Review: MKQ Stylus For iPad

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One of the iPad’s under-appreciated features is the ability to use an active stylus for writing, drawing, marking up documents, and even as a navigational aid. Those who bought an iPad Pro are probably all over this — an active stylus is a big part of content creation — but ordinary iPad owners are less likely to pay attention. Especially when Apple’s own version (the Apple Pencil 2) goes for $129. Even the previous generation model at $99 is expensive enough that many iPad owners don’t bother. However, when you have the option of a inexpensive third party stylus, the equation changes. I’ve been trying out the MKQ stylus for iPad, with a very reasonