Adonit Note: A Stylish, Functional Alternative to the Apple Pencil

I was looking forward to trying the Adonit Note stylus ($49.99) when Adonit sent me the unit, although at first it didn't work for me. It turns out I was using my 2017 iPad and such pens require the 2018 or newer iPad, or an iPad Pro. So I borrowed my daughter's newer iPad to test it, and I liked the Note so much, I upgraded my own iPad as well! There's something magical about drawing on glass and it takes me back to my original Apple Newton, but the iPad is much more elegant and responsive. It's great for natural note taking as well as drawing.

Related: Tips for Drawing with an Apple Pencil

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Speaking of elegant, the Adonit Note is quite attractive. Instead of mimicking the Apple Pencil's sterile all white look, the Note has a nice metallic finish, with copper accents and is available in black or gold. There are other differences that users may appreciate. The Note recharges using a microUSB port on the tip where an eraser would be. It's not Lighning or USB-C, so keep track of your cables. While the original Apple Pencil charged by plugging it into a Lightning port, that was awkward and you had to keep track of the cap. The newer Apple Pencil attaches magnetically to newer iPad Pro units and charges, but that limits its compatibility. The Note can charge quickly, with just four minutes delivering an hour of use. And theoretically, it could be charged while in use, if you don't mind the tethering. And like the Apple model, there is built-in palm rejection. The Note connects almost magically, without the hassles of Bluetooth pairing.

Pros

  • Attractive color options and finish
  • Works with modern iPads and iPad Pro
  • Replaceable Tip
  • Easy to connect and charge
  • Palm rejection

Cons

  • Make sure your iPad is compatible
  • Uses microUSB to charge, not Lightning or USB-C

Final Verdict

The Note stylus from Adonit is an attractive alternative to the Apple Pencil, with some distinct advantages.

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Todd Bernhard's picture

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.