NovaPlus A8 Duo review: Inexpensive Apple Pencil-like stylus for iPad

NovaPlus A8 Duo and Apple Pencil.

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The NovaPlus A8 Duo is a lightweight Apple Pencil clone, and is a nearly-flawless option for iPad-centric sketchers, note-takers, and more.

NovaPlus is back with an improved version of its well-received Apple Pencil-like stylus, adding a secondary charging method and a few new features. It is an inexpensive clone that gives users a second color option, and even manages to occasionally beat Apple at their own game in a few places.

The previous A7 Pro Pencil, which resembled the actual Apple Pencil 2 in nearly every dimension, was the first truly competitive stylus to add the same magnetic charging that was introduced with the 2018 iPad Pro. Without close examination, most people would be unable to distinguish its “classic white” model from the Apple original.

There are a few tell-tale signs, of course, for both practical and legal reasons: the cap portion of the stylus, for example, is also a button. The previous model and the A8 use a light ring around the top to provide battery information through color changes.

Of course it also includes palm rejection, and of course the soft nibs are fully compatible with Apple’s own — NovaPlus sells its own nib packs. Interestingly, the A8 weighs noticeably less than the Apple Pencil 2: 13 grams compared to Apple’s 20g.

In addition to a lower price, the A8 offers additional value. For a start, a second nib is included in the box, along with a protective woven cover for the stylus, and a short USB-A to USB-C cord to allow for charging by older computers.

All in a cardboard box of about the same dimensions as the Apple Pencil box. We’re just sayin’.

The packaging for our

The packaging for our “star black” NovaPlus A8 Duo.

The Dark Pencil

But let’s not kid ourselves: the initial big attractor for many previous and future buyers was and will be the “star black” color option. It’s not the first black Pencil-compatible stylus, but it is the first Pencil…