Review: Adonit Note is an affordable Apple Pencil alternative

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in iPad
The Adonit Note is an Apple Pencil alternative for the sixth generation iPad, iPad mini 5, third generation iPad Air, as well as the 2018 iPad Pro lineup. Should you pick this up?

Adonit Note in Black and Gold
Adonit Note in Black and Gold


The Adonit Note is a great alternative for those who want an entry to Apple's Pencil ecosystem. It doesn't officially state that it's using Apple's Pencil technology, but it works like one.

Just like the Logitech Crayon, you don't need to toggle Bluetooth on and connect the pen, just turn the Note on and you're connected immediately.






The Adonit Note mimics a fine pen. It is sleek and lightweight, making it a good choice for for jotting down notes. The Note comes in two different colors, black, and gold, with both colors having a copper color accent.

There's a power button about a third way up the barrel of the pen. That location is prone to pressing accidentally, which is unfortunate.

You have to make compromises for its price

The tip of the pen is also removable just like the Apple Pencil, but unfortunately Adonit didn't include an extra tip in the box. A pack of three will be available for $15 in the near future.

Adonit Note in Black and Gold
Adonit Note in Black and Gold


A micro-USB port is used to charge the battery, and Adonit says you can get an hour of use in just 4 minutes. We wish that the charging port was Lightning or USB-C, but unfortunately we're left with micro-USB in 2019.

We've only had the pen for a week, and so far we've only had to charge the pen once.

Adonit Note with Apple Pencil, and Logitech Crayon
Adonit Note with Apple Pencil, and Logitech Crayon

It's not for illustrators

Lacking pressure sensitivity, the Adonit Note isn't really an accessory for digital artists. It does offer tilt just like the Logitech Crayon. It also offers palm rejection technology so you won't have any erroneous input when drawing or jotting down notes.

Using the Adonit Note on our 2018 iPad Pro, we didn't really notice a huge difference in latency between the second-generation Apple Pencil, or Logitech Crayon. The Adonit Note feels a lot more natural to us than the Logitech Crayon, and a bit better than the Apple Pencil due to size and build.

Writing on iPad Pro 2018
Writing on iPad Pro 2018


If you're in the market for a stylus for your brand new iPad, definitely consider checking out the Adonit Note, but just be aware of the compromises you'll run into such as charging with micro-USB, and the not having pressure sensitivity like the Apple Pencil.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Where to buy

Check out Amazon for all three options. The Adonit Note retails for just $49, while the Apple Pencil rings in at $129, and the Logitech Crayon sells for $49.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Micro USB is an idiotic choice.  Who wants to carry around another cord just to charge a stylus?
    AppleExposedentropyscaladanianrazorpitfastasleepwatto_cobraNotsofast
  • Reply 2 of 11
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 237member
    Very interesting review and a very interesting product. What interests me most is that it does NOT use Bluetooth! I don't like radiating myself with Bluetooth or wi-fi, always have that switched off ... and the fact that this works without Bluetooth pairing is a huge health and simplicity bonus for me.
  • Reply 3 of 11
    benji888benji888 Posts: 114member
    AI actually there are two prices for the two apple pencils 

    Pencil 1st gen $99 (or $85 apple refurb)
    Pencil 2nd gen is $129

    macpluspluswatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    macplusplusmacplusplus Posts: 1,885member
    benji888 said:
    AI actually there are two prices for the two apple pencils 

    Pencil 1st gen $99 (or $85 apple refurb)
    Pencil 2nd gen is $129

    So for just $50 more Pencil 1st Gen is better with its Lightning charging and pressure sensitivity.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    akacakac Posts: 511member
    wozwoz said:
    Very interesting review and a very interesting product. What interests me most is that it does NOT use Bluetooth! I don't like radiating myself with Bluetooth or wi-fi, always have that switched off ... and the fact that this works without Bluetooth pairing is a huge health and simplicity bonus for me.
    Unfortunately I don’t think that means what you suggest. WiFi and BT both use radio frequencies - so does this product. It’s just that WiFi and BT are open access protocols that define how. In very broad terms, Apple Pencil uses a similar low power radio signal similar to BT but specific to the iPad. 
    caladanianfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 11
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,777member
    I suppose I can understand (I really don’t) why no extra tip is included, because of the price. But for a $49 device, 3 extra tips for $15 seems to be a lot. It can’t be the cost of making the tips.
    caladanianwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    wozwoz said:
    Very interesting review and a very interesting product. What interests me most is that it does NOT use Bluetooth! I don't like radiating myself with Bluetooth or wi-fi, always have that switched off ... and the fact that this works without Bluetooth pairing is a huge health and simplicity bonus for me.
    The tablet itself is radiating you with a WIDE variety of radio frequencies, above, below, and at the bluetooth frequencies.  Heck, you probably get more RF from the power cord than you get from Bluetooth.

    In addition, the next OS releases from Apple will turn on a bluetooth beaconing feature that will enable devices to send bluetooth signals even if the devices are off.

    netroxcaladanianfastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    netroxnetrox Posts: 755member
    melgross said:
    I suppose I can understand (I really don’t) why no extra tip is included, because of the price. But for a $49 device, 3 extra tips for $15 seems to be a lot. It can’t be the cost of making the tips.

    Three tips....  it's not one tip for $15 but three tips for $15 ($5 per tip). And yes, it's a lot but they need money to make up for the costs of development and marketing. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 11
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,777member
    netrox said:
    melgross said:
    I suppose I can understand (I really don’t) why no extra tip is included, because of the price. But for a $49 device, 3 extra tips for $15 seems to be a lot. It can’t be the cost of making the tips.

    Three tips....  it's not one tip for $15 but three tips for $15 ($5 per tip). And yes, it's a lot but they need money to make up for the costs of development and marketing. 
    Yes, you may have noticed that I did say 3 tips for $15. But if they’re relying on tip sales to make this profitable, then they may not as well release the product. This isn’t a razor/razor blade kind of a market. The sales of tips will never be enough to finance anything. I’d bet that most people never buy extra tips. Only professionals will use a stylus enough to really wear out the tips, and this most definitely isn’t for them.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    benji888 said:
    AI actually there are two prices for the two apple pencils 

    Pencil 1st gen $99 (or $85 apple refurb)
    Pencil 2nd gen is $129

    So for just $50 more Pencil 1st Gen is better with its Lightning charging and pressure sensitivity.
    ‘Just $50 more’ is double the price of the Note. The more likely comparison is to the Logitech Crayon, which offers lightning charging, but not pressure for a similar price (currently $50 on Amazon). The Apple Pencil has pressure sensitivity, and lightning charging, but the Logitech Pencil does charging and battery management better. The Apple Pencil 1 will slowly run it’s battery down and needs to be plugged into an iPad to ‘pair’, while the Logitech shuts itself off after a few minutes and can switch to any compatible iPad with just a tap.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    NotsofastNotsofast Posts: 406member
    Micro USB -- Ugh!
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