Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil: Which is the Best [2023]

Owing to the high cost of the industry standard Apple Pencil, I have often been asked the question of how it fares against the Zagg Pro Stylus.

At least on paper, the Zagg stylus appears to offer a very similar experience to the Apple Pencil, but at a cheaper cost.

Being an ardent stylus enjoyer myself, I figured I put my artistic talents to the test with both the Zagg Pro Stylus and the Apple Pencil and see who comes out on top.

Zagg Pro StylusApple Pencil 1Apple Pencil 2
DesignFlat sidedCylindricalFlat sided
ColorBlackGlossy whiteMatte white
Instant pairing
Capacitive/passive tip🞫🞫
Charging indicators🞫🞫
Tilt recognition
Latency23ms20ms9ms
App compatibility
Palm rejection
Magnetic attachment🞫
Magnetic charging🞫🞫
Pressure sensor🞫4096 levels4096 levels
Battery Life8 hours12 hours12 hours
Time to charge90 minutes25-30 minutes10-15 minutes
Charging implementationUsing Type-CUsing lightning portMagnetic charging
Price$69.99$99$129

The Zagg Pro stylus offers a great set of features, seamless compatibility with almost all iPad apps that are compatible with the Apple Pencils, and reliable battery life all packaged in at a much lower price than the Apple counterparts. Despite this, Apple Pencils still pull ahead in providing a more complete product and overall better stylus experience.

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Design: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil

Design: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil

Zagg Pro Stylus

The Zagg Pro Stylus borrows some design elements from the Apple Pencil 2, and that is not a bad thing at all.

The near pencil implementation helps the Zagg Pro stylus have a fantastic feel in hand and it's partially thanks to the good quality material used for the body.

The black plastic is well crafted and feels very good to grip.

The Zagg Pro Stylus, unlike the Apple Pencil, comes with two tips on both ends: one Active and the other a capacitive tip.

The Passive tip is a universal tip for situations when the stylus is depleted of charge, or if you want to use your Zagg Pro Stylus with other touch-screen-enabled devices.

The Active tip is the main tip of the Zagg Pro Stylus, and that is where all the stylus magic happens.

Apple Pencil

Apple Pencils have one of the most iconic stylus designs to date, thanks to its popularity and overall humble design language.

Ever since its launch in 2015, competing brands have been ripping off its design elements, and this just speaks just how revolutionary the product has been.

Sporting near pencil dimensions and a glossy white cylindrical tube that felt really good in the hand, the Apple Pencil 1 was miles ahead compared to other active stylus options.

The tips of the Apple Pencil 1 had a removable matte gray plastic nib that seamlessly glided on the iPad screen.

The other end had a cap design that enclosed the lightning connector for charging.

The rounded body made it more susceptible to rolling down flat surfaces, but that was not a big deal considering a lot of pencils have round bodies.

Despite its external looks, this back-end lightning port was a very radical design element that many weren't a fan of.

It did make sense to include a charging mechanism that complemented well with the iPad in that you won't need a charging cable for the Apple Pencil 1.

Just plug the Apple Pencil 1 directly into the iPad and juice up the stylus.

But the implementation still felt very weird as the Apple Pencil sticks out like a sore thumb whenever connected.

This also aroused some serious cause of concern for its durability in this position.

But barring this controversial design flaw, the Apple Pencil 1 was a great piece of art and this shows in its next-generation product, the Apple Pencil 2.

The Apple Pencil 2 improved on the Apple Pencil 1 design drastically, completely redefining the active stylus scene once again.

Gone are the lightning port, cap, and rounded glossy design, and replaced with a magnetic charging standard and a matte flat-sided design.

With this radical redesign, all the flaws of the Apple Pencil 1 were seemingly fixed.

The newer Apple Pencil 2 had a more pencil-like feel to it, and this arguably cemented its place as the best-designed active stylus pen in the market.

Verdict

Apple Pencils are the winners of design in this comparison.

Despite the Zagg Pro Stylus boasting a dual-tip design, it still doesn't come close to the feel in hand and the overall quality that the Apple Pencils have.

Features: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil

Features: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil
Zagg Pro StylusApple Pencil 1Apple Pencil 2
Instant pairing
Capacitive/passive tip🞫🞫
Tilt recognition
Latency23ms20ms9ms
App compatibility
Palm rejection
Magnetic attachment🞫
Magnetic charging🞫🞫
Pressure sensor🞫4096 levels4096 levels

Zagg Pro Stylus

The Zagg Pro Stylus stands out from the list of Apple Pencil competitors in that it has almost all the features that the Apple Pencil 2 has to offer.

The main highlight of the Zagg Pro Stylus is the inclusion of the instant pairing feature with iPads.

This allows you to bypass the whole fuss around connecting to the iPad's Bluetooth every single time you want to use the stylus.

Just like the Apple Pencil, now you can instantly pair and use the Zagg Pro Stylus with just the press of a button on the stylus.

