Apple has unveiled a new Apple Pencil. The latest model costs $79 ($69 for education) and it pairs and charges via a USB-C cable. It’ll be available in early November and it’s compatible with every iPad that has a USB-C port.
This is the company’s most budget-friendly Apple Pencil yet. It’s $20 less than the original model and $40 cheaper than the second-gen Apple Pencil. Apple says features of the new version include pixel-perfect accuracy, low latency and tilt sensitivity.
There's no pressure sensitivity this time around, though, so if you want that feature, you'll need to stick with either of the previous iterations. While you can attach the USB-C Apple Pencil magnetically to the side of your iPad for storage (in which case it will go into a sleep state to prolong the battery life), there's no wireless charging support either. To top up the Pencil's battery, you'll need to slide back a cap to expose a USB-C port and plug in a charging cable.
Unlike the second-gen Pencil, you won't be able to double tap the latest version to change drawing tools. Apple has also declined to offer free engraving this time around. However, if you have an M2-powered iPad, you'll be able to take advantage of the hover feature that's supported on the second-gen Pencil. That enables you to preview any mark you intend to make before it's actually applied to your note, sketch, annotation and so on.
This is Apple's latest step in its transition away from the Lightning port, which was largely prompted by European Union rules. The company started embracing USB-C on iPads several years ago, while it ditched the Lightning port in all iPhone 15 models. It'll take Apple a while longer to move away from Lightning entirely. Several devices it sells — such as older iPhones, AirPods Max, Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and the first-gen Apple Pencil — still use that charging port. But this is another step toward an all-USB-C future, and one fewer charging cable you'll need to carry around.