Adonit Note+ Stylus Review #amwriting

Adonit Note+ Stylus image

I finally gave in and bought an “Apple Pencil compatible” stylus, the Adonit Note+. Why this and not a genuine Apple Pencil 1st Generation for my iPad 6th Generation?

  • I’ve been using Adonit products for years now. I’ve chosen graphic and notetaking apps based on their compatibility with Adonit’s pressure sensitivity and programmable function buttons. Why give up that capability?
  • I finally saw a video review of the Note+ that made clear the fact that the Adonit really can work exactly like an Apple Pencil so far as basic drawing and tilt are concerned. This opens new apps to me for Pencil-based handwriting and drawing.
  • I already have accessories (like clips) for Adonit products.
  • The Note+ (USD $69.99) is already less expensive than the Apple Pencil (USD $99-129). Adonit’s Black Friday special made the price irresistible.
  • The Note+ is compatible with any iPad that will use either a Gen 1 or Gen 2 Apple Pencil. If I were to someday switch to an iPad Pro, the Note+ will make the jump with me.

So, how does it perform?

Apple Pencil compatibility: I’ve tried Apple Pencils in the Apple Store. I can’t detect any difference in performance between the Apple Pencil and the Adonit Note+. Both have lag-free response. Both detect stylus tilt & respond identically. The Adonit uses its own Bluetooth-connected pressure sensitivity as opposed to Pencil’s method, but my apps already interface with it.

The major difference I can see is in charging method. The 1st gen Apple Pencil charges off the iPad’s Lightning connector, and the 2nd gen off a magnetic charger on the iPad itself. The Adonit Note+ uses a USB-c charging cable. I’ve never had a problem with an Adonit stylus running out of change during the day no matter how much I use it, so I see this as a non-issue.

I concede that possibly if you’re in meetings or classes all day taking handwritten notes, this might be a problem. But at a minimum of $20 savings over an Apple Pencil, you can afford a cheap external battery charger. If Adonit’s claim of 1 hour of use for a 4 minute charge is close to accurate, you won’t need anything very powerful.

Adonit Pressure Sensitivity: Some Adonit-capable apps (example: Tayasui’s Sketches Pro) force use of Apple Pencil features instead of Adonit features with the Note+. Of those that support the Note+, I found that connection was a bit tricky (Hint: tap the pointwards function button just before you press on the connection circle.) But yes, in general Adonit pressure sensitivity and function buttons work just as I expect in Adonit-capable apps. Here’s a current list: Adonit Recommended Apps.

Recommendations: If you just want an Apple Pencil replacement and don’t use pressure sensitivity or tilt, I’d suggest the Adonit Note. At USD $49.99, it’s half the price of an Apple Pencil 1st generation, and should serve just as well. It you already have an investment in apps that support Adonit pressure sensitivity, the Note+ should get you the Apple Pencil compatibility for line drawing and tilt in addition to your current capabilities—but be sure to check Adonit’s current app list.

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