The dual tip of the Zagg Pro Stylus also comes in handy if you just want to use the stylus as a replacement for your fingers, thanks to the capacitive tip.

The active tip also supports tilt recognition, meaning that you can employ different variations of shading and width adjustment of your strokes.

Latency is also a very high point of the Zagg Pro Stylus. We measured a very impressive 23ms latency, which is more than enough for most tasks.

The Zagg Pro Stylus is also compatible with all the apps that support the Apple Pencil, and you don't have to install any add-on application to improve compatibility.

The Zagg Pro Stylus also boasts excellent palm rejection, so you can draw at your heart's content keeping your palm on the screen in case you don't have your drawing gloves on.

Now when you have finished your work. you can also dock the Zagg Pro Stylus in the same magnetic attachment that is used to dock an Apple Pencil.

There are compromises though with the Zagg Pro Stylus, at least compared to the Apple Pencil.

The Zagg Pro Stylus does not come with a pressure sensor, which is a major feature for digital artists.

This effectively means you cannot increase or decrease the intensity of your stroke when you apply pressure, leading to a general lack of depth.

Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencils have all the features that you can wish for from a first-party active stylus solution.

It has all the features of the Zagg Pro Stylus and some more.

Both the Apple Pencils have instant pairing and tilt recognition that works just as well as on the Zagg Pro Stylus.

Where the Apple Pencils excel at is on almost all other fronts.

The compatibility of apps is further enhanced by the fact that the Apple Pencils have a pressure sensor built in, enabling it to detect up to 4096 levels.

Latency also gets a major boost, in that the Apple Pencil 1 has an impressive 20ms latency, whereas the Apple Pencil 2 can go as low as 9ms.

Palm rejection is also state of the art on Apple Pencil, with digital artists swearing by it on all fronts.

The Apple Pencil 2 also has gesture support, with which you can custom trigger features such as an eraser directly from the stylus.

Also, the magnetic attachment feature does more than just act as a dock for the Apple Pencil 2. In fact, it is the dedicated charging station of the Apple Pencil 2.

Verdict

Apple Pencils have a clear edge here, mostly thanks to it being a first-party solution.

Competing brands are trying to one-up Apple Pencils by introducing their products at cheaper prices, but that also leads to a lot of compromises.

The lack of a pressure sensor is a major drawback for an active stylus, and the addition of a capacitive tip doesn't help it enough to overtake the Apple Pencils.

Battery life: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil

Battery life: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil
Zagg Pro StylusApple Pencil 1Apple Pencil 2
Battery Life8 hours12 hours12 hours
Time to charge90 minutes25-30 minutes10-15 minutes
Charging implementationUsing Type-CUsing lightning portMagnetic charging

Zagg Pro Stylus

Zagg Pro Stylus is rated to last for 8 hours from 100 to 0, which is very decent considering its competitors.

This effectively results in about a week's use if utilized casually.

You can also check the battery status directly from the stylus, with its status indication lights showing the following for its corresponding charge status:

GreenGreater than or equal to 50%
YellowBetween 25% and 49%
RedBelow 25%

There is also a USB-C port on the side of the pencil with which you can charge your Zagg Pro Stylus.

This is an excellent feature, considering almost all devices are moving to type C and with this, you will only need to carry around a single cable for all your devices.

The Zagg Pro Stylus does take its sweet time to charge though, with a full charge taking upwards of 90 minutes.

Apple Pencil

Both the Apple Pencils are rated to last for 12 hours for every charge cycle, which is excellent when it comes to active stylus pens in general.

The Apple Pencil 1 has a male lightning port at the end of the pencil enclosed with a cap, which can be plugged into any lightning adapter or lightning-supported iPad.

Despite this being a design oversight, this is a convenient way to charge considering the fact that you have an iPad handy when using the Stylus, which has a lightning port.

The Apple Pencil 1 will charge to full in just under 25 minutes.

The Apple Pencil 2, on the other hand, ditches the lightning port design and instead relies on charging magnetically via the compatible iPad models.

This calls in for a fantastic design choice in most regards, since all you need to charge your Apple Pencil is to magnetically attach it to the side of your iPad.

The Zagg Pro Stylus also attaches magnetically to the iPad Pro 11 and iPad Pro 12.9, but the stylus doesn't charge.

The Apple Pencil 2 charge to full in just under 15 minutes, with support for a quick charge that provides 15 minutes of use with just 30 seconds of charging.

Verdict

The Apple Pencils are a clear winner here, even when taking the convenience of USB-C charging into consideration.

The Apple Pencils have clearly superior charging speeds and battery life.

The Apple Pencil 2 even effectively even negates the whole charging situation fiasco by simply implementing the magnetic charging feature.

This means that you won't even have to worry about the charge as it will always stay juiced up where you dock your Apple Pencil.

