Apple Pencil 1 Vs 2 – The Key Differences

apple pencil 1 vs 2

If you have ever played a drawing and guessing game on your iPad, you know how inconvenient it can be to draw something using your finger! You wish you had a pointy pencil-like tool compatible with the touchscreen of your iPad that enabled you to draw seamlessly. 

Well, Apple has granted your wish in the form of the Apple Pencil!

A pencil specifically designed to work with an iPad? It is a dream come true for all the artist folks out there!

But there are 2 variants of the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil 1 has been around for almost 6 years, while the Apple Pencil 2 was launched just around 3 years ago.

So, what are the key differences between both the Styluses? Why should you choose one of them over the other? 

Let’s have a head-to-head comparison of the Apple Pencil 1 Vs. Apple Pencil 2.

But before we get to that, here are both the Apple Pencils at a glance:

Apple Pencil 1

The Apple Pencil 1, also known as Apple Pencil 1st Generation, was launched in September 2015. 

Apple pencil 1

Source: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MK0C2AM/A/apple-pencil-1st-generation

Key Features

  • It connects using Bluetooth technology. 
  • It has a magnetic cap that covers its lighting connector used for charging. 
  • It is 6.92 inches long with a diameter of 8.89 mm. 
  • Its charging can last for around 12 hours, which is quite impressive. 

Now coming to the more recent version… 

Apple Pencil 2 

The Apple Pencil 2 (2nd Generation) was released in October 2018. 

Apple pencil 2

Source: https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MU8F2AM/A/apple-pencil-2nd-generation

Key Features

  • It requires Bluetooth connectivity to pair with your iPad.
  • It does not include a lightning connector as it uses a magnetic connector on the side of an iPad for wireless charging. 
  • It is 6.53 inches long with a diameter of 8.89 mm. 
  • It has a battery life of almost 12 hours, which is the same as Apple Pencil 1.
Apple Pencil Bluetooth Connectivity Charging Length Weight Compatibility 
1st Generation(2015) Lightning connector6.92 inches21 giPad (3rd, 4th, 6th, 8th,9th generation)iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st or 2nd generation)iPad Pro 10.5-inch iPad Pro 9.7-inch
2nd Generation(2018) Wireless via a magnetic connector6.53 inches21 giPad mini (6th generation)iPad Air (4th generation)iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) and later iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation) and later

These were the basic features of the two accessories, but we’re still not clear about the key differences between the Apple Pencil 1 and 2. 

So, let’s move on to it! 

A Detailed Comparison Between Apple Pencil 1 Vs. Apple Pencil 2 

1. Design 

Let’s start with the first thing we notice when buying a gadget: The design!

Shape

While both the Apple Pencils are rounded, there’s a slight difference in the shape. The Apple Pencil 1 has a spherical shape, while Apple Pencil 2 is flat. The flat surface helps to keep the Pencil in place and prevents it from rolling away. 

Surface


This is where the real difference lies! Apple Pencil 1 has a shiny plastic surface, resembling an AirPods. Whereas the Apple Pencil 2 has a matte surface that feels like a regular wooden pencil we use for daily writing. 

Grip

As the Apple Pencil 1 has a shiny finish and is spherical, it can get in the way of a firm grip, causing it to slip. But that’s not the case with an Apple Pencil 2! Due to its matte finish, users can hold it easily even if the grip is not tight.

Apple pencil grip

Weight & Diameter

Both the Apple Pencil 1 and 2 have a diameter of 8.9 mm. This means that they are neither thin nor thick but just right, making them ergonomically suitable. 

Also, they both weigh 21g and are comfortable enough to be held for a long time.

2. Performance

Although Apple Pencils are not the first styluses around, they have set the standards for drawing, taking notes, designing, and whatnot! Hence, here’s a roundup of their performance!.

Launch Date

The Apple Pencil 1 was launched in 2015, whereas with a three-year gap, Apple launched the Apple Pencil 2 in 2018. They both have a similar usage; however, they differ in design and charging mechanism. 

Charging 

Apple Pencil 1 comprises a Lightning connector that connects to the Lightning port of an iPad for charging; however, an adapter is also provided for charging purposes. 

Apple pencil charging

The 2nd generation Apple Pencil, on the other hand, doesn’t have a Lightning port at the end because it connects magnetically. You can stick it on the right side of your iPad for charging or pairing purposes.

Latency 

The Apple Pencil 1 vs. 2 latency has much to do with the iPad screen. The new iPad Pros come with a 60Hz screen, which is well-matched with the Apple Pencil 2, while the older models had 120Hz screens and were specifically made with the Apple Pencil 1 in mind. So, the new models have a relatively lower latency as compared to the 2017 models.

Tip

Both Apple Pencil models use a similar tip, which is honestly rigid and taps firmly against the glass of the iPad.

However, the Apple Pencil 1 contains a spare tip in the box, while Apple Pencil 2nd does not.

But, you can always buy an extra pack of 4 tips from Apple for $19.

Apple pencil tip

Button


The Apple Pencil 1 has nothing on it apart from the Lightning connector and its cap. Here, the Apple Pencil 2 has a significant advantage because its flat edge works as a button also! You can double-tap on it to switch from the current tool to the eraser, last-used tool, or the color palette. 

3. Price


If we look at Apple Pencil 1 vs. 2 prices, we can see a notable difference. The Apple Pencil 1 is available for $99, while you can purchase Apple Pencil 2 for $129. 

However, the price will increase if you’re buying an iPad along with your Apple Pencil or vice versa.

So, after looking at the similarities and differences of both the Apple Pencils, we still have one question left!

Is it even worth buying an Apple Pencil 2 if you have the old one?

Should You Go For the Apple Pencil 2?

Well, that’s a tough one! 

Both the Apple Pencil 1 and 2 have the same performance, but if you really need to know whether you should get the 2nd generation Apple Pencil while already owning the 1st one, I’d say it totally depends on your budget!

And also the fact which iPad model you own. If you have an iPad Pro, I guess Apple Pencil 2 would be best compatible with it; however, if you have an older version, the Apple Pencil 1 would do great!

Summing Up

So, what’s it gonna be? Between the battle of Apple Pencil 1 vs. 2, which one are you going to go for? If you ask me, there isn’t much difference between both the styluses, except for the shape, price, and charging. 

However, if you are looking for a stylus with a better grip and no port hassles, you can get the 2nd variant by all means.

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