Apple Pencil USB-C vs. Pencil Gen 1 and Gen 2: What should you choose? 

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Gen 1 and Gen 2

Apple has finally entered its USB-C era. After the iPhone 15 series, they announced the Apple Pencil (USB-C). Equipped with a superior feature set, the newly launched accessory is the most affordable in the Apple Pencil lineup. But does that mean you should ditch the good old Apple Pencil (1st and 2nd gen) for the new Apple Pencil (USB-C)?

Since the new Apple Pencil (USB-C) is a middle ground between the two previous Apple Pencil generations, we decided to compare it to each of them individually. This detailed guide will analyze the features of all three Apple Pencils, helping you find the ideal stylus for your iPad.

Key Specs – Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs. 2nd Gen vs. USB-C

Before we delve deeper into the features-based comparison, here’s a quick look at the basics.

Specifications Apple Pencil 1st Gen Apple Pencil 2nd Gen Apple Pencil USB-C 
Price $99 $129 $79 
Connectivity Bluetooth and Lightning Bluetooth Bluetooth and USB-C 
Dimensions 6.92 inches long and 
0.35 inches diameter 
6.53 inches and  
0.35 inches diameter  
6.1 inches long and 0.29 inches diameter 
Weight 0.73 ounces  0.73 ounces 0.72 ounces  
Finish Glossy  Matte Matte 
Compatibility iPad (6th gen to 10th gen), 
iPad Air (3rd gen), 
iPad mini (5th gen), 
iPad Pro 9.7-inch, 
iPad Pro 10.5-inch, 
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st and 2nd gen)  
iPad Air (4th gen to 5th gen), 
iPad mini (6th gen), 
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen to 4th gen), 
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3th gen to 6th gen)  
iPad (10th gen), 
iPad Air (4th gen and 5th gen), 
iPad min (6th gen) 
iPad Pro 11-inch (1st gen to 4th gen) 
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd gen to 6th gen)  

Features – Apple Pencil 1st Gen vs. 2nd Gen vs. USB-C

I’d highly recommend comparing these Apple Pencil models to find the right features for your needs, not just the price.

Criteria Purpose Apple Pencil 1st Gen Apple Pencil 2nd Gen Apple Pencil (USB-C) 
Low Latency Ensures high responsiveness ✅  ✅  ✅  
Pixel-perfect precision Write, sketch, and draw with top-notch precision  ✅  ✅  ✅  
Tilt sensitivity Tilts stylus for shading and other drawing effects ✅  ✅  ✅   
Pressure sensitivity Natural response to pressure- light or deep presses both ✅   ✅    ❌ 
Attaches magnetically For storage, pairing, and charging ❌  ✅  ✅    
(For storage) 
Wireless connectivity and charging Pair and charge with Lightning port or USB-C cable
USB-C to ‌Apple Pencil‌ Adapter
Auto-attach and charge wirelesslyPair and charge through USB-C cable
Apple Pencil HoverDetects the Pencil just above the screen ❌  ✅  
(on M2 iPad Pro models)
(on M2 iPad Pro models)
Double Tap support Instant switch between tools ❌   ✅    ❌  
Removable Cap Keeps the charging port safe ✅    ❌   ❌   
(Non-removable sliding cap) 

Apple Pencil USB-C vs. Apple Pencil 1 – What’s better for you? 

With Apple Pencil (USB-C), the manufacturer has offered a budget-friendly stylus for iPad and iPad Pro owners. The device boasts a sleeker, chic chassis that earns some extra points against its predecessors. Moreover, you will get all the essential features, including hover, tilt-sensitivity, etc., except pressure sensitivity and double tap with this new USB-C Pencil.  

Besides, Apple Pencil USB-C is fully compatible with a wide range of iPad and iPad Pro models. Thus, making it a smart companion for all the upcoming models.

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Gen 1

The Apple Pencil (1st Generation) can be your preference if you direly need pressure sensitivity. However, the stylus lacks a magnetic attachment for storage and has a removable cap that you can easily lose.

Verdict: If you can let go of pressure sensitivity, I’d say Apple Pencil (USB-C) would be the winner of this comparison. You get a lot more for a lot less.

PS: Do check out these cool Apple Pencil tricks that will enhance your iPad experience.  

Apple Pencil USB-C vs. Apple Pencil 2 – What’s better for you?

When given a choice between Apple Pencil (USB-C) and Apple Pencil (2nd Generation), I would go with the latter. Why? Well, it is the flagship stylus from the brand, having a stack of all the robust functionalities locked in. Plus, if you are a professional designer, features like pressure-sensitivity must be of great importance to you.  

Apple Pencil USB-C vs Gen 2

Contrarily, the Apple Pencil with USB-C is designed for more basic utilities. However, at such an affordable price, it makes for an ideal pick for students who are eligible for additional discounts. FYI, students can buy Apple Pencil (USB-C) for $69. Impressive!

Verdict: Given how robust and advanced the Apple Pencil (2nd generation) is, it’s hard to pick the USB-C Pencil over it. I certainly feel Apple Pencil (2nd gen) is still worth its price tag.


Does Apple Pencil 2 use USB-C?

No, the Apple Pencil 2 does not use USB-C.

Can you charge Apple Pencil with USB-C charger?

You can charge Apple Pencil USB-C with a USB-C charger. However, Apple Pencil Gen 1 and Gen 2 cannot be charged with a USB-C charger.

Wrapping up 

The decision regarding Apple Pencil boils down to your iPad model and the money you are willing to spend on it. In this guide, you must have encountered the Apple Pencil USB-C, the Apple Pencil Gen 1, and Gen 2 similarities and differences. Analyzing the specs of all three Pencils will help you make the right investment choice.

If you do, please share it in the comments section. We would love to hear from you.

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1 comment

  1. I choose the gen1 over USB-C if the iPad does not support gen 2 pencil. The C appear to be a simpler pen whereas the gen 1 is an artists tool. The pencil 2 and 1 is not something you make a choice between since it depends on the iPad which to use.

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