Apple shows off new USB-C compatible Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil with a prominent USB-C port
Credit: Apple Newsroom

Apple Pencil with a prominent USB-C port
Credit: Apple Newsroom

Apple's newest product is a "more affordable" Apple Pencil, promising more accuracy, less latency, and compatibility with USB-C cables instead of relying entirely on magnets.

Launching in early November, the USB-C Apple Pencil promises compatibility with all iPad models that feature a USB-C port of their own, which includes the iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini. The newest addition to the Apple Pencil line up will notably be the "most affordable" model when compared to the first and second generations, coming in at $79 (or $69 for students.)

As far as features go, an infographic in the newsroom post shows the differences between the USB-C Apple Pencil and previous generations. It shares several features with the second generation, and while some are noticeably missing, it still has more functionality than the first generation Apple Pencil; we've listed the features of the USB-C model below with accompanying explanations.

  • Pixel perfect precision
    • Lines are made exactly where you draw them
  • Low latency
    • The pencil is responsive with no delays
  • Tilt sensitivity
    • Tilting the pencil can allow shading and other effects
  • Magnetic attachment
    • The pencil can be attached to the side of iPads
  • Support for Apple Pencil hover
    • The mark made by the pencil can be previewed

The newsroom post goes on to explain how the USB-C port is accessed; it will be hidden by a sliding cap that can be revealed to connect the pencil to the iPad or charger. It's good to see Apple finally embracing USB-C technology, despite their hesitancy to do so in the past; standardised cables are better for the environment and more convenient for consumers.

While they're not everyone's cup of tea, the Apple Pencil can be a useful way to use an iPad without leaving fingerprint smudges. Artists have also found them to be a handy tool, but a drawing tablet is likely still a better option if a bit higher-budget.

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