EasyPencil Plus is like Apple Pencil lite [Review]

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SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus review: Inexpensive iPad stylus
This isn’t an Apple Pencil, though the SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus looks much like Apple’s iPad stylus.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus is an iPad stylus that does most of what Apple Pencil does for a lot less money. It even magnetically clings to the iPad Pro, and works with a broad variety of Apple tablets.

I used the stylus for taking notes, sketching and photo editing. Here’s how it stood up to my everyday life.

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SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus review

A stylus isn’t required to use an iPad but one can make Apple’s tablet a great deal more useful. Anyone who regularly marks up PDFs or takes handwritten notes will immediately see the benefit. Quickly sketching out ideas on an iPad gets far easier, too. And I mostly use mine to touch up images.

The EasyPencil Plus proves ideal for all these purposes. It might even be better suited than the more-expensive Apple Pencil, which offers features typical users might not use.

And it’s dead simple to use. It doesn’t require Bluetooth. You just activate the stylus and start writing.

Hardware and design

It’s surely not an accident that SwitchEasy’s stylus looks very much like Apple’s. Both are white and the same size, with a rounded end and flat edge to cling to an iPad Pro. From a distance, no one can tell them apart.

To get specific, the EasyPencil Plus measures 6.5 inches (167 mm) long, and 0.36 inches (9 mm) thick. It weighs a mere half an ounce (14 grams). For reference, Apple Pencil 2 has virtually the same dimensions, but is slightly heavier at 0.7 ounces (20 grams).

I find EasyPencil Plus comfortable to hold and use. It’s not unusually thick, thin or heavy. The barrel is aluminum, and whatever was used to paint the product doesn’t make it slippery.

One of the edges is flat, and magnets let it cling to the side of an iPad Pro or iPad Air 4. However, it doesn’t charge this way — this is just an option to transport the stylus.  To test how secure it is, I left the EasyPencil Plus continuously connected as I used my tablet for three days. The only time it came loose was when I knocked it off picking up the computer. I now feel confident carrying the stylus around this way.

EasyPencil Plus stylus tips

The EasyPencil Plus writing tip is easily removable — just unscrew it. And the stylus comes with a replacement. If you use up both of them, or lose one, you can use replacement tips designed for the competing Adonit Note series. (A quick experiment showed they work just fine.)

At the opposite end of the EasyPencil Plus you’ll find its power button. Just touch the end to activate the stylus. If you don’t write anything for 20 minutes, the stylus will turn itself off.

Near the end, out of the way of your hand, is the USB-C port. SwitchEasy includes the cable needed to connect this to a USB-A charger. Or you can use the USB-C cable that came with your iPad Pro.

The SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus clings to the side of many ioPads.
The EasyPencil Plus clings magnetically to the side of recent iPad Pro and iPad Air models.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Compatibility

The stylus works best with the third- and fourth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro, every 11-inch iPad Pro and the iPad Air 4. It can magnetically attach to the edges of any of these, and write on the screen.

In addition, the EasyPencil Plus can be used to write on many other recent iPad models: the third-generation iPad Air, the fifth-generation iPad mini, and the sixth-generation iPad.

Wide compatibility is a real advantage. A family, office or schoolroom could share one, even if they use a variety of iPad models. In contrast, the Apple Pencil 2 works only with recent iPad Pro and iPad Air models. The original Apple Pencil is compatible with a completely different set of tablets.

SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus performance

In some ways, the EasyPencil Plus doesn’t try to take on the Apple Pencil 2. SwitchEasy didn’t build in pressure sensitivity or tilt detection. That means this stylus isn’t a tool for artists. But many students and businesspeople will find it useful. I found it well-suited for taking notes, using Scribble, sketching and annotating PDFs.

As mentioned, Bluetooth isn’t necessary to use this accessory. It doesn’t need to be paired with an iPad to work. A quick tap on the power button and you are ready to write.

Much of the functionality of the EasyPencil Plus is built into the iPad, not the stylus. No software driver is required, and you can use this third-party stylus anywhere you’d use an Apple Pencil.

And writing text with this iPad stylus is everything you could hope for. There’s no lag and no skipping, no matter how quickly or slowly I write.

Since Apple built palm rejection into iPadOS, the EasyPencil Plus can take advantage of it. You don’t need to hover your hand above the iPad display when writing. Simply treat it like a piece of paper.

Drawing with the SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus on iPad is a snap.
iPad includes tools to make diagrams easier. The EasyPencil Plus supports all of them.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus final thoughts

Anyone with a recent iPad Pro or iPad Air looking to take handwritten notes, sketch or annotate documents should be pleased with the EasyPencil Plus. It doesn’t do everything the Apple Pencil does. But what it does, it does well.

And at a far lower price than Apple’s stylus.

Pricing

The official price for the SwitchEasy EasyPencil Plus is $57.99. But it can be found on Amazon for much less (currently $36.99).

That’s a great price. Consider that the Apple Pencil 2 for the iPad Pro and iPad Air costs $129. The original version, which supports other recent iPads, sells for $99. But don’t forget, both of Apple’s iPad styluses offer pressure sensitivity and tilt detection, while the EasyPencil Plus does not.

Comparable products

A top competitor for SwitchEasy’s product is the Zagg Pro Stylus ($69.99). This also can take notes or sketch on a range of Apple tablets, and clings to the side of recent iPad Pro and Air models. And, as a bonus, it also comes with a capacitive tip for swiping.

Another good stylus for taking notes is the Adonit Note ($49.99). It’s designed to look like a pen.

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