Does Dell's Premium Active Pen work with iPads?

iPad Pro
iPad Pro (Image credit: iMore)

Does Dell's Premium Active Pen work with iPads?

Best answer: Unfortunately, no. Dell's Premium Active Pen does not work with iPads. However, it does work with a variety of other devices.For most iPads: Apple Pencil ($99 at Apple)For select iPad Pros: Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) ($129 at Apple)Premium pen power: Dell Premium Active Pen ($100 at Dell)

What works with iPads?

If you're looking for a pen that works with iPads, then, unfortunately, the Dell Premium Active Pen isn't going to cut it because it isn't compatible with Apple's touch protocol. Instead, you're going to need an Apple Pencil, which is Apple's equivalent. Depending on which variant of iPad you own, you may either need the first or second generation of Apple Pencil. The second-generation Apple Pencil is made specifically for the third-generation iPad Pro 12.9-inch and iPad Pro 11-inch; all other iPads require a first-generation Apple Pencil.

In general, the two different generations of Apple Pencil function incredibly similarly. Both generations sport a high (but notably unspecified) level of pressure sensitivity, which artists will love, as well as tilt support that allows users to shade and detail their work in a manner that feels natural. The second-generation Apple Pencil does have some improvements to battery life, though, and it's shorter as well, which allows you to balance it in your hand better. Finally, it has support for double-tapping. This lets you trigger certain functions within apps that you are using.

Should you get a Dell Premium Active Pen?

While the Dell Premium Active Pen doesn't work with iPads, it does work with any device that features wither Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP) or Wacom AES. This mostly consists of both Surface and Dell devices, so if you have one of those or are planning to get one soon, the Dell Premium Active Pen is a fantastic choice. It has 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and support for tilting, which puts it on par with the Apple Pencil's performance. On top of that, it also features three buttons that you can map specific functions to, which is very convenient.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.