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Apple Pencil against the Surface Pen: the battle stylus

Along with the iPad Pro, Apple has released a proprietary digital pen Apple Pencil greatly enhances the tablet. In Cupertino strongly emphasize that this is not a stylus, and something else, such as a pencil, as the name implies. Anyway, the device belongs to the category of styli, so it makes sense to compare it with products of other companies, e.g. Surface Pencil intended for gadgets of the line Microsoft Surface. Each accessory has its own characteristics and set of functions.

Apple Pencil sold separately for $99 and only works with the iPad Pro (9,7″, is 10.5″ and 12.9″). Surface Pen supports devices from Surface: Surface Surface Studio Book and it comes complete, but for Surface Pro and Surface Pro Laptop can be purchased separately for $99. This year, Microsoft updated the Surface Pen, increasing the sensitivity and response time, and added a level sensor tilt.


Apple Pencil: unknown pressure sensitivity, latency to 20 MS, support the definition of the angle of inclination, 12 hour battery life (battery), Bluetooth 4.

Surface Pen: 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, latency to 21 MS, definition support pan/tilt (on some devices), 1 year battery life (battery-powered), Bluetooth 4.

Almost the same delay

Apple has reduced the level of the delay with the release of new devices in the iPad Pro. Technology ProMotion increases the display rate to 120 Hz when using the stylus. Thus, the delay between the outline and appearance of the line was reduced from 40 to 20 MS.

Likewise, Surface Pen works with the Surface Pro display. The latest model of the Surface Pro equipped with a PixelSense Accelerator chip, which provides hardware acceleration for Windows Ink Windows 10. In addition, it is the only device with support to determine the angle of tilt that allows you to shade the area as with pencil hatching. Apple Pencil supports this feature with the end of 2015.

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Almost the same size

Apple Pencil: length 17.6 cm, diameter of 0.89 cm, weight 20,7 g
Surface Pen: the length of 14.6 sm, diameter of 0.96 cm, weight 20 g.


Apple Pencil: presented only in white colour.

Surface Pen: comes in four colors: platinum, black, Burgundy and “cobalt blue”. They are combined with the colors of the keyboard and mouse for Surface Pro.


The battery life Apple Pencil is 12 hours. For charging you need to remove the magnetic cap and connect the gadget to the Lightning connector. 15 seconds the device is charging for 30 minutes of work. The stylus also features a small adapter that allows you to charge it from conventional USB port.

The Surface Pen uses AAAA battery, which lasts for a year.

Hardware buttons

On the case Apple Pencil does not have any additional buttons. At the other end of the pencil there is a small cover, under which hides a Lightning connector. The design was developed by Jonathan YWAM.

Surface Pen has a button. The user can program it and the eraser on the end of the pen in Windows Ink. You can customize single and double click and press and hold.

Replacement tip

Complete with Apple Pencil comes with an extra tip, which can be installed in the event of loss or damage to the original. If necessary, you can purchase another tip, price — $19.

Microsoft offers with the Surface Pen set nibs which mimic the hardness of pencils — 2H, H, HB, B. an Additional set you can buy for $19.99.

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In iOS 11 added many new features to use the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro. Among them: notes from the lock screen, handwritten queries in Spotlight search in English and simplified Chinese. But even before iOS 11 pencil supported various applications including Microsoft Office.

Stylus Surface Pen works with many programs. In Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and Edition Creators the company focuses on the support of the pencil in OneNote, Sketchable, DrawboardPDF, StaffPad, Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, etc.

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