I recently picked up the Zagg Pro Stylus 2, a lower cost, but high quality alternative to the Apple Pencil. It’s compatible with most iPads from 2018 onwards and feels similar to the Apple Pencil, although it lacks a few features. You can check it out in my latest review.
The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is comes in a few different color options. It has a comfortable, rounded feel and a good weight, making it feel like a quality writing instrument. The stylus tip is replaceable, and an extra tip is included in the box. The back of the stylus serves two purposes: it has a button to turn the stylus on and off, and it has a capacitive nub that can be used on any touchscreen device without needing to pair first.
Pairing the stylus with an iPad requires going into the Bluetooth settings initially. Once paired, it connects automatically when turned on. Writing with the Zagg Pro Stylus 2 on my 2018 iPad Pro 11 felt similar to using an Apple Pencil. The stylus offers low latency and ignores wrist contact with the screen, just like the Apple Pencil does.
But it doesn’t detect pressure, only tilt. The tilt detection works well, allowing for lines of varying thickness based on the angle of the stylus depending on app support.
Charging the Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is a bit different from the Apple Pencil. While it has a magnet that allows it to attach to the side of the iPad, it doesn’t charge that way. Instead, it’s supposed to work with any Qi-compatible wireless charger. However, I found that none of my Qi chargers were able to charge the stylus successfully. A wireless charging cable for the stylus is included in the box, which can be connected to any USB-C port for charging.
The battery life is around six and a half hours, which is about half of what Apple advertises for their pencil. The stylus does turn off automatically when not in use to save battery life. To reactivate it, you simply push the button at the top, and it reconnects with the paired iPad.
The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is a cost-effective alternative to the Apple Pencil. It feels similar in the hand and offers most of the same features, except for pressure detection. The only downside is the charging issue with Qi-compatible chargers, so make sure to keep the included charging cable handy.