Easily take notes on your iPad with inexpensive Meco Stylus Pen [Review]

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Meco Stylus Pen review
Meco Stylus Pen costs far less than many rivals, and might be the only stylus you need for your iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meco Stylus Pen is an affordable alternative to Apple Pencil. It’s well suited for taking handwritten notes on a range of iPad models, and offers palm rejection. And while it doesn’t have the features artists need, it offers a long battery life and is simple to connect to your iPad.

I tested this budget active stylus by taking notes and sketching out ideas. Here’s how it stood up to real-world use.

Meco Stylus Pen review

At 5.5 inches (14cm) long and 0.4 in. (11mm) wide, the Meco Stylus Pen is a bit shorter but thicker than a standard pen or pencil. Still, it fits comfortably in my hand. In my testing, I didn’t find the aluminum barrel too slick.

The carbon fiber writing nib is 1mm — small enough that you can easily begin writing exactly where you want to. And it’s in a springy setting, so it moves in slightly when you press on it, which makes writing feel more natural.

The nib is removable, and the stylus comes with a replacement nib. Meco plans to offer more nibs, though it doesn’t yet do so.

Like all active styli, the Meco Stylus Pen requires power to work. The internal battery is good for a full day of writing — I’ve been testing it on and off for a week and I’m still on the first charge. Recharging is done through a micro-USB port on the far end.

A power button sits near this port. This glows blue when the accessory is active. The product is smart enough to shut down if not used for a few minutes, or you can just turn it off.

Compatibility

This stylus is compatible with many recent iPad models: the third-generation iPad Air, the fifth-generation iPad mini, the sixth-generation iPad, the 11-inch iPad Pro and the third- and fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Wide compatibility is a real advantage of the Meco Stylus Pen. A family, office or schoolroom could share one, even if they use a variety of iPad models. To see the advantage of that, consider that the Apple Pencil 2 works only with recent iPad Pro models. The original Apple Pencil is compatible with a different set of tablets.

But to work with Meco’s offering, devices must be running iOS 12.2 or above. If they aren’t, they won‘t acknowledge the stylus at all. The same goes for older tablets.

Meco Stylus Pen is ideal for taking notes.
Anyone who needs to take handwritten notes should seriously consider an iPad and Meco Stylus Pen.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Meco Stylus Pen performance

Much of the functionality of the Meco Stylus Pen comes from the iPad, not the stylus itself. This means all its features work in a wide variety of applications, and no software driver is required.

It’s not necessary to pair this accessory with your iPad with Bluetooth. Just activate it and start writing. You can even switch back and forth between multiple iPads.

Writing text with this stylus is everything I hoped. There’s absolutely no lag and no skipping. I can write any speed I want and the line will appear exactly as I expect.

Palm rejection means I don’t have to hold my hand above the iPad display. Instead, I can treat it like a piece of paper.

But there are limitations. The rival Apple Pencil has pressure sensitivity and tilt detection. Meco Stylus Pen has neither. No matter how I hold the stylus, or what angle, the pen always makes the same mark.

This makes no difference when writing text. It might even be better. And you can certainly draw with it, too. But without pressure sensitivity or tilt detection, this stylus isn’t the best option for creating art on an iPad.

Extra accessories

You can store or transport the Stylus Pen in a handy case supplied by Meco. This has adhesive on the back, so you can stick it to your iPad case. This device won‘t magnetically cling to an iPad Pro.

Meco also threw in a half glove that covers your pinkie and ring fingers. This isn’t required for palm rejection to work, but it does keep your hand from smearing your iPad screen.

Naturally, the micro-USB cable needed to charge this accessory is included. iPad Pro owners would have preferred a USB-C port, but that wouldn’t have helped those whose iPads have Lightning ports.

Meco Stylus Pen can handle drawing.
Meco Stylus Pen isn’t right for art, but it’s fine for basic drawing.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Meco Stylus Pen final thoughts

The Meco Stylus Pen is right for anyone who just wants to take notes on their iPad. The performance is outstanding… within limitations. And the battery life is long.

But it’s not well suited for art. Anyone planning to be a digital Michelangelo needs an Apple Pencil, or the Adonit Note+.

Pricing

The official price for the Meco Stylus Pen is $40.99. It’s currently on Amazon.com for quite a bit less, though.

Buy from: Amazon

Comparable products

The Apple Pencil 2 for the iPad Pro is $129. The original version, which supports all recent non-pro iPads, sells for $99. These offer pressure sensitivity and tilt detection… at much higher prices.

A closer competitor for Meco’s stylus is the first-generation Adonit Note. It’s also best for note-taking, and costs only $49.99.

Another third-party option is the Logitech Crayon. It includes tilt detection, but not pressure sensitivity. Its list price is $69.99, though it’s often available for a bit less.

Meco provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.