To make it slightly easier for schools to stomach the cost of equipping students with $439 iPads, Apple has partnered with Logitech to create a cheaper stylus alternative called the Crayon that at $US49 ($63) is almost half the price of the Apple Pencil, which is now being sold to schools for $129.
Logitech boasts that the Crayon’s flatter design helps ensure it doesn’t roll off desks and go missing, but it presumably also makes room for larger, cheaper components to help get its price point down. The stylus charges through a lightning port hidden under an end cap like the Apple Pencil does, with eight hours of writing time per charge, and half an hour of use after just a 90-second charge.
It also uses swappable tips that Logitech claims are good for 2km of scribbling, but to stop kids from yanking the tips out themselves, a special tool is needed to first remove a protective shroud.
Feature-wise, the Logitech Crayon appears to include most of the same functionality as the Apple Pencil does, including fast pairing with an iPad, tilt detection for changing the width of a line, and palm rejection. And while it has the same pixel-accuracy and minimal latency as the Apple Pencil does, there’s no pressure sensitivity.
Its chunky design is undoubtedly ideal for kids learning to write and print, and the Crayon can probably survive a little more abuse than most styli are designed to take. But if you’re an artist, the thin form factor of the Apple Pencil, and its ability to adjust parameters on the fly based on how hard you’re pressing, might still make it the better choice, despite the price difference. Plus, Logitech says the Crayon is only compatible with the (6th-gen) iPad that Apple announced today. It simply won’t work with the iPad Pro.