Birds' eye view of person drawing on iPad with Apple Pencil with backpack, lamp, and desk in peripherals

UPDATE: May. 8, 2024, 3:10 p.m. EDT This story has been updated with new preorder listings at Target and Walmart.

May 7 marks the last leg of the Apple product drop trifecta that started in the fall of 2023. After getting new iPhones, new Apple Watches, and new MacBooks, just one major Apple product category was left ripe for a refresh this spring. And Apple went hard not only with a new iPad Pro and Air, but with the accessory that fuels the entire iPad experience: the Apple Pencil.

After almost a decade of existence, the Apple Pencil has finally been initiated into Apple’s “Pro” club. Rather than the one or two small tweaks of Apple Pencil upgrades past, the Apple Pencil Pro has been entirely redesigned with a suite of new ways to bring ideas to life — and keep up with that M4 chip. It doesn’t start shipping until May 15, but you can pre-order it now through the Apple Store, Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Target, and Walmart.

Black screen featuring Apple Pencil in middle and examples of several new Apple Pencil creating features along border
It’s the next best thing to a magic wand.
Credit: Apple

A light squeeze of the Pencil Pro pops up a palette to swiftly switch between tools, line weights, and colors, while a slight rotation while holding the Pencil Pro activates barrel roll: a built-in gyroscope that reacts immediately for intuitive, precise control of pen shapes, brush tips, or animation movements. Custom interactions can also be programmed.

Control of your project is taken even further with a hover feature that allows you to target actions without even touching the screen, like previewing a line before it’s drawn or switching between a pile of layers in Final Cut Pro without making a wrong move. Haptic feedback has also been enhanced to tip you off when a new layer is, in fact, perfectly in the middle.

As always, the Apple Pencil Pro charges and stores magnetically to the side of your iPad. If it falls off in transit, no worries: it’s the first Apple Pencil to support Find My.

Despite “Pro” being tacked onto the name, Apple isn’t gatekeeping the Apple Pencil Pro just for iPad Pro users. iPad Air users can also opt to experience the magic of the Pro. And there’s little reason to not make that bump: Despite so many revolutionary changes, the Apple Pencil Pro retails for $129, the same debut price as the second-gen Apple Pencil from several years ago.

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