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For digital artists or those who simply prefer to write notes with their hand, we think the second-generation Apple Pencil is, unsurprisingly, the best iPad stylus money can buy. Its main issue is that it’s usually expensive, but if you’re thinking of grabbing one, a new discount has brought the device down to $90 at Amazon and Target. While we’ve seen this deal a few times in the past, it still sits a dollar off the lowest price we’ve tracked and $39 less than Apple’s MSRP.
For the unfamiliar, the first and second generation Apple Pencils are specifically designed to work with iPads (and only iPads). Neither device requires you to manage Bluetooth, and both offer system-wide pressure sensitivity on iPadOS, so the harder you press, the heavier your lines get.
This latest pencil was released in 2018, but it’s still a substantial upgrade over the original. While both versions work reliably, the second-gen model can magnetically attach and charge against the edge of a compatible iPad, instead of requiring you to connect via a Lightning port or dongle. Its flatter sides make it less prone to rolling, and there’s a handy double-tap feature that lets you quickly switch between drawing tools and an eraser in some apps. With the latest iPad Pros, you can also interact with UI elements simply by hovering the pen across the tablet screen.
Aside from its price, the main issue with the Pencil is compatibility. The second-generation model works with the fourth-generation and later iPad Air, any 11-inch iPad Pro, the third-generation and later 12.9-inch iPad Pro, and the sixth-generation iPad mini. Not all older models are supported, nor are the 9th or 10th generation iPads that Apple sells today. Still, if you own a compatible model and plan to use your stylus often, the second-gen Pencil is still your best bet, and this discount makes it a bit more accessible. If you just want a pen for doodling and occasional note-taking, we still like the Logitech Crayon as a cheaper alternative.
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