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Pre-loved iPad comes bundled with every accessory you need for less than $220


Score early Black Friday savings on this near-mint iPad with renewed new Beats headphones, now just $220.
A refurbished iPad and an accessory bundle featuring Beats Flex headphones makes a perfect gift.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Looking for a Black Friday sale on an iPad? For a limited time, you can score an incredible deal on a near-mint refurbished iPad bundled with all the accessories you could need — including a set of Beats wireless headphones.

Through November 26, this combo goes for only $219.97, with no coupon necessary.

How to get the latest USB-C Apple Pencil firmware update


Apple Pencil (USB-C) firmware update
Yes, you might need to think about updating the software on your Apple Pencil.
Image: Apple/Cult of Mac

Just about everything electronic requires firmware — Apple’s iPad stylus is no exception. With software comes updates, and there’s new one for the recently released version of the Apple Pencil with a USB-C port.

Here’s how to check what firmware version your Apple Pencil is currently running, and a suggestion on how to get the new update.

New USB-C Apple Pencil is lower in price but not usability [Review] ★★★★


Apple Pencil (USB-C)★★★★
The first budget Apple Pencil is the iPad stylus students and businesspeople have been looking for.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The just-launched Apple Pencil includes USB-C charging, making it easy to use with the budget iPad. While top quality, the new model doesn’t have all the features of Apple Pencil 2 but costs $50 less.

I tested the stylus with my iPad and found reasons to like it even more than the premium version.

This brilliant iPad stylus also works with iPhone [Review] ★★★★


Zagg Pro Stylus 2 review★★★★
Zagg's new iPad stylus is just right for students and businesspeople.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is ready to help you take handwritten notes on an iPad and sketch out your ideas, too. Or you can use it on your iPhone — don’t try that with Apple Pencil.

It wirelessly charges on the edge of an Apple tablet, and that’s just one of the tricks it can do.

I tested the Pro Stylus 2 with my iPad Pro and iPhone 15 and came away pleased.

Get ready to grab the first budget Apple Pencil


Apple Pencil (USB-C) with iPad
Apple Pencil (USB-C) with iPad is the lowest-cost stylus made by Apple.
Photo: Apple

Apple just took the wraps off a lower-price version of its iPad stylus. The new Apple Pencil uses a USB-C port for charging so it’s a better fit for use with the budget iPad.

“Apple Pencil has revolutionized note taking, sketching, and illustrating, unleashing endless possibilities for productivity and creativity,” said Bob Borchers, Apple VP of Worldwide Product Marketing. “Combined with the versatility of iPad, the new Apple Pencil unlocks another great option to experience the magic of digital handwriting, annotation, marking up documents, and more.”

The new version is $50 less than Apple Pencil 2, the premium model. But it lacks some of the features of the top-of-the-line version.

Draw more easily on iPad with screen protector and Apple Pencil tip combo


Astropad Rock Paper Pencil includes both iPad screen protector and Apple Pencil tip.
Rock Paper Pencil might make you a better digital artist.
Photo: Astropad

Astropad’s Rock Paper Pencil is designed for digital artists who want drawing on an iPad to feel more like using a pen on paper. It achieves this effect with an unusual combination: a screen protector and an Apple Pencil tip.

Notetakers can also appreciate not having to use the slippery glass screen of an iPad.

Zagg’s colorful new stylus works with both iPhone and iPad


Zagg Pro Stylus 2
The Zagg Pro Stylus 2 does most of what Apple Pencil does, but costs less.
Photo: Zagg

There are plenty of iPad styli, and also lots of iPhone ones. The just-launched Zagg Pro Stylus 2 is both. The colorful accessory also stands out from the crowd (and the original version) with wireless charging.

It works with a wide variety of iPad models, and launched Tuesday at a price well below Apple Pencil.

This pixel-precise stylus for iPad (and other tablets) costs less than $36


This pixel-precise digital pen for iPad and other tablets is now under $36.
Head back to school with this affordable stylus, now only $35.97.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Going back to school means taking notes, marking up projects and assignments and perhaps a little doodling on your iPad as well. But, you can’t do any of that without a reliable and precise stylus for your tablet. While the Apple Pencil works great, it costs a lot. Fortunately, we’re offering a much more affordable iPad stylus just in time for the new school year.

The Digi Pen for iPad is designed to make it feel like you’re using pen and paper, without any of the drawbacks of those old-school school supplies. And you can save $64 on Digi Pen during our Back-to-School Sale. Through August 13 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific, you can get it for only $35.97 (regularly $99).

Kingston’s securely encrypted SSD unlocks with built-in touchscreen [Review] ★★★★


Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 80 review★★★★
Unlock the 256-bit encryption on the Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 80 by tapping in a passcode on the convenient touchscreen.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Kingston IronKey Vault Privacy 80 External SSD includes a touchscreen and hardware encryption to protect user data. Unlock it by tapping in a password or numeric passcode onto the touchscreen.

It’s available in capacities ranging from 480GB to nearly 2TB. And it’s accessible from just about any device with a USB port — no special software needed.

I went hands-on with the secure SSD. Here’s why I like it.