Apple Pencil 1 vs. 2: Review

Are you tired of using your finger to write on your digital sheet music? You may want to buy an Apple Pencil 1 or 2.

Apple Pencil 1 vs. 2: A Review | Hannah B Flute

Both models are great, but they don’t work with the same iPads. They also have certain unique features you should compare.

Before get into the review, this post contains affiliate links. Read my full disclosure policy to learn more.

What Is the Apple Pencil 1?

The Apple Pencil 1 is the first stylus that Apple released to work with certain iPad models. It has a smooth, rounded design to make it feel similar to a traditional pen.

You can remove the cap on the opposite end of the Apple Pencil to reveal the lightning port. To charge the stylus, you plug it into your iPad. That’s also how you connect the two devices and setup the Bluetooth connection.

It also comes with a lightning adapter so that you can charge it with a regular outlet. And you get an extra pen tip if the first one falls off.

Apple Pencil 1 in Hand | Hannah B Flute

Compatible iPads

The Apple Pencil 1 is compatible with the following iPads:

  • iPad: 6th generation through 9th generation
  • iPad Air: 3rd generation
  • iPad mini: 5th generation
  • iPad Pro 12.9: 1st generation and 2nd generation
  • iPad Pro 10.5
  • iPad Pro: 9.7


  • Easy to use
  • Connects easily
  • Good for older iPads


  • Not compatible with newer iPad Pros
  • Somewhat expensive

What Is the Apple Pencil 2?

The Apple Pencil 2 is a more recent version of the Apple stylus. Apple updated it with some new features, like magnetic charging. You don’t have to stick it in the iPad itself to charge.

Instead, you rest the flat side against the right side of your iPad. That makes it easy to stop charging quickly to write something down. But you can put it back on the charger immediately.

It’s a great choice if you upgrade to a more advanced iPad. I had to do this when I got an iPad Pro earlier this year. But the magnetic charging is super nice.

Apple Pencil 2 in iPad Case | Hannah B Flute

Compatible iPads

  • iPad: none
  • iPad Air: 4th generation and 5th generation
  • iPad mini: 6th generation
  • iPad Pro 12.9: 3rd generation through 5th generation
  • iPad 11: 1st generation through 3rd generation

Is the Apple Pencil 1 or 2 Better?

After using both, I have to say the second version is better. I like that you don’t have to plug it into something to charge.

That makes it nice if I realize I need to charge it during a rehearsal. I can do so while still using my iPad as normal, and I can quickly use it as I normally would.

Of course, it depends on which iPad model you have. You should get a compatible stylus, even if that means getting an Apple Pencil 1.

Is an Apple Pencil Worth It?

The Apple Pencil 1 and 2 are each pretty expensive. However, the cost is worth it, especially if you use your iPad for sheet music.

Both models work just like pencils. If you use forScore for sheet music, you just need to start writing on the screen to annotate, so you don’t have to manually enter annotation mode.

You will still need to manually leave the mode. That way, you can turn pages without making marks.

What About Other Styluses?

I haven’t tried other styluses with my iPads, at least not in a while. If you can’t afford an Apple Pencil, there are more affordable options.

Some come from Logitech, so you can get some similar features. You can also use the stylus to make sure you’ll want to use your iPad as much as you think.

Can You Use an Apple Pencil With 2 iPads?

You can use an Apple Pencil with as many iPads as you want. However, all of the iPads have to be compatible with the stylus.

Also, you can only connect to one tablet at a time. That means every time you want to switch iPads, you’ll need to reconnect it.

Will You Buy an Apple Pencil 1 or 2?

If you have a compatible iPad, an Apple Pencil 1 or 2 can come in handy. You should consider your current model iPad or if you want to upgrade soon.

Then, you can choose a stylus that will be easy to use. And you can make sure you don’t buy the wrong one.

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