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Apple last week began shipping out the new USB-C Apple Pencil, so we thought we'd check it out for MacRumors readers who might be interested in purchasing one. The USB-C Apple Pencil is compatible with all iPads that have a USB-C port and that are running iOS 17.1 or later.


When it comes to design and feel, the USB-C Apple Pencil is much like the second-generation Apple Pencil, featuring a matte finish and a flat side where it can attach to the iPad, but it's worth noting that it's shorter. Unlike the Apple Pencil 2, it is not able to pair with an iPad automatically, and you'll need a USB-C cable for pairing purposes.

If you pull on the bottom of the Apple Pencil, you'll reveal a USB-C port, but Apple does not include a cable so you will need to use your own. Pairing can be done by attaching a USB-C to USB-C cable to the iPad and the USB-C port.

Though the USB-C Apple Pencil can be placed on the top of the iPad thanks to the magnetic connection, it is not able to charge magnetically like the Apple Pencil 2. As with pairing, charging is done via USB-C.

The USB-C Apple Pencil is the most affordable Apple Pencil option at $79, but it lacks Double Tap for swapping tools, and there is no pressure sensitivity for varying line thickness. It does support tilt functionality and the Apple Pencil Hover gesture that's available on the M2 iPad models.

What do you think of the USB-C Apple Pencil? Let us know in the comments.

Article Link: Hands-On With the New USB-C Apple Pencil
 

osofast240sx

macrumors 68030
Mar 25, 2011
2,539
16
I have two kids that are homeschooled. They currently use the iPad 10th generation. This new pencil replaces the logitech crayon for sure. Which would be a significant upgrade. This is specifically targeted to the education market.
 

RottenAddict

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2022
25
48
You know everyone talked so much smack about the old design they redesigned it to this. Honestly I thought it was pretty trick that you could plug it into the iPad for 15 seconds and get 20 mins of battery out of it if you forgot to charge it. Didn’t need to bring a cable with you, just the iPad and a case that held the pencil.

Kinda feel the same about the Magic Mouse. Is it that big of a deal to plug it in every couple months while you’re not using it. It’s a wireless mouse anyways who is going to use it plugged in.
 

erikkfi

macrumors 65816
May 19, 2017
1,467
6,536
Nice video. I really think this Pencil exists for education customers. Still, do you know how hard it would be for kids to keep track of a Pencil, let alone a cable they need to pair and charge it? It's a little sad to see what UX foibles Apple is comfortable with in the name of preserving margin.
 

Fuzzball84

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2015
1,411
2,884
Wonder what the Apple Pencil 3 will bring over the AP2? A black color would be cool, but not needed. I think maybe we see Apple Pencil 3 with iPad Pro 2024 and new Magic Keyboard. Hard to believe the AP2 is already 5 years old.
A new Apple Pencil and Magic Keyboard is a given. Considering the Magic Keyboard for a bizarre reason is missing function keys. Pro, no function keys, base iPad, function keys :/

Like what??
 

msackey

macrumors 68020
Oct 8, 2020
2,484
2,895
Having used the 2nd generation Apple Pencil that has the double-tap feature, I will say that I do find it almost necessary (some may argue it's necessary) even when using the Pencil to just markup/highlight texts. When I'm marking up PDFs, I find it very helpful to be able to switch between highlighter and eraser or to switch between highlighter and pencil/pen tool without going into on-screen options to fiddle around. It really eases the experience of marking up texts.
 

boss.king

macrumors 603
Apr 8, 2009
6,109
6,770
This is such a weird, bad product. The charging solution is awkward, the price isn't nearly low enough to justify the compromises, and it further complicates the already convoluted iPad buying process.

They should have planned ahead with their designs to make all iPads compatible with the 2nd gen Pencil, dropped it's price to $80, and then launched an actually improved 3rd gen that's backwards compatible. There's no need for this confused 1.5 gen to exist.
 

spaxxedout

macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2018
136
382
Good video. I just realized that this pencil could be used while plugged in. Would be great if the charge cable could lock to a desk or maybe an iPad. I hear these things grow legs.
 

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2009
1,475
1,273
10.0.1.3
For all the people complaining about it, I really like the idea of this Pencil - I rarely use my Pencil 2, and I can’t leave it attached to my iPad as it just sits there and drains the battery. I have to leave the pencil somewhere else, and manually toggle the Bluetooth off and on, on the iPad so that it doesn’t stay connected and just drain the Pencil’s battery all the time.

