Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil Lightning Comparision

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil Lightning

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil Lightning Comparision: Apple has introduced a new USB-C Apple Pencil, and it’s causing quite a stir in the tech community. Let’s break down the differences between the new USB-C Apple Pencil and the older Lightning versions to help you understand which one might be best for your needs.


1st Generation2nd Generation(USB-C)
Dimensions175.7 x 8.9mm166 x 8.9mm155 x 7.5mm
Attach magnetically NoYesYes
Pressure sensitivityYesYesNo
iPad Pro Hover supportNoYesYes
Double-Tap supportNoYesNo
Free EngravingNoYesNo

There are three versions of the Apple Pencil. So, which one should you pick? Let’s break it down based on different factors. Here, we’ll explore the differences between Apple Pencil 1, Apple Pencil 2, and the Apple Pencil USB-C. Get ready to find out which one fits your needs!

What’s the Buzz About the New USB-C Apple Pencil?

The new Apple Pencil that features USB-C charging was an unexpected release, with many wondering who its target audience is. If you’re already an owner of the latest second-generation Apple Pencil, the consensus is that you don’t need to upgrade.

Key Differences: Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil Lightning


  • USB-C Apple Pencil: $79
  • First Generation Apple Pencil: $99
  • Second Generation Apple Pencil: $129
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Design & Charging

The USB-C version comes with a sliding cap, allowing users to pair and charge it using a USB-C cable.

While it can magnetically attach to iPads that have a USB-C port, it doesn’t charge magnetically – it goes into a sleep state instead.

Both the first and second-generation Apple Pencils do support magnetic charging.

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil Lightning Comparision
Apple Pencil (1st generation) vs Apple Pencil (2nd generation) vs Apple Pencil (USB-C)


Apple Pencil Gen 1: The Middle Ground

The first-generation Apple Pencil offers a balance between functionality and price.

  • Retains the writing precision, low-latency, and tilt sensitivity of the USB-C version.
  • Introduces support for pressure sensitivity. This means drawing with more pressure gives thicker lines, while less pressure results in finer ones.

Charging: This pencil does have its quirks. It doesn’t magnetically attach to iPads. Charging it involves unveiling a hidden lightning connector by removing the cap (beware, it’s easy to misplace!). Some iPads can charge the pencil directly, while others need an adaptor, thankfully included in the box.

Apple Pencil Gen 2: The Premium Experience

Price: $129

For those who want it all, the second-generation Apple Pencil is the way to go.

  • Inherits all features from the previous models.
  • Wireless pairing and charging. Attach it magnetically to your iPad, and it charges automatically.
  • Introduces a touch-sensitive surface. A double-tap can switch between drawing tools.
  • Offers free engraving from Apple for that personal touch.

Charging: No cables, no fuss. Just attach it to your iPad, and it charges seamlessly.

Apple Pencil USB-C: The Budget-Friendly Choice

The Apple Pencil USB-C is the most wallet-friendly option. Perfect for those who are venturing into the digital art realm or simply want a stylus for their iPad.

  • Write, sketch, and draw with pixel-perfect precision.
  • Ultra-low latency ensures a natural writing feel.
  • Tilt sensitivity for shading effects.
  • Supports hover on iPadOS for mark previews.
  • Attaches magnetically to compatible iPads.
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Charging: Unlike its siblings, this pencil doesn’t charge when magnetically attached. You’ll need to plug in a USB-C cable to charge, which can be accessed by sliding off the cap.

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Apple Pencil Lightning Comparision

Who is the USB-C Apple Pencil For?

The USB-C Apple Pencil is ideal for those:

On a budget and looking for a more affordable Apple Pencil.

Primarily using their iPad and Pencil for note-taking or basic scribbling.

New iPad owners who don’t need the advanced features of the more expensive pencils.

Owners of the 10th generation iPad who prefer a simpler setup.

For those who appreciate the nuances of pressure sensitivity in art or frequently use the double-tap feature, the second-generation Apple Pencil might be worth the extra $50.

Apple Pencil Compatibility with iPad

It’s essential to pick the right Apple Pencil for your iPad because not all Pencils work with every iPad model. For instance, no iPad can use both Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2. However, the Apple Pencil USB-C does match with multiple iPads.

Apple Pencil USB C vs Apple Pencil Lightning

Apple Pencil 1 :

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (1st and 2nd generation)
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad (6th generation and newer)
  • iPad mini (5th generation)

Apple Pencil 2 :

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation and newer)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and newer)
  • iPad Air (4th generation and newer)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)

Apple Pencil USB-C :

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro (3rd generation and newer)
  • 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and newer)
  • iPad Air (4th generation and newer)
  • iPad (10th generation)
  • iPad mini (6th generation)

The Basic iPad 9th Generation

Price: $329 US Dollars

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Design: Features the classic Apple design with the screen on top and a home button below.

Specs: Comes with the A13 Bionic chip.

Apple Pencil Compatibility: Only compatible with the first-generation Apple Pencil. This pencil has a lightning connector that can be plugged into the iPad’s lightning port for syncing and charging.

The Updated iPad 10th Generation

Design: A complete makeover from the 9th gen, sporting a full-screen display similar to modern iPhones. It has a touch ID finger scanner integrated into the top button.

Apple Pencil Compatibility: Once again, it only works with the first-generation Apple Pencil. However, there’s a twist! The 10th gen iPad doesn’t have a lightning port but a USB-C port. To use the Apple Pencil, you’d need a USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter, which unfortunately, is only reliable when bought from Apple.

The Compact iPad Mini

Design: Features a full-screen display, USB-C port, and a touch ID finger scanner on the top button.

Specs: Powered by the A15 Bionic chip.

Apple Pencil Compatibility: Exclusively compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil, which attaches magnetically to the iPad Mini for charging. No connectors, no fuss!

The Elegant iPad Air

Price: Starts at $599 US Dollars.

Design: Boasts a 10.9-inch full-screen display, a USB-C port, and a touch ID sensor on the top button.

Specs: It’s loaded with Apple’s M1 chip – the same powerhouse found in some of Apple’s MacBook models.

Apple Pencil Compatibility: Just like the iPad Mini, the iPad Air works solely with the second-generation Apple Pencil. Attach it magnetically to the side of the iPad Air to charge.

To Sum It Up

The new USB-C Apple Pencil isn’t a groundbreaking third-generation device. Instead, it seems to be a cost-friendly option housed in a second-generation body. It offers most of the beloved features of the Apple Pencil line, but with some key exclusions.

If you already own a second-generation Apple Pencil, this isn’t a necessary purchase. But for newcomers to the iPad and Apple Pencil ecosystem, especially those on a budget, the USB-C version might just be the perfect fit.