Like, it seems, most of Twitter (sorry, X), we were pretty baffled when Apple announced its new 'budget' Apple Pencil yesterday. While the new stylus features a more modern design than the 1st gen model, it's lacking some significant features – most notably pressure sensitivity. But while it might not be the best option for artists, Apple has given us more of an idea of who it's actually for.
The new Apple Pencil with USB-C, announced this week, is being touted as a budget stylus, "bringing more value and choice to the line up". At £79, it's the cheapest option yet, but the lack of magnetic charging (you'll need a USB-C cable) and lack of pressure sensitivity have confused users. But Apple has pointed out that the device is mainly designed for "digital handwriting, annotation, and marking up documents."
In other words, it's for much more everyday kinds of use cases. "Perfect for note taking, sketching, annotating, journaling, and more, the new Apple Pencil is ideal for everyday productivity and creativity," Apple announces in a new blog post.
With this in mind, the new Pencil perhaps makes a little more sense than we first thought. We're so used to associating the Apple Pencil with digital art and illustration that it's jarring to see one that ships without some of the basic features required for them. But as a glorified note taking and navigation device, and one with a cheap price point, it starts to seem more logical – this isn't for pro artists, but for everyday tablet users.
Why are people surprised that pressure sensitivity isn't available in the cheaper Apple Pencil?It seems geared towards people take notes instead of artists - missing features such as double tap to change tools. Does everyone really need pressure sensitivity? https://t.co/wAXTIbyTCZOctober 18, 2023
6/ Despite the chaos, the new Pencil does serve a purpose. It's a cheaper option for those who don't need pressure sensitivity. Ideal for document markup or basic sketching. 📝✅ #SilverLiningOctober 18, 2023
Of course, we'll have to wait until we get our hands on the thing to make a final judgement. Let's not forget – while the 10th generation iPad baffled us when it was announced last October, it managed to win us round in our review.