That being said, when taking a look practically at this situation, a week of use is still an insane battery for any electronic device.

it is safe to say that you won't be having a lot of issues with regard to battery for either the Zagg or the Pencils.

Compatibility: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil

Compatibility: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil
Zagg Pro StylusApple Pencil 1Apple Pencil 2
12.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 3iPad Gen 612.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 3
12.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 4iPad Gen 712.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 4
12.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 5iPad Gen 812.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 5
12.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 6iPad Gen 912.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 6
11-inch iPad Pro Gen 1iPad Gen 1011-inch iPad Pro Gen 1
11-inch iPad Pro Gen 2iPad Air Gen 311-inch iPad Pro Gen 2
11-inch iPad Pro Gen 3iPad Mini Gen 511-inch iPad Pro Gen 3
11-inch iPad Pro Gen 412.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 111-inch iPad Pro Gen 4
iPad Gen 612.9-inch iPad Pro Gen 2iPad Air Gen 4
iPad Gen 710.5-inch iPad ProiPad Air Gen 5
9.7 inch iPad9.7 inch iPad ProiPad Mini Gen 6
10.9-inch iPad Gen 10
10.9-inch iPad Air
iPad Mini 5

Zagg Pro Stylus

The Zagg Pro Stylus is widely compatible with almost all iPad models, barring a few older models.

Thanks to its capacitive end, it is also universally compatible with all touch-screen-enabled devices, in case the need arises for a passive stylus.

Do note that the active stylus tip of the Zagg Pro Stylus is designed to work only with Apple iPads.

This means that you won't be able to use the active stylus tip on Android, Windows, or any other branded smartphone, tablet, or laptop.

Apple Pencil

Apple has divided its iPad stylus compatibility between the two Apple Pencils.

This effectively means that there is no cross or backward compatibility and you have to be careful to select the Apple Pencil that works with your iPad.

Apple Pencils are strictly restricted to only their iPad models, so you are pretty much stuck to using the Apple Pencil with only those compatible Apple iPad models.

Verdict

Compatibility is a very personal factor, as the decision depends solely not on how long the compatibility list is, but rather if the stylus supports your specific iPad model in hand.

The Apple Pencils combined support almost all the iPad models that launched since 2015, so by compatibility standards they have you covered.

On the other hand, the Zagg Pro Stylus has a very similar list to the Apple Pencil 2. So the compatibility with some older (and newer) iPad models is compromised.

But the Zagg Pro Stylus edges out a bit, considering it has a capacitive end that can be used across all touchscreen devices.

But passive tips are mainly used for navigating, and you lose out on all the extra features that the active stylus end provides.

In summary, this is a personal choice and therefore a tie between both the Zagg Pro stylus and the Apple Pencils.

Pricing: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil

Pricing: Zagg Pro Stylus vs Apple Pencil
Zagg Pro Stylus$69.99
Apple Pencil 1$99
Apple Pencil 2$129

Zagg Pro Stylus

The Zagg Pro Stylus is available for a cent short of $70, excluding the frequent sale offers it usually is enveloped by.

For that price, the Zagg Pro Stylus is a steal considering just how many features it has got crammed in.

Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil starts from $99 for the 1st generation to $129 for the 2nd generation.

For that price, Apple Pencil can be an expensive peripheral to have in your arsenal, especially if you are not that neck-deep into artistic ventures.

But comparing it to competing brands that offer similar features, it is safe to say that the price difference is not as steep as it was when the Apple Pencil initially launched.

Verdict

The Zagg Pro Stylus is an easy winner here, considering the value proposition it brings to the table.

The Apple Pencils at times are also available with discounts that make jaws drop, but it still won't match the almost half price that the Zagg Pro Stylus has as its listing price.

But the whole story is not only restricted to the price, as almost all features available on the Apple Pencils are ported over to the Zagg Pro Stylus too, enhancing its value.

Final Thoughts

Before making an informed decision based on my findings above, there are a few miscellaneous factors that can affect your buying decision.

There have been reports of people failing to get their hands on replacement tips for their Zagg Pro Stylus, which can be a huge red flag.

On the other hand, getting replacement tips for Apple Pencils is as easy as paying a visit to a nearby Apple Store.

If you have any doubts regarding offers in your area or want to check up on official retailers, you can contact Apple Support or Zagg Support.

I hope my article on the differences between the Zagg Pro Stylus and the Apple Pencil has been a great read and has aided you in your purchasing decision.

Have a good day!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does Apple Pencil work with iPhones?

Apple is yet to add support for Apple Pencil on iPhones and therefore is not compatible.

Does the Zagg Pro Stylus work with HP Envy laptops?

Zagg Pro Stylus is not compatible with HP Envy or any Windows laptop.

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About Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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Doug Stevenson

Hey! I'm Doug, My passion for tech started by fixing phones and computers for my friends and family.

I started Blinqblinq to give reliable tech advice to anyone who needs it, for free! If you have questions on anything tech-related, feel free to contact me.

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