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Apple Pencil vs. S Pen vs. Wacom Cintiq: Which One’s The Best Stylus?

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The iPad Pro is so big, it's the only Apple device large enough to finally necessitate the use of a pencil. Thus, the Apple Pencil was born.

When Steve Jobs famously said that none of Apple's products would ever need a stylus, perhaps he didn't imagine the iPad to get as large as it is today.

Unfittingly enough, the Apple Pencil is comically larger than, well, the average pencil. Of course, it's certainly a lot more technologically advanced than any other pencil on the planet, but how does it compare to other stylus pens from competing brands like Wacom and Samsung? Let's find out.

Wacom has been in the stylus business for years, and it has developed products specifically tailored to creatives working even on Apple hardware. In addition, Wacom's pro-grade Cintiq system is used by many design professionals in the industry and has thus become the standard. As a result, Wacom's hardware will work with other creative software suites such as Adobe's Illustrator and Photoshop. The Apple Pencil does not have the same flexibility.

Yes, there is an iPad app for Adobe's Creative Suite but the mobile software just isn't as good and robust as the standalone versions of the same software. As a result, the Apple Pencil is limited since it will only work on an iPad, with apps developed for it within the iOS community.

The same can be said of Samsung's S Pen. It will only work on Samsung's Galaxy Note devices and will only work on a TouchWiz-skinned Android operating system. In fact, you can't even use the S Pen on most other Samsung devices, and it certainly can't be used on vanilla versions of Android on a Nexus device. However, it receives credit for being the first stylus made popular on a modern smartphone device. It's compact and quite functional for day-to-day use, especially as it already fits into the host device, Plus, it is perfect for mobile productivity and note taking. Still, it isn't fit for prolonged use nor for creating masterpieces.

That's where the Apple Pencil shines — in creative work, not for business. Users don't want a stylus that is limited to taking notes or cropping screenshots, or editing photos. The Pencil is for artists with technology that takes into account incredible amounts of differing pressure, angle and orientation. Surely, the large iOS developer community will have plenty of software to support the device as well.

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