Logitech worked with Apple to create a kid-friendly version of the Apple Pencil, but how exactly does it work?
You’ve probably heard by now about Logitech’s $ 49 Crayon stylus, which uses similar technology as the Apple Pencil on the 2018 iPad.
There’s a bit of confusion about Logitech’s Crayon, what it supports, and when it will be available. So, I’ve done some digging to give you all the details right here.
Can I use the Crayon with my iPad Pro?
Sorry, but this little guy is specifically designed for the 2018 9.7-inch iPad. It uses a special type of connection technology that is not available on other Apple Pencil supported devices. It’s not a difference in the iPad’s screen or software. It’s specific to Logitech’s unique connection technology.
Did you say special connection? So not Bluetooth?
That’s correct. The Crayon will not use Bluetooth to pair with an iPad. This will make it significantly easier for students trying to use it at varying times and for teachers trying to help 30 kids get their Crayons connected to their iPads. Instead, it uses a single-frequency pairing.
There is a button at the end of the Crayon that you press for two seconds, which connects it directly to your iPad. Nothing else. No going into settings to make sure Bluetooth is on or having disconnect issues — just press a button and you’re connected.
Does it work across the iPad’s entire operating system?
It sure does. As far as the internals are concerned, Logitech Crayon works the same as Apple Pencil. You can swipe on the Home screen, use it in a variety of supported drawing apps, tap the keyboard with it, highlight text in iBooks, and pretty much anything else. It works very much like a standard stylus but has a few super cool extra features that are exclusive to the 2018 9.7-inch iPad.
Does it write like Apple Pencil?
Almost entirely, yes. It uses the same internals as Apple Pencil, which means low latency, palm rejection, and tilt support so you can make wider and thinner lines and add shading.
But unlike Apple Pencil, Crayon is not pressure-sensitive: It won’t allow for lighter/darker or thinner/thicker lines based on the amount of pressure you place on its nib.
Why no pressure support? It’s likely that creating a pressure-sensitive Crayon would have been cost-prohibitive; instead, Logitech and Apple chose to omit pressure to keep the price point lower for education customers. If you want pressure, you can always get an Apple Pencil.
My students break everything. Will Logitech Crayon be kid-proof?
Logitech is way ahead of you here: The designers knew what they were doing when they came up with the structure of the Crayon.
It’s made of aluminum and rubber, so it’s tough: The tip, which lasts for approximately 1.25 miles of writing according to the company, is protected with a special cover that can’t be removed without a special tool; as such, little fingers can’t pry the nib out of its base.
The bottom of the stylus has a removable cover which houses a female Lightning port (instead of Apple Pencil’s male port); not only do you charge using a traditional cable, but the cover is tethered to Crayon so it won’t get lost (or swallowed) during class time.
Additionally, the Crayon has a flat design similar to pencils used in kindergarten and early grades; it’s flat, so it won’t easily roll off the table, down the hallway, and into the principal’s office. It also won’t find its way down the bottom of a locker quite as easily, either.
Of course, kids will be kids, and I’m sure many of them will find a way to do damage to the Crayon over time, but the basic structure of the stylus will probably last a long time. Educators will also be able to buy replacement tips and caps if they get lost (or broken).
How long does the battery last?
The Crayon is estimated at up to 8 hours of writing. There’s also an automatic shutoff feature, so if you’re not using it after 30 minutes, the stylus will power down and no longer drain any battery (not even low-level trickle drain).
If the Crayon does run out of juice in the middle of a report or note taking, you can supercharge it: A 90-second charge will juice up the Crayon for another half hour of use.
OK, I want one. How do I get it?
If you’re not an educator, that might be a problem. Starting this summer, along with Logitech’s Rugged Combo 2 iPad case, schools and school districts will be able to order the Crayon for $ 49.99 with a minimum buying order of 10 units. If you’re working in education, you can sign in to your schools account or sign up for a new one through Apple’s Education Channel, where you’ll be able to order the Crayon or Rugged Combo 2 iPad case this summer.
That’s not to say that Logitech won’t eventually offer it for stand-alone sale, but for now, it’s education only.
Any more questions?
Do you have any more questions about what Logitech Crayon is and how it works with the 2018 iPad? Put them in the comments and I’ll dig up the answers for you!