is fragileNo color options
No wireless chargingNot compatible with base iPad


Pencil USB-CPencil 2nd Gen
Released‎Nov 1, 2023Nov 1, 2018
Dimensions (inches)6.1 long, 0.29 diameter6.53 long, 0.35 diameter
Weight (ounces)0.720.73
ConnectivityBluetooth, USB-CBluetooth
Magnetically attachesYesYes
Tilt sensitivityYesYes
Pressure sensitivityNoYes
iPad Pro Hover supportYesYes
Double-Tap supportNoYes
Free EngravingNoYes

Design and Charging

The new Apple Pencil with USB-C charging introduces a unique design that enhances the user experience. Unlike its predecessor, it no longer requires a separate cap, making it more convenient and user-friendly.

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil 2nd Generation

With its USB-C charging method, the new Apple Pencil eliminates the need for an extra accessory, simplifying the charging process. Users can now charge the Apple Pencil directly by connecting it to their iPad or through a USB-C cable. This means no more searching for a separate cap or worrying about losing it.

In terms of size, the new Apple Pencil is slightly smaller compared to the second generation Apple Pencil. However, this difference is hardly noticeable, as both versions are already large and comfortable to hold.

Both the new Apple Pencil and the second generation version feature a magnetic attachment feature. This allows the Apple Pencil to securely attach to the side of compatible iPad models, making it easy to store and carry around. Whether you’re on the go or working at your desk, the magnetic attachment ensures that your Apple Pencil is always within reach.

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Compatibility is another crucial aspect to consider when choosing between the two Apple Pencil models. The Apple Pencil USB-C is only compatible with devices that have a USB-C port. If you have an older model iPad that does not have a USB-C port, the USB-C version will not work for you. On the other hand, the Apple Pencil Gen 2 is more versatile and can be used with a wider range of devices. However, it’s worth noting that the hover feature, which allows the pencil to detect the distance from the screen, only works on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro (6th generation) and the 11-inch iPad Pro (4th generation).

Apple Pencil USB C vs Apple Pencil 2nd Generation 1


When it comes to synchronizing the Apple Pencil with your iPad, it is important to note that both versions require a USB-C or USB cable. By connecting the Apple Pencil to your iPad or through a USB-C cable, you can easily synchronize them. This allows for a quick and hassle-free setup process, ensuring that your Apple Pencil is ready to use whenever you need it.

However, it is worth mentioning that you can only have one Apple Pencil synchronized with your iPad at a time. If you own both the Apple Pencil USB-C and the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, you will need to manually connect and synchronize them whenever you switch between the two. This limitation might be inconvenient for users who frequently switch between different Apple Pencil versions.

Additionally, a potential inconvenience of the synchronization process is the need for a cable. If your Apple Pencil gets desynchronized, whether due to an iPad update or other factors, you will always need a USB-C or USB cable to reestablish the connection. It is important to keep this cable handy to ensure that you can easily sync your Apple Pencil whenever needed.

Functionality and Features

The second-generation Apple Pencil incorporates several unique functionality and features that enhance the drawing and writing experience.

Absence of Double-Tap Feature

Unlike the second-generation Apple Pencil, the new Apple Pencil with USB-C charging does not have a double-tap feature. The double-tap feature on the second-generation Apple Pencil allows users to quickly switch between tools or activate specific functions, such as erasing or changing brush sizes. While the absence of this feature may be a drawback for some users, it is important to consider the other capabilities offered by the new Apple Pencil.

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Unique Pressure Sensitivity

One of the standout features of the second-generation Apple Pencil is its unique pressure sensitivity. This allows users to apply varying levels of pressure while drawing or writing, resulting in different line thicknesses or brush strokes. The pressure sensitivity feature adds a level of precision and control to the creative process, enabling artists and designers to create more detailed and expressive work.

Impact on Drawing and Writing Experiences

The impact of pressure sensitivity on the drawing and writing experiences is significant. With the second-generation Apple Pencil, users can achieve more realistic and nuanced strokes, mimicking the experience of using traditional drawing tools like pencils, pens, and brushes. This level of control over line weight and opacity enhances the overall quality of artwork and written notes.

