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For digital artists or those who just prefer the feel of writing out notes with their hand, we think the second-generation Apple Pencil is, unsurprisingly, the best iPad stylus you can buy. Its chief issue is that it’s usually expensive, but if you’ve been thinking of grabbing one, a new discount has brought the device back down to $90 at Amazon and Target. Though we’ve seen this deal a few times in the past, it still comes within a dollar of the lowest price we’ve tracked and $39 below Apple’s MSRP.
For the unfamiliar, both the first- and second-gen Apple Pencils are specifically designed to work with iPads (and only iPads). Neither device forces you to deal with Bluetooth, and both offer system-wide pressure sensitivity across iPadOS, so the harder you press down, the heavier your lines get.
This latest Pencil released back in 2018, but it remains a substantial upgrade over the original. While both versions perform reliably, the second-gen model can magnetically attach and charge against the edge of a compatible iPad, instead of forcing you to connect over a Lightning port or dongle. Its flatter sides make it less prone to rolling away, and there’s a handy double-tap feature that lets you quickly swap between drawing tools and an eraser in certain apps. With the latest iPad Pros, you can also interact with UI elements just by hovering the Pencil over the tablet’s display.
Besides its price, the Pencil’s chief hang-up is compatibility. The second-gen model works with the fourth-gen iPad Air and up, any 11-inch iPad Pro, the third-gen 12.9-inch iPad Pro and up and the sixth-gen iPad mini. Any older models aren’t supported, nor are the 9th- or 10th-gen iPads Apple sells today. Still, if you own a compatible model and plan on using your stylus often, the second-gen Pencil is still your best bet, and this discount makes it a little more accessible. If you only want a pen for casual doodling and note-taking, meanwhile, we still like the Logitech Crayon as a cheaper alternative.
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