That and I never use the pressure sensitivity and actually find it horrendously annoying. I could actually see myself “upgrading” to this - letting it charge with a USB C cable and not having it leech off my iPad sounds amazing.

All I mean by this is - don’t knock it too hard. Everyone has different needs and for some, this is perfect!
 

ApplesAreSweet&Sour

macrumors 68000
Sep 18, 2018
1,692
2,925
Soooooo, it begs the question - what is the point in this stupid device that is a worse product than its predecessor?
The point of this new Pencil is to dupe the low-budget, non-techie consumer who will now think they can get an iPad Air for $449 and pair it with a 2nd Gen. Apple Pencil for $79.

Sure, some will return it when they unbox it and can't use it like they thought they could.

But I'm sure just as many have never owned a Pencil and will just keep it not knowing how inferior and low-value it actually is.
 

bradman83

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2020
801
1,847
Buffalo, NY
Wonder what the Apple Pencil 3 will bring over the AP2? A black color would be cool, but not needed. I think maybe we see Apple Pencil 3 with iPad Pro 2024 and new Magic Keyboard. Hard to believe the AP2 is already 5 years old.
There was a rumor not too long ago on here that the next gen Apple Pencil would have a magnetically interchangeable tip that would support different shapes for different digital medium applications, such as paint brush tips.
 

stiligFox

macrumors 65816
Apr 24, 2009
1,475
1,273
10.0.1.3
How is that any different than plugging the first gen one in with a cable ?
If you were replying to me, I’m referring to the Apple Pencil 2 that charges magnetically - even when not in use, it will slowly over time leech power from my iPad mini rather than simply stop charging. The Apple Pencil 1 charged by the lightning connector, sure, but as soon as you unplugged it, it’s done charging and taking power from the iPad, similar to how the USB C Pencil will behave.
 

RottenAddict

macrumors newbie
Oct 6, 2022
25
48
If you were replying to me, I’m referring to the Apple Pencil 2 that charges magnetically - even when not in use, it will slowly over time leech power from my iPad mini rather than simply stop charging. The Apple Pencil 1 charged by the lightning connector, sure, but as soon as you unplugged it, it’s done charging and taking power from the iPad, similar to how the USB C Pencil will behave.
That makes more sense thanks. How much battery life do you notice it using with the mini? Seems like it would be insignificant once fully charged, but maybe it’s more noticeable on a mini?
 

Thisismattwade

macrumors regular
Oct 27, 2020
203
215
Does the bottom come off, or just slide? (Got the answer in the video, thanks for the detail!)

Can you use the pencil while it's plugged into the iPad (while presumably charging)?

What's the battery life like?
 

msackey

macrumors 68020
Oct 8, 2020
2,484
2,895
For all the people complaining about it, I really like the idea of this Pencil - I rarely use my Pencil 2, and I can’t leave it attached to my iPad as it just sits there and drains the battery. I have to leave the pencil somewhere else, and manually toggle the Bluetooth off and on, on the iPad so that it doesn’t stay connected and just drain the Pencil’s battery all the time.

That and I never use the pressure sensitivity and actually find it horrendously annoying. I could actually see myself “upgrading” to this - letting it charge with a USB C cable and not having it leech off my iPad sounds amazing.

All I mean by this is - don’t knock it too hard. Everyone has different needs and for some, this is perfect!
I would like it if the Pencil 2 offers a switch in which pressing it will turn it off (but pressing it won't turn it on as turning it on will require Pencil magnetically connecting to iPad to wake up). Indeed, the Pencil can drain and there are periods when I don't use to for long stretches and periods when I'm using it often.
 
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HobeSoundDarryl

macrumors G4
Soooooo, it begs the question - what is the point in this stupid device that is a worse product than its predecessor?
More profit!

What is the point of swapping 2 performance cores for 2 more efficiency cores in a “new” M3 Pro chip. What is the point in cutting RAM bandwidth in the new M3s below M1s? Why still clinging to Lightning accessories with M3 iMac? Etc.

All moves that don’t make sense to us consumers are very likely about more profit.
 
Last edited:

klasma

macrumors 601
Jun 8, 2017
4,751
12,716
You can get $20 pencils on Amazon with the same functionality (except auto-sleep upon magnetic attachment) and more color choices.
 
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