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Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Which iPad stylus should you choose?

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon
(Image credit: Apple, Logitech)

When it comes to drawing on iPad, the choice is Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon. For the most part, we expect people will be looking at the first-generation Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon, because these devices both work with lower-price iPads – the second-gen Apple Pencil only works with post-2018 iPad Pros.

Now that every iPad on-sale supports a smart stylus option, it’s pretty natural for people to want to grab one, whether you’re looking to draw, to take written notes, or you want a precision instrument for photo editing.

The only two stylus options with official universal support for the 10.2-inch iPad, current iPad mini and current iPad Air are the Apple Pencil first-gen and the Logitech Crayon, which was developed in conjunction with Apple as a cheaper option (see our round of cheap Apple Pencil deals for the best prices). You can also see our list of the best Apple Pencil alternatives too.

So which of the two should you go for? Let’s break down the differences.

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Design

The Apple Pencil is an elegant object, designed very much to mimic a designer pencil, even down to its circular design and carefully tapered tip (rather than, say, a stepped lip where the tup enters the pen body, as many designers have lived with perfectly well on styluses for years).

Its elegance at times slightly interferes with its practicality, though not in ways that are major problems: to stop it rolling off desks, Apple has weighted it slightly, which is quite clever, but isn’t 100% effective, since enough momentum just overcomes this and it still rolls. And there’s an end cap covering the charging plug that’s held on by magnets, which is fine when writing/drawing with it (and fun to fiddle with), but is still not too hard to pop off and lose.

Apple Pencil

(Image credit: Apple)

The Logitech Crayon is designed with the classroom in mind as much as work, and it shows – it’s chunkier than the Apple Pencil, it’s squared off so it never rolls (and its cross section is roughly rectangular rather than circular), and it has a flappy plastic cover for its charging port that can’t be lost.

That plastic comes in a choice of fun/kiddy-looking orange on a grey body, or there's a grey plastic on grey body version that's actually quite reserved.

The Crayon also appears to be more durable than the Pencil – we’d expect to take being sat on better, or dropped, though we’ve never actually broken a Pencil this way ourselves.

Logitech Crayon

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Performance

When it comes to performance, there’s one major difference you need to know about: the Apple Pencil has pressure sensitivity, and the Logitech Crayon doesn’t.

Both styluses write or draw with the same level of precision (technically speaking), and they both include tilt detection, enabling some artistic tool control in that sense. But the Crayon simply doesn’t handle pressure at all, while the Apple Pencil is great for fine-grained pressure sensitivity.

You probably know already whether this is a deal-breaker for you. If you just want to take notes on it, pressure sensitivity isn’t required (though some ink-mimicking notes apps do make use of it for a more natural look) and the Crayon is perfectly functional. If you’re planning to use a stylus for the precision application of effects in photo editing apps, then pressure sensitivity isn’t a requirement.

But for professional art, you need it. That the Crayon draws with the same level of precision as the Apple Pencil doesn’t matter if you can’t control the lines as finely, since you end up drawing so much more crudely, because that’s all the stylus is capable of.

Illustrators looking to do anything more than highly basic outlines should avoid the Crayon and go for the Apple Pencil. For everyone else, you can decide if you want the potential of making use of pressure sensitivity in the future.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil has pressure sensitivity, the Logitech Crayon doesn’t (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Ergonomics

Though the Crayon is larger than the Pencil, there’s not too much difference between them ergonomically. The way the Pencil’s size copies real pencils will be a boon for some, but plenty of people will equally prefer a chunker grip that they’ve become used to with Wacom styluses (though the Crayon is still only thick in one dimension, so isn’t quite the same as a big rubbery Wacom grip).

The Apple Pencil has a glossy exterior, which can easily become a little slick with oils from your skin – Apple fixed this with a matte finish on its own-second gen Pencil. The Crayon has a more matter-feeling finish, and the extra size helps you to keep a strong grip too.

For those doing fine and precise work, the Apple Pencil is more easily manipulated in tiny ways (and gets in the way of what you’re looking at a little less) so when combined with its pressure sensitivity, it becomes even more the artists’ choice.

But for those who want to be able to take notes or annotate while on the move, the extra grip of the Crayon may be more welcome – though, as we said, it’s not a huge difference. It will be more of a benefit for kids (who are, again, a key audience for the Crayon) lacking as fine motor control as adults.

