It’s no secret that Apple Pencil is great, but the price was never comfortable. That’s why, for the past few years, I have been using Logitech Crayon — a cheaper alternative. Now, finally, we have a new version, just in time to compete with the newer and more affordable model from Apple itself. So which one is the best?
I liked the first Crayon a lot, but it always looked more like a toy to me, with its orange accents and rubber grips. The new one is much sleeker, with a matte silver finish and a completely exposed USB-C port. It looks all grown up, and I really like the new look. It’s also gotten three LED indicators, as well as a power switch — all very welcome additions.
The new Crayon has the same dimensions as its predecessor and is about as heavy. It also has the same rectangular shape that prevents it from rolling off of surfaces.
You won’t find anything else in the box, not even a cable for charging.
The Crayon comes so close to the performance of the original Pencil that it feels like it’s made by Apple. In fact, in some ways it’s better: the new cheaper version requires you to use a cable for syncing it while the Crayon works out of the box. But it also can’t magnetically attach to your iPad, which is a little inconvenient. Additionally, it lacks the gesture-tapping feature that is available in the Apple Pencil (Gen 2), and the battery percentage doesn’t show up in the iPad battery widget.
I encountered no compatibility issues: every app I had tried with the Crayon had no issues, but I still think that this model is better suited for work or studying, not for drawing. It lacks pressure sensitivity, which can be a deal breaker for artists. But for doodles or making notes, it’s perfect.
The Crayon will work for about 7 hours without recharging, and now, thanks to the three LED indicators, you actually know when it starts losing charge. Once again, there’s no wireless charging, but the new Type-C port is convenient, especially since it’s compatible with Apple chargers. It’s not protected from the elements this time, which makes me just a little bit nervous.
The new Crayon is better than the old one, but that was a given. But how does it compare with the new Apple Pencil released this year? That is a much more difficult question. The Pencil costs $79 while the Crayon goes for $69, so it’s cheaper, but not by much. So which is better? Those are very close. I find the Logitech Crayon to be overall a better package for less money. The Apple Pencil can magnetically attach to your iPad, but without wireless charging, that matters very little. The Crayon is just a good deal.