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Best iPad Stylus for Taking Notes, Drawing, and More

If you own an iPad and wish to unleash your creative streak or just need to take notes, you’ll want an iPad stylus. Granted, you may not necessarily have the latest iPad to use the Apple Pencil itself, but fret not, as there are many other alternatives available in the market as well.

Best iPad Styluses You Can Buy

We take a look at the best styluses for iPad in this article. Including the Apple Pencil itself, you’ll find products from brands like FiftyThree, Adonit, Wacom, and more. Be sure to check out our buyer’s guide at the end for some additional insight.

Best Overall

Best Overall

Apple Pencil

Awesome Precision and Performance

The Apple Pencil is the company’s own iPad stylus intended to be used for modern iPad Pros and all iPads launched from 2018 onward. The pencil offers lots of pressure levels and many features you wouldn’t get in any third-party stylus.

If you have a compatible iPad and a $100 budget for a stylus, you shouldn’t even consider anything other than the Apple Pencil.

Great Alternative

Great Alternative

FiftyThree Pencil

Beauty and Functionality

Built like a pencil and looking like a fat pencil, this wonderful piece of tech from FiftyThree functions well as both as a note-taking stylus as well as one for drawing, as holding it at various angles results in different results.

You’ll be impressed by both the beauty of the FiftyThree Pencil as well as its excellent functionality. We highly recommend it for the style points and how well it performs as a note-taking and drawing iPad stylus.

Apple Pencil

Apple has a way of creating a tight ecosystem so you’re encouraged to buy their products for the best connectivity, setup, and overall performance. It thus shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best iPad stylus overall is none other than Apple’s own Pencil.

Originally released in 2015, the Apple Pencil has seen a second iteration with improved performance. However, the original Apple Pencil has the best compatibility, working with more iPads such as the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (second and first generation), iPad Pro 10.5-inch, iPad Pro 9.7-inch, and the latest iPad.

The Apple Pencil iPad stylus has a simplistic design that makes it exceptionally comfortable to use. Palm rejection is perhaps the best you could wish for in a modern capacitive touch stylus, and there is no tangible lag either. The ridiculous 4096 pressure levels make the Apple Pencil very precise as well.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of this Apple product is its versatility. Use it with a more vertical hold and you get the precision of a sharpened pencil. Use it at an angle and you can create broader strokes and even shade like you would with a pencil.

Like any Apple product, the Apple Pencil is expensive but also the best for its intended purpose. If you absolutely need an iPad stylus for work, this is the product to go for.


  • Huge number of pressure levels
  • Incredible versatility
  • Gets the most out of iOS apps
  • Easy to set up and use


  • Comes with Apple tax
  • Can only be used with specific iPad models

FiftyThree Pencil

If you’re not impressed by the looks of this iPad stylus, then you’ve either got no taste or you hate conventional pencils. This beauty by FiftyThree not only earns you a ton of style points but also functions really well.

The tip isn’t the most precise, but it’s not designed for the purpose of high-precision writing. Instead, much like the Apple Pencil, you can use the FiftyThree Pencil at an angle for broader strokes and sketching, while doodling and writing in bold text is made simple when you hold it in a more vertical position.

You can utilize the pencil’s nifty digital eraser at the back to rub away and mistake you may have made too. It’s a truly immersive experience that makes using this iPad stylus a delight. Palm rejection on the device is only trumped by the Apple Pencil.


  • Beautiful design
  • Versatile
  • Massive battery life of up to a month
  • Brand’s Paper app is great


  • Some users have faced connectivity issues

Adonit Jot Pro

The Apple Pencil demands a premium price and can only be used with a handful of iPad models, but the Adonit Jot Pro can be used with the device and is one of our favorites as an iPad stylus. This stylus comes with a cushioned tip which is becoming a more adopted design by other manufacturers. The cushioned tip provides protection and is transparent, so you can clearly see what you’re writing.

The tip design takes a while to get used to if you’re accustomed to more conventional designs, but after a while of use, it starts to provide great precision even to the newer user. The Adonit Jot Pro is designed primarily for drawing purposes, but you can utilize it for writing as well.

It is made of lightweight aluminum and comes in various colors such as copper, black, silver, blue, and rose gold. The carrying clip is also a great little feature to keep the stylus secure on your pocket or case when not using it.


