CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert deal-hunting staff showcases the best price drops and discounts from reputable sellers daily. If you make a purchase using our links, CNET may earn a commission.

Save a small fortune by buying this $22 Apple Pencil alternative

The Aceirst Stylus Pen combines the best of the old and new Apple Pencil styluses and works with all the most recent Pencil-compatible iPads.

Dave Johnson
2 min read

The Aceirst Stylus Pen costs just $18 but can replace either Apple Pencil. 


Steve Jobs famously hated the idea of adding a stylus to the iPad, summing up the experience onstage in 2007 with one word: "Yuck." But the Apple Pencil has since become a popular accessory for compatible iPad models -- despite being so darned expensive. The original Apple Pencil costs $99 and the second-generation Pencil, which confusingly has the exact same name without even a version number to tell it apart, costs $129. There are a number of cheaper Apple Pencil alternatives out there, but I recently found what may well be the most affordable deal yet. The Aceirst Stylus Pen for Apple iPad regularly costs $37, but you can now get it for $22 at Amazon when you use discount code 94AHMNOP at checkout. If this looks familiar, you're not hallucinating. I told you about a similar deal earlier this month, but it rapidly sold out. It's back, and Aceirst assures me this time it has much more inventory to deal with the typical Cheapskate deluge. 

One thing I like about Aceirst's stylus is that it's solved a few problems that seem to have eluded Apple's own engineers. For example, it does double duty as both an original and a v2 Apple Pencil. It works with new Apple Pencil iPads (the 11-inch iPad Pro and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro third-generation, both from 2018) and the four most recent original Apple Pencil tablets -- the sixth- and seventh-generation iPad, as well as the third-generation iPad Air and fifth-generation iPad Mini from 2019. If you have an iPad model from 2017 or earlier, though, sorry -- you're out of luck.

Like the new Apple Pencil, the Aceirst stylus has a flat side so it won't roll away like many models, including the original Apple Pencil. Also like the new Pencil, it'll magnetically stick to your iPad, assuming you have a third-generation iPad Pro. It won't charge wirelessly, though -- there's a USB-C port on the side of the stylus for that purpose.

We haven't had a chance to try out this stylus ourselves, so I am leaning a bit on Amazon's mostly positive user reviews. FakeSpot flagged a lot of the reviews as inauthentic, which is worrisome, but ReviewMeta gave the reviews a clean bill of health. And like Cheapskate Rick Broida likes to say, "fake reviews don't necessarily reflect the quality of the product itself." If you're willing to take a gamble, this $22 stylus could be a worthy replacement for Apple's Pencil. 

Watch this: See how the Apple Pencil works with the new iPad

The best laptops from CES 2020

See all photos

Originally published earlier this month. Updated with new pricing. 

Read More: All the latest Amazon coupons

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and check out our CNET Coupons page for the latest promo codes from Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon and more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page.