Comparison with Different Pencil Types in Note-Taking Apps

When it comes to note-taking apps, the writing experience with different pencil types can vary. The second-generation Apple Pencil offers a smooth and responsive writing experience, making it ideal for precise note-taking. The pressure sensitivity adds depth to handwritten notes, allowing for subtle variations in line thickness and shading. Comparatively, other pencil types in note-taking apps may lack this level of sensitivity, resulting in a less dynamic and expressive writing experience.

Key Differences

Length: The Apple Pencil Gen 2 is slightly longer than its USB-C counterpart, a difference in length that can influence user comfort and how the pencil is used.

Price: From $129 (2nd Generation) to a more affordable $79 (USB-C).

Dimensions: The size slightly reduces from 6.53 inches long and 0.35 inches in diameter (2nd Generation) to 6.1 inches long and 0.29 inches in diameter (USB-C).

Weight: A marginal decrease in weight from 0.73 ounces (2nd Generation) to 0.72 ounces (USB-C).

Connectivity: While both support Bluetooth, the USB-C model adds USB-C connectivity.

Charging Method: Gen 2 features a magnetic charging mechanism that allows it to attach and charge seamlessly at the top of the device, whereas the USB-C, though it magnetically sticks to the top, requires a separate USB-C to USB-C cable for charging.

Pressure Sensitivity: The 2nd Generation has pressure sensitivity, which is absent in the USB-C model.

iPad Pro Hover Support: This feature is available in both models.

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Double-Tap Support: Present in the 2nd Generation but not in the USB-C model.

Free Engraving: Available with the 2nd Generation, but not offered for the USB-C model.

Double Tap: The Apple Pencil Gen 2 features a tap-to-change tool function for easy switching between functions, a convenience not available with the Apple Pencil USB-C, which requires manual tool selection.

Writing Features: The Apple Pencil Gen 2 offers advanced features like tilt and pressure sensitivity for versatile and realistic writing, whereas the USB-C version lacks pressure sensitivity but includes tilt recognition, making the Gen 2 a better choice.

Supported iPads: Both models support a range of iPads, including various generations of iPad Air, iPad mini, and iPad Pro. However, the USB-C model is also compatible with the iPad (10th gen), which is not listed for the 2nd Generation.


Pencil USB-CPencil 2 Gen
Pinpoint accuracyYesYes
Low latencyYesYes
Floating pointer on iPad ProYesYes
Tilt sensitivityYesYes
Pressure sensitivityNoYes
Double tap to switch toolsNoYes
Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil 2nd Generation Functionality

Conclusion: Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil 2nd Generation

In conclusion, both the Apple Pencil USB-C and the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation have their own set of unique features and benefits. Here’s a summary of the key differences and similarities between the two versions:

  • The Apple Pencil USB-C introduces a new charging method using USB-C, which eliminates the need for a separate cap and simplifies the charging process. On the other hand, the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation uses a magnetic attachment feature for charging, making it convenient for users to keep it attached to their iPad.
  • The new Apple Pencil with USB-C is slightly smaller in size compared to the second generation Apple Pencil, but the difference is hardly noticeable.
  • Both versions are compatible with different iPad models, expanding the options for users. The Apple Pencil USB-C is compatible with the iPad Pro (3rd and 4th generation) and the iPad Air (4th generation), while the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation is compatible with the iPad Pro (11-inch and 12.9-inch, 3rd and 4th generation).
  • The Apple Pencil 2nd Generation offers a unique pressure sensitivity feature, allowing users to apply varying levels of pressure while drawing or writing. This enhances the drawing and writing experiences, providing more control and precision.
  • The Apple Pencil 2nd Generation also includes a double-tap feature, which allows users to quickly switch between tools or activate specific functions. This feature is not available in the Apple Pencil USB-C.

Personally, I find the new Apple Pencil with USB-C to be a convenient and user-friendly option. The elimination of a separate cap and the ability to charge it directly through USB-C make it hassle-free and easy to use. However, the pressure sensitivity and double-tap feature of the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation make it a more powerful tool for artists and those who require precise control over their drawings and notes.

Ultimately, the choice between the two versions depends on individual needs and preferences. Consider your specific requirements and the features that are most important to you when making your decision. Whether you choose the Apple Pencil USB-C or the Apple Pencil 2nd Generation, both options offer a seamless and precise drawing and writing experience, enhancing your creativity and productivity on your iPad.