  • Disc tip provides precision
  • Comes in lots of colors
  • Convenient clip
  • Easy to set up and use


  • Quality control issues
  • Not as great for writing

Adonit Mark

The Adonit Mark is the most affordable iPad stylus on our list. It has a sleek, minimalistic yet comfortable triangular design for great ergonomics and grip. It is ideal for jotting down notes on your iPad and you can doodle with it too.

The weight of the Adonit Mark is evenly distributed, so it feels like a natural pencil when you hold it. The mesh nib is thicker than what you’d want for precision purposes, but it also offers more durability and makes it smoother to write. However, you shouldn’t expect to write in a tiny font with this iPad stylus.

With the Adonit Mark, you can write with just about any angle and it won’t lose its precision. How can’t alter your strokes all that much though, but given its price, this is to be expected.

If you’re looking for an affordable yet dependable iPad stylus that feels great in your hand and offers the basic note taking and doodling functions, this is a great little stylus for you.


  • Affordable price
  • Durable nib
  • Very well balanced
  • Great for doodling and note taking


  • Inadequate for precision drawing/writing
  • Rudimentary features

Wacom Bamboo Fineline 3

Wacom is a well-known brand for iPad stylus, and our favorite model from them is the Bamboo Fineline 3rd Generation. This iPad Stylus is elegantly designed with a precision tip that is ideal for writing. It has an ergonomic triangular design with a skid-proof soft-touch surface for ultimate grip in the user’s hand.

The pressure sensitive iPad stylus has Vernier adjustment to avoid damage to the tip. The stylus is designed like a formal ballpoint pen, which is a prelude to its intended purpose. It is primarily designed for writing and taking notes. Several apps support this pen, but the key aspect of the stylus is the superior palm rejection.

There is also a programmable button built on the side of the pen for various functions, which we love. Finally, the clip is handy and well-designed, allowing the user to secure the stylus to a pocket or an iPad cover when not in use.


  • Ergonomic design
  • Great for taking notes and writing
  • Convenient clip
  • Additional programmable button


  • Connectivity issues

Buyer’s Guide

    While you could sketch with a fountain pen, it’s not the most convenient tool to draw with. Similarly, not all styluses are designed to do everything equally well.

    Some styluses are designed to be used for drawing, doodling, and rough note taking. Others are designed with very high precision and feature an extremely fine tip, making them excellent for graphic design and precision drawing, but not great for shading or sketching.

    You need to design what your intended purpose for an iPad stylus is and buy one accord to that. Need one for doodling and taking notes roughly? The FiftyThree Pencil will serve you well. Need one for precision and a finer tip? Consider the Wacom Bamboo Fineline 3.

    If you’re not sure and want to use a stylus for all purposes, then save up a hundred bucks and get yourself the Apple Pencil, provided your tablet is compatible with it.

    The pressure levels determine the accuracy and density of what you draw or write on your iPad. The more pressure levels there are, the more accurately an iPad stylus is able to replicate a real pen or pencil. When you press a pen/pencil harder while writing on paper, the lines are thicker. Similarly, a lighter writing style results in finer lines, ideal for sketching.

    The same is true for styluses with varying pressure levels. Currently, Apple Pencil has the highest number of pressure levels among iPad styluses, which offers an unparalleled application. Make sure to review the stylus you plan to buy for your iPad and see how many pressure levels it has.

    Unfortunately, despite the advancement in stylus technology, lag is still a problem across all capacitive based digital pens on the market. Some manufacturers offer high precision styluses that will not lag as much as others, but you should expect some sort of lag in all of them.

    The most lag-free experience for any iPad is with the Apple Pencil. Unfortunately, the Apple Pencil isn’t compatible with all iPads, so you’ll have to resort to third-party manufacturers. In that case, our second-favorite is the FiftyThree Pencil as it doesn’t have much lag.

    Is writing with a stylus comfortable?
    Ever had to write for an extended period and feel soreness in your fingers? Fatigue from writing is real, and it applies to styluses as well. However, touchscreens don’t offer the same kind of resistance as paper, so it isn’t as bad as writing for hours with a pen or pencil. Just make sure the stylus you have is comfortable for your grip.

    Do I need a stylus for my iPad?
    If you like taking notes on your iPad, signing documents digitally, drawing, or just doodling, chances are you’ll find great joy and purpose in an iPad stylus. Just make sure you get one that is intended for the purpose you wish to use it for.

    What about brush type styluses?
    Brush type styluses do exist, and they offer exceptionally broad strokes that mimic painting on a canvas. However, they are designed for a very specific, single purpose and don’t offer the kind of versatility that more conventional styluses would. This is why we haven’t considered any brush type stylus in this article.

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