Adonit has been in the stylus game for years. My first review of an Adonit product (that I can remember) was back in 2013, when I tested out an Adonit Jot 2 stylus for Apple’s second generation iPad. A lot has changed since then, with official stylus support becoming a big part of the iPad experience, and Apple several generations into its own active stylus with the Apple Pencil 2. Adonit hasn’t gone anywhere, however, and continues to offer options for iPad owners — in addition to a wide range of other devices. If you are looking for a high quality stylus with many of the key features of the Apple Pencil 2 at less than half the price, then the new Adonit Neo Pro is well worth considering.
Adonit Neo Pro Specs:
- Active stylus with tilt support and palm rejection
- Attaches magnetically to supported iPad models
- Charges wirelessly (9-hour battery life, 2-hour charge time)
- 6.6-inches long, weighs 0.42 ounces
- Plastic construction with replaceable POM nib
- Compatible with iPad Pro 11, iPad Pro 12.9 (3rd gen and newer), iPad Mini 6, iPad Air (4th gen and newer)
- Available in Space Gray and Matte Silver
- MSRP $44.99
Attractive, Functional Design
Adonit knows a thing or two about designing a stylus. The Neo Pro is a well-designed device that looks attractive and is offered in two different color options: Space Gray and Matte Silver. Its POM tips glide smoothly across the iPad screen, they are easily replaceable should they wear out, and Adonit includes several replacements in the box. The end of the stylus is capped by a pushbutton on/off switch that doubles as an LED indicator: red is charging, green is fully charged, and blue is connected.
To save battery life (which is rated at 9-hours), the Neo Pro will automatically power down if it’s not being used.
This stylus weighs little more than half of what the Apple Pencil 2 does. It doesn’t feel cheap, but it doesn’t have quite the same reassuring heft the Apple version does.
Most of the Apple Pencil 2 Features at Less Than Half the Price
The Neo Pro offers many of the features that make the Apple Pencil 2 so popular among iPad owners.
You need to have a newer model iPad Air/mini/Pro, and the base model iPad isn’t supported — basically the same rules as Apple has in place for the Apple Pencil 2 — but if you have one of the supported iPads, that means the Neo Pro snaps onto the side of the iPad magnetically, and wirelessly charges while it’s there. Magnetic docking isn’t unusual among third party iPad styluses, but wireless charging support is. Note: like the Apple Pencil 2, the Neo Pro can only be charged wirelessly, there is no wired option.
The Neo Pro automatically connects to an iPad once you click the power button, so there’s no need to fuss with Bluetooth pairing.
So what don’t you get with the Adonit Neo Pro? That would be pressure sensitivity and touch gestures.
The Apple Pencil 2 is pressure sensitive – the harder you press, the thicker the line. The Neo Pro lacks this feature, although it does have tilt sensitivity, so it draws a thicker line as you increase tilt level. Good enough for casual use, but unable to offer the finesse professional users will want. Also lacking is the Apple Pencil 2’s touch gesture support.
Basically, the Apple Pencil 2 is geared toward creatives who are likely to be using the iPad stylus extensively for drawing and sketching. For that demographic, the Apple option is probably worth paying the extra for (it retails for $129). However if you want a stylus primarily for writing and taking notes, maybe with a bit of diagramming on the side, the Adonit Neo Pro will serve you well and save you money.
Serious artists and content creators who would benefit from advanced features like pressure sensitivity will likely prefer to stick with the Apple Pencil 2. However, those primarily interested in having a stylus to take notes and scribbling on their iPad would pay a significant premium to get that logo. Choosing the Adonit Neo Pro instead gets the key functionality — including niceties like wireless charging and magnetic attachment to the iPad — in an attractive stylus that costs less than half of what you’d pay for Apple’s version.
Disclosure: Adonit provided a Neo Pro stylus for evaluation purposes but had no input into this review.