Review: Is the Adonit Note Plus a Good Apple Pencil Alternative?

If you don't like either of the Apple Pencils that Apple offers, the folks at Adonit have a wide range of Apple Pencil alternatives. They even have a chart on their website to help you decide which one is right for you, with eleven models from $10 to $100. I previously wrote about their Adonit Note, and they sent me the upgraded Note Plus Stylus ($69.99) to try and it answers several of the issues I had. For starters, it uses USB-C instead of microUSB to recharge. This is important because, since my previous review, Apple has moved to standardize on USB-C for the iPad Pro. The fewer cables I have to carry around, the better, and microUSB has always been a pain because it's not reversible.

Related: Buyer's Guide: Best iPad Pro Cases, Accessories & Gear

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Adonit

The Apple Pencil 2 doesn't use a cable at all (it magnetically attaches to an iPad Pro and charges that way) and there's no question that's pretty cool, but that mechanism can also be limiting. it only works with Apple's flat-edged iPad Pro models. The Adonit Note Plus can be plugged in, while you use it, so you never have to worry about charging, if you don't mind being tethered. Plus the Adonit can be used with other iPads, such as the newest iPad mini or recent generations of the entry-level iPad and iPad Air. And just one hour of charging gives up to 10 hours of use.

Adonit

The stylus has an easily replaceable tip, is pressure- and tilt-sensitive, and supports palm recognition. I found it easy to draw at different levels of pressure and it was easy to write in cursive as well. A unique feature is the inclusion of not one but two shortcut buttons that can be programed in supporting apps. Apple's Pencil 2 only has one such button. I only wish it had a clip like the regular Adonit Note or had the option of magnetically attaching, just to stay put if not to charge.

Adonit

Pros

  • Works with modern iPads and iPad Pro devices
  • Charges via USB-C, one hour gives ten hours of use
  • Replaceable Tip
  • Pressure sensitive
  • Two shortcut buttons
  • Almost half the cost of the Apple Pencil 2

Cons

  • Does not have a clip or magnetic attachment

Final Verdict

The Note Plus Stylus is just one of almost a dozen options Adonit offers to meet specific needs so the company should have a good fit for just about anyone.

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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.