Which Apple Pencil Should You Buy for Your iPad in 2024?

Explore the differences between Apple Pencil models – USB-C, 1st Gen, and 2nd Gen. Find the perfect match for your iPad, considering compatibility, features, and budget.

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Which Apple Pencil Should You Buy for Your iPad

Which Apple Pencil Should You Buy for Your iPad

If you're in the market for an Apple Pencil to use with your iPad, you now have three different models to choose from. With the original 1st generation Apple Pencil, a new 2nd generation model, and the latest Apple Pencil USB-C, deciding which one to buy can be confusing. This article will break down the differences and help you determine which Apple Pencil is right for you.

Determine Your iPad Model

The first step is figuring out which iPad model you have. The three Apple Pencil models are only compatible with certain iPad models.

To find your iPad model:

  • Go to Settings > General > About

  • Check the "Model Name"

Make a note of your iPad model - you'll need it to determine Pencil compatibility.

Compare iPad Models to Apple Pencil Compatibility

Here are the iPad models compatible with each Apple Pencil:

Compare Features and Prices

Now let's look at the features and pricing of each model:

Apple Pencil USB-C

  • $79

  • Attaches magnetically to iPad but doesn't charge magnetically

  • Charges by plugging USB-C charger

  • Supports hover and low latency for natural writing

  • Support tilt sensitivity but No pressure sensitivity

Apple Pencil 1st Gen

  • $99

  • Doesn't attach magnetically

  • Charges by plugging Lightning connector into iPad

  • Supports pressure and tilt sensitivity

  • No gesture controls

Apple Pencil 2nd Gen

  • $129

  • Attaches and charges magnetically on iPad

  • Supports tap and double tap gesture controls

  • Features pressure and tilt sensitivity

  • Optional engraving when ordering

Key Differences

To summarize the key differences:

  • Price: Ranges from $79 to $129

  • Magnetic attach and charging: Only 2nd gen attaches magnetically and charges wirelessly

  • Gesture controls: 2nd gen has double tap; others don't

  • Pressure sensitivity: 1st and 2nd gen; Not on USB-C model

  • Tilt sensitivity: On all models


Based on your iPad model, consider the Pencil features you need and your budget to decide which option is the best fit.

If you have one of the latest iPad Pros and want the full feature set, the 2nd generation Pencil is the way to go. If you have an older iPad Pro, the 1st generation Pencil makes the most sense. And if you have an iPad Air or Mini, the affordable USB-C Pencil will likely meet your needs.


Hopefully, this overview gives you a better understanding of the three Apple Pencil models available today. Determine your iPad's compatibility, then compare the features and prices to decide which Pencil best suits your needs and budget. With the right match, an Apple Pencil can take your iPad productivity and creativity to the next level!

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