Apple Pencil Gets A USB-C Upgrade And Cheapest Price Yet But Loses These Features

Apple Pencil with a USB-C port, on a gray gradient background.
Apple is giving its Pencil family a new sibling with a USB-C upgrade (hot on the heels of launching the iPhone 15 series, also with USB-C) and a more affordable price tag. The announcement was a disappointment for many who had hoped the Cupertino-based company would also announce a new iPad, but that hasn't materialized yet.

The tech giant says the new Apple Pencil brings more choice to iPad users with pixel-point accuracy, low latency, and tilt sensitivity. It is also compatible with all iPad models that have a USB-C port, including the 10th generation iPad and 4th and 5th generation iPad Air.

“Apple Pencil has revolutionized note-taking, sketching, and illustrating, unleashing endless possibilities for productivity and creativity,” remarked Bob Borchers, Apple’s vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Combined with the versatility of iPad, the new Apple Pencil unlocks another great option to experience the magic of digital handwriting, annotation, marking up documents, and more.”

Apple Pencil iPad

The new Apple Pencil will work with iPadOS features such as Scribble and Quick Note, and when collaborating with others in Freeform. When paired with an M2 model of the iPad Pro, it supports hover, allowing users to sketch and illustrate with even greater precision, according to Apple.

The USB-C port is hidden within the cap of the Pencil and can be revealed by sliding the cap back. The port allows users to connect for pairing and charging. When attached magnetically to an iPad for storage, the device will enter into a sleep state to save on battery life.

However, the lower cost does come at a price to performance. Those performance cuts come in the form of losing the pressure sensitivity, wireless pairing and charging, and double-tap to change tools feature that comes along with the more expensive older sibling, Apple Pencil 2nd generation. Those losses may not affect the average buyer, but for users like artists and graphic designers, it may be a deal breaker.

The new Apple Pencil with USB-C will be available beginning in early November for $79, a $50 savings off the 2nd generation Apple Pencil. Meanwhile, the 1st and 2nd generation Apple Pencils are both still available, priced at $99 ($89 on Amazon) and $129 ($119 on Amazon), respectively.