We just got a look at the new iPad accessories Logitech announced today: the $49 Crayon and the $99 Rugged Case. They are really nice, but they are not for you. Both accessories are specifically designed to sell to the education market and will not hit general retail.
Let’s start with the Crayon because it’s fascinating. It’s half the price of the Apple Pencil and works a little bit differently. It does not need to be paired via Bluetooth. Instead, any Crayon can work with any iPad. Apple says that’s so a teacher can walk around with it and use it with student devices. Since it doesn’t pair via Bluetooth, it can’t do pressure sensitivity. However, everything else works the same. It can measure angle, handle palm-rejection, and it’s just as precise.
It charges via Lightning, with a little rubber grommet on top to cover the hole. It also has another feature the Apple Pencil lacks: an honest-to-god on / off button. That means it’s not just a passive stylus; 9to5Mac says it uses a “special wireless frequency.”
It seems as though the Crayon will only work with the most recent generation of iPads, not the iPad Pro or older iPads. It should last about eight hours on a charge, according to Logitech.
Apple says this is the first (and so far, the only) MFI-approved third-party stylus for the iPad. And using it for just a minute or two, it came so close to being as good as an Apple Pencil that I was pretty bummed that it won’t be made available to the general market.