Logitech Crayon
4.7Overall Score
Name: Logitech Crayon
Price (RRP): $129.95
Manufacturer: Logitech

Why the Logitech Crayon? You have a recent-model iPad and you’d really like the freedom to sketch and write on it naturally. You could use the Apple Pencil of course, but a very attractive alternative is the Logitech Crayon. And it can do something that the Apple Pencil can’t do.

The Logitech Crayon and the iPad

First, as with the Apple Pencil, the Logitech Crayon works with some iPads but not with others. Basically, it works with all current models. Just to be clear, these are the models it works with:

Model Name Model Numbers
iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd Generation) A1876, A2014, A1895, A1983
iPad Pro 11-inch A1980, A2013, A1934, A1979
iPad Air (3rd Generation) A2152, A2123, A2153, A2154
iPad mini (5th Generation) A2133, A2124, A2126, A2125
iPad (6th Generation) A1893, A1954

In addition, the device must be running at least iOS 12.2. Of course, as new iPad models roll out, it ought to work with them.

Logitech Crayon

The Logitech Crayon, like the Apple Pencil, is an active stylus. It has to be turned on to work.

Where it differs from the Apple Pencil is that, well, you don’t pair it. The Apple Pencil is paired via Bluetooth to the iPad it works on. The Logitech Crayon will work on any of the iPads above with no ado.

Does the Logitech Crayon really not need to be paired?

How can I be sure? Well, that’s what all the information seemed to suggest, but to be certain I went into the Canberra Apple Store and asked if I could try out the Logitech Crayon – the one I brought with me that I had been using on my own iPad – on a couple of their iPads. Note, these iPads both already had Apple Pencils paired with them.

So, after a quick swipe to get to the home screen I tried to move an icon with the Logitech Crayon. Nothing happened. Oh, that’s right, I had to switch it on. I held down the power button for a second until the little light came on, then I touched an icon again and moved it. Then the same on the other iPad. I could just jump from iPad to iPad using the same Logitech Crayon.

Logitech Crayon

So, how does it work? Good question. Wikipedia says that it uses “a proprietary undisclosed connection method that does not require pairing.” Magic maybe? The official line from Logitech is:

When turned on [the Logitech Crayon] establishes a direct tip-to-screen connection with the compatible iPad models. Logitech Crayon connects to iPad instantly with no complex device pairing or other delays so you can get to work right away. Just press the on button and start writing or drawing on iPad. Using Apple Pencil technology, the design is simple to use and extremely kid-friendly.

Clearly it uses the same mechanism by which the Apple Pencil’s tip location is detected, but without the individual device identification. Some kind of hack by Logitech? No, because it worked with Apple when developing the Crayon.

Other differences

Indeed, Apple sells the Logitech Crayon in its stores, right next to the Apple Pencils. Yes, there are now two varieties of Apple Pencil. Apparently the original one won’t work on the latest iPad Pro models, including the new 11-inch version. But apparently the new Pencil won’t work on the various iPads that the old Pencil works on.

The Logitech Crayon works on some of the models that the old Pencil works on, but also works on the new iPad Pros. It doesn’t work on the 2nd Gen Pros.

Logitech Crayon

That’s because it was originally developed for the education market and originally worked only on the iPad 6th Gen (aka iPad 2018). Since it was developed for that market, the Logitech is bright and robust (up to 1.2 metre drops). Its body is aluminium and it has rubbery orange ends. The tip has a protective cover, but it can still be damaged.

Having bent a few tips of my Surface Pens over the years, I try to be careful with them. There is no cap – all digital pens really ought to have them. Logitech suggests keeping it in in the sculpted holder in which the Crayon nestles in its original packaging. That is inelegant, but it works.

In Australia, the Logitech Crayon is $15 dollar cheaper than the original Apple Pencil, and $70 cheaper than the 2nd Gen Apple Pencil.