Logitech Crayon

For those who want to be able to take notes or annotate while on the move, the extra grip of the Crayon may be more welcome (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Charge

The Apple Pencil is famous for its slightly ridiculous charging system – it has a Lightning connector under the cap, and you can plug this into an iPad’s Lightning port to charge from the iPad’s battery. While it’s charging, this makes for a very long an unwieldy hybrid device, though mercifully it doesn’t need to be charged for long: just 10 seconds can get you about 30 minutes of use, or two minutes gets you a couple of hours. A full charge should only take around 15 mins, and last you for around 10 hours of use.

The Apple Pencil does come with an adapter so that you can charge it from a Lightning cable instead, though this is tiny and easy to lose.

There’s no off button on the Apple Pencil, so it will lose charge during periods of non-use, which adds to the frustration of it having this unwieldy charge setup. Apple solved all of these problems in its 2nd-gen Pencil, but as we said, that only works with post-2018 iPad Pros.

The Logitech Crayon has a regular Lightning port on it for charging, so you can use the same cable as your iPad without any need for an adapter. This does mean that if you’re without a charger and it runs out, you’re stuck, so it’s not inherently superior to the Apple Pencil’s system, the one (significant!) saving grace of which is that you charge it from the iPad anywhere. 

However, the Logitech Crayon has an off button, so you can be sure it’s not wasting battery when it’s waiting in your bag between uses, and it also powers off automatically after 30 mins of non-use.

It gives you around 7 hours of charge in total from a full battery – notably less than the Pencil, but it has a light in that will flash different colours to let you know how charged it is, which is great extra affordance that the Pencil doesn’t have (though you can use Apple’s ‘Battery’ widget on the iPad to check the Pencil’s current levels).

Apple Pencil iPad Pro

The Apple Pencil is famous for its slightly ridiculous charging system (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Compatibility

The Logitech Crayon is interesting for compatibility because it works with every single iPad currently available, including the new iPad Pros that work with the 2nd-gen Apple Pencil. It also works with the 10.2-inch iPad, the previous 9.7-inch iPad model with Apple Pencil support, the current iPad mini, and the current iPad Air.

However, there’s no support for older iPads than these, so if you have an old-design iPad Pro, the Crayon is not an option.

The Apple Pencil works with every iPad that has Apple Pencil support except for the 2018 iPad Pro and 2020 iPad Pro models.

That includes all current iPads other than the Pros, the previous 9.7-inch iPad (also known as the 6th-gen) and pre-2018 iPad Pro models.

Logitech Crayon

The Logitech Crayon works with every single iPad currently available (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Price

The Apple Pencil costs £89/$99/AUS$145, while the Logitech Crayon costs £60/$70/AUS$120.

The extra money for the Apple Pencil gets you extra hours of battery life (though, as we say, because the Crayon is better at preserving battery, it’s hard to say exactly how beneficial that will be in practice), but most importantly it gets you pressure sensitivity.

For artists, there’s no question that this is worth the higher price. For everyone else, it’s a judgment call – we think the added value of the Pencil is certainly worth the price upgrade if you choose to go for it, though.

Apple Pencil

For artists, there’s no question that the Apple Pencil is worth the higher price (Image credit: Apple)

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Replacement tips

Both of these styluses have replaceable tips, but while the Apple Pencil comes with an extra tip, the Crayon doesn’t, so that’s another small extra value win for the Pencil.

Here’s an oddity, though: Logitech sells extra tips for the Crayon in packs of three for $14.99 in the US… but availability in other countries seems to be lacking, or non-existent. The good news is that users online report that Apple’s own replacement Pencil tips work in the Crayon, but it’s still not an ideal situation.

Apple’s tips cost £19/$19/AUS$29 for a four-pack, which is fine for value, particularly since they last really well. Exactly how well they last will depend on your use, but the nice smooth glass of the iPad is quite kind on the tips, and it’s normal for them to last two years. However, using a screen protector can reduce that a lot, depending on the finish of it.

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Storage

Neither the Pencil or Crayon have any kind of official way to handily store them on or with the iPad. Various iPad cases will have Apple Pencil storage built in, so you can buy one that fixes this oversight, but not so much with the Crayon. The storage is “knowing which pocket you put it into in your bag”.

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon

(Image credit: Apple, Logitech)

Apple Pencil vs Logitech Crayon: Conclusion

If you're looking to do remotely serious art on your iPad, you want the Apple Pencil, there no question there. Pressure sensitivity is non-negotiable.

Beyond that, there's not that much to choose between them. They'll both work as well for each other at note taking or precision tool selection, though even then some apps can take advantage of the pressure sensitivity – it's just not as much of a dealbreaker. 

They both have advantages over the other when it comes to aspects such as design or charging/battery life.

The Logitech Crayon is cheaper, but we suspect most people go for the more adult-looking Apple Pencil and it's familiar pen-like design.

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