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Which Apple Pencil Is Better? Apple Pencil 1 vs. 2

Comparing the two Apple Pencils on compatibility, performance, and price 

Which Apple Pencil is better? If you’re a part of the growing community of artists, freelancers, and gamers who use iPads, you will have come across this question before. 

Let’s dive into the battle of Apple Pencil 1 vs. Apple Pencil 2.

What Is an Apple Pencil?  

Sir Jony Ive is one of the lesser-known names in the Apple ecosystem, but he is the creative mastermind behind many of the Apple products that you use every single day. He spearheaded the creation of the Apple Pencil, a stylus that replicates the feeling of writing, drawing, and scribbling with a real pencil. 

This ergonomic, nifty bit of tech is designed to streamline your workflow and encourage real-time creativity. The Apple Pencil 1 was released on November 11th, 2015, and the Apple Pencil 2 followed it three years later on November 7th, 2018. 

So, what makes them different? And which Apple Pencil is better?

Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2 laying side by side
Image from

Compatibility Winner: Apple Pencil 1

Before you pick favorites in the battle of Apple Pencil 1 vs. Apple Pencil 2, you need to know which stylus is compatible with your device. 

Apple Pencil 1 is compatible with: 

  • iPad Pro – 12.9-inch 1st and 2nd generation, 10.5-inch, 9.7-inch
  • iPad Air – 3rd generation
  • iPad mini – 5th generation
  • iPad – 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th generation 

Apple Pencil 2 is compatible with: 

  • iPad Pro – 12.9-inch 3rd generation and later, 11-inch 1st generation and later
  • iPad Air – 4th generation and later
  • iPad mini – 6th generation 

As you can see, the Apple Pencil 2 tends to favor more modern iPads, whereas the Apple Pencil 1 is compatible with more versions. 

Winner: Apple Pencil 1 wins this round because it is compatible with more types and generations of iPads. 

Style Winner: Apple Pencil 2

So, which Apple Pencil is better in terms of style? 

You would be forgiven for thinking that they are identical. In fact, the Apple Pencil 2 is a bit longer and thinner. The Apple Pencil 1 is entirely round, whereas the Apple Pencil 2 has a flat edge. That, along with the matte finish, makes the Apple Pencil 2 more ergonomic. 

Winner: The style of the pencil won’t make or break your iPad experience, but if you want to take a slightly more user-centric approach, you should choose the Apple Pencil 2. 

Performance Winner: Apple Pencil 2

We can’t talk about Apple Pencil 1 vs. Apple Pencil 2 without mentioning performance. 

It is no secret that Apple products are ultra-streamlined and functional. But which pencil cinches the win? 

Both pencils have in-built tilt and pressure sensitivity, imperceptible lag, and pixel-perfect precision. But the Apple Pencil 2 has a few extra features that make all the difference. It comes with a magnetic strip that attaches to your iPad, making it super easy to store. The double-tap function allows you to switch between pre-set tools and the enhanced palm rejection feature lets you draw, sketch, and take notes without smudging your work. 

Winner: The Apple Pencil 2 benefits from three extra years of technology and development, so it is no surprise that it wins this round. 

Storage & Charging Winner: Apple Pencil 2 

Storage and charging might seem unimportant, but they can make a world of difference. 

To store the Apple Pencil 1, you need to invest in a case. You could opt for an individual storage box or find an iPad case that has an in-built stylus slot. The Apple Pencil 2 is much more simple. The magnetic strip allows you to easily attach the flat edge to your iPad, so you don’t need to invest in any more accessories. 

The Apple Pencil 1 charges via a lightning connector, which is pretty standard for Apple products. You need to remove the cap to access the charging port. If you want a much more streamlined charging process, you need to invest in the Apple Pencil 2. This pencil features wireless charging. Just turn Bluetooth on, attach the flat side of the pencil to your iPad, and wait for your pencil to charge.   

Winner: The Apple Pencil 2 is our pick for storage and charging. It eliminates a lot of expensive, frustrating accessories. 

Price Winner: Apple Pencil 1

Which Apple Pencil is better for tech heads who are on a budget? 

The Apple Pencil 1 is $99, and the Apple Pencil 2 is $129. Of course, if you opt for the lower price point, you will get fewer features. 

The price difference isn’t too outrageous, so it all comes down to your preferences. As long as you take care of your Apple Pencil, it can last for several years. It might be worth spending an extra $30 to enjoy more features. 

Winner: Purely on price, the Apple Pencil 1 wins this round. 

Overall Winner: Apple Pencil 2 

In the battle of Apple Pencil 1 vs. Apple Pencil 2, we know our winner. We prefer the second-generation Apple Pencil because it is even more technologically advanced than the first. The new magnetic clip, wireless charging, and improved palm rejection features make all the difference. And with just $30 between the two versions, we think that the Apple Pencil 2 is an absolute steal. 

So, which is the best Apple Pencil for you? 

An Apple Pencil touching an iPad with a screen protector
Rock Paper Pencil is the most realistic pen-on-paper feel for iPad

Enhance Your Apple Pencil Experience With Rock Paper Pencil

No matter which Apple Pencil you choose, you can use Rock Paper Pencil to enhance your iPad writing/drawing experience. Rock Paper Pencil combines a ballpoint Apple Pencil tip and a reusable, matte screen protector. Together, they create the most realistic pen-on-paper feeling for iPad.

Rock Paper Pencil product packaging
  • Ditch the slip: On its own, the iPad’s glass screen is a slippery surface that creates an inconsistent drag on your Apple Pencil.
  • Smoother, more precise strokes: Rock Paper Pencil adds subtle friction between your screen and Apple Pencil tip, giving you more control with each stroke output.