Best Apple Pencil Deals: Up to $40 Off Apple Styluses and More – CNET

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Apple’s sleek iPads have claimed multiple spots on our list of the best tablets for 2023. And if you want to unlock the full potential of yours, you’ll want to pair it with an Apple Pencil stylus. There are three models to choose from, with prices starting at $79, along with some more affordable third-party alternatives. But no matter which stylus you’re after, there’s no reason to overpay. Which is why we’ve rounded up some of the best bargains you can shop right now below. Just be sure to check that your chosen Apple Pencil or third-party stylus is compatible with your particular iPad before you buy.

Apple Pencil pricing 2023

Model Apple Store price Best price right now Best all-time price
Apple Pencil (1st gen) $99 $79 $70
Apple Pencil (2nd gen) $129 $89 $85
Apple Pencil (USB-C) $79 $79 $79

Beyond the Apple Pencil, there are a few great alternatives also worth considering. We’ve highlighted them further down the page, and there are frequent deals on them. 

an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil

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Best Apple Pencil (1st gen) deals

Apple’s first-gen Apple Pencil was released in November 2015 and has stuck around since then. At its debut, it worked only with the first iPad Pro model before support was added to subsequent models. It has a Lightning connector built into the end for charging the Apple Pencil right from your iPad and has a removable tip that can be changed out after your current one starts to get worn down.

The first-gen Apple Pencil is compatible with all pre-2018 iPad Pro models, the iPad Air 3, the iPad Mini 2019 and all base-model iPads since 2018. It’s also the one to get to use with the 2022 10th-generation iPad. Awkwardly, there are two versions of the first-gen Apple Pencil for sale at most retailers: one with a Lightning adapter and one with a USB-C adapter. Other than the adapter, the Apple Pencil is exactly the same, so the deciding factor between them is purely how you wish to charge the device. The USB-C version hasn’t been on the market as long and tends not to be discounted. Here are the best first-gen Pencil deals you can buy right now.

A white Apple Pencil against a blue background.


Amazon and Walmart both have the first-gen model priced at $79, which is $20 less than what you’ll find at the Apple Store. We have seen it go lower in the past, so if you aren’t in a hurry to get your hands on one, you may want to try to wait for holiday sales. It comes with the USB-C adapter, which is required to pair it with the newest iPad model. 

Best Apple Pencil (2nd gen) deals

The second-gen Apple Pencil launched in October 2018 alongside the third-gen iPad Pro. While they may look similar on the surface, there are quite a few differences between the two models. One big difference is that the Apple Pencil 2 charges magnetically while attached to newer iPads, meaning there’s no Lightning connector. The design is slightly refined as well, with one flat side that’s used to charge and a sensor near the tip that enables double-tap features.

The second-gen Apple Pencil works with all 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pros (2018 and later models), as well as newer iPad Air (2020 and 2022) models and the iPad Mini 6. Here are the best Apple Pencil 2 deals you can get right now.

A white Apple Pencil stylus against a yellow background.


You can snag the second-gen Apple Pencil for just $89 right now at Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy, which is just $4 more than the all-time lowest price we’ve seen. 

Read our Apple Pencil 2 preview.

Apple Pencil (USB-C) deals

The Apple Pencil goes USB-C with this new, more affordable option that still attaches to the side of some iPads magnetically but doesn’t charge that way. Instead, a sliding cap reveals a hidden USB-C port for plugging a cable in to charge.

This is Apple’s latest stylus that sits somewhere between the other two options, taking some features from each. It has tilt sensitivity, low latency use, and pressure sensitivity but misses out on things like wireless charging and the iPad Pro’s hover feature. In terms of compatibility, the newest Apple Pencil works with all iPad models that have a USB-C port, including iPad Pro, iPad Air and iPad Mini.

Apple Pencil (USB-C)


The USB-C Apple Pencil is the most affordable yet and is compatible with all USB-C iPads. It comes with its own charging port. but it’s currently so new it’s limited in availability, with no discounts just yet.

Best cheap Apple Pencil alternatives

While the Apple Pencil offers one of the best experiences when paired with the iPad, it may not be the best choice for everyone. There are a number of cheaper alternatives. Here are some of the best ones that are on sale right now.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The Logitech Crayon works with just about every iPad out there — unlike the Apple Pencil, where you have to ensure you buy the right Pencil for your iPad model. It doesn’t have the fancy instant pairing or magnetic charging, but other than that it works very similarly to the Apple Pencil for a fraction of the price.

Zagg Pro Stylus 2


Zagg’s Pro Stylus 2 has been upgraded with wireless charging and a bunch of new colors. It has Apple Pencil-like palm rejection and tilt-recognition, plus a round capacitive tip on the back. It lasts for six hours per charge and can be magnetically attached to your iPad.

Zagg Pro Styluse for iPad


Zagg’s Pro Stylus also offers an Apple Pencil-like experience for less. It features palm rejection and tilt-recognition tech like Apple’s option, offers automatic pairing and even attaches magnetically to the side of your iPad Pro or iPad Air (though you’ll need to charge it via USB-C). It’s down to $25 right now.

Jamjake stylus pen for iPad


This stylus is a great cheap alternative to the Apple Pencil if you want the overall style of the Pencil without the price tag. It has removable tips, can be turned on and off and even recharges via USB-C. Just be sure to activate the instant coupon to get the full discount.

Adonit Dash 3


Adonit’s Dash 3 stylus offers a paper-like drag for a more natural writing and drawing experience. It’s capacitive so there’s no need to connect via Bluetooth and it offers up to 14 hours of continuous usage. Save $10 when you pick it up from Adonit directly.



This stylus pen has a nice sleek design and offers a black option that Apple does not currently have for its Pencil models. It offers up to 12 hours of battery per charge, and a 4-minute charge can give you an extra hour of battery life. It uses Micro-USB for charging and can charge and write at the same time. There aren’t any discounts on this stylus at the moment, but it’s still a solid value at less than $50. 

Apple Pencil vs. Apple Pencil 2: Which should you buy?

The decision here is simple: You have to buy the one that’s compatible with your iPad. Apple doesn’t let you pick which Apple Pencil you want to use with which iPad. Instead, iPads are only compatible with a specific model of the Apple Pencil. 

As outlined above, the original Apple Pencil works with the first- and second-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro, 10.5-inch iPad Pro, 9.7-inch iPad Pro, iPad Air 3 and fifth-gen iPad Mini, and all of the base-model iPads since the sixth-gen model. If you have a newer iPad Pro, fourth- or fifth-gen iPad Air or the sixth-gen iPad Mini, you’ll need to opt for the Apple Pencil 2. 

If you want to avoid this confusion, you can select from one of the non-Apple alternatives listed above, which generally have broader compatibility.

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