The new Apple Pencil has USB-C charging, lacks some features

The new Apple Pencil has a USB-C port for charging hidden behind a cap. It costs just $79, but the low price comes at the expense of several features.

Closeup of the USB-C port beneath the Apple Pencil's sliding cap
Slide the cap to reveal a hidden USB-C port | Image: Apple

The new stylus joins the original, available for $99, and the $129 second-generation model. At $79, it’s the most affordable Apple Pencil yet, but this comes at the expense of some features like pressure sensitivity and wireless charging.

The new styles works with the tenth-generation iPad and supports the Hover feature on M2 models of the iPad Pro that lets you preview your mark before you make it.

The new Apple Pencil brings USB-C charging but drops some features

The Apple Newsroom announcement notes that the third-generation Apple Pencil features a cap reminiscent of the original Apple Pencil.

But this one slides horizontally to reveal a hidden USB-C port for charging and pairing instead of Lightning. Like the original model, connecting the new Pencil to your iPad with a USB-C cable instantly pairs it with the tablet.

Does not change wirelessly

Unlike the second-generation model, however, the new Apple Pencil doesn’t wirelessly charge when snapped onto an iPad. Instead, it goes to sleep to preserve battery life. You’ll also notice a flat side that not only balances the stylus but lets it magnetically attache to an iPad’s side. That’s just for for storage, unfortunately, as the third-generation Apple Pencil lacks wireless charging.

The features matrix

The new Apple Pencil allows for the same pixel-perfect accuracy, low latency and tilt sensitivity as the other models. Because Apple now offers three different models of this accessory, it felt best to create a features comparison table so that would-be buyers could see which features are supported on what models.

Comparison table of the Apple Pencil feature availability
The $79 Pencil doesn’t sense pressure | Image: Apple

A cursory glance at the table above reveals that the new Apple Pencil cannot vary the stroke by applying pressure. As we said before, the new Apple Pencil also doesn’t pair or charge wirelessly. You cannot double tap it to quickly switch between drawing tools and the free engraving option is unavailable with this model.

It does, however,  work with features like Scribble and Quick. Like the other models, the new Apple Pencil can select, delete and add space in text on the iPad.

iPads compatible with the new Apple Pencil

The new USB-C Pencil works with all the same devices as the second-generation model—meaning all iPad models with a USB-C port, including the tenth-generation iPad. However, the different Apple Pencil models require specific display hardware in the iPad to support some features—hence compatibility differences.

Apple Pencil compatibility information
Which Apple Pencil are you? | Image: Apple

Pricing and availability

The Apple Pencil (USB-C), as it’s officially called, will be available beginning in early November for $79. For further information, visit

Apple also offers a USB-C to Apple Pencil adapter for existing owners of the original Apple Pencil as a separate purchase, priced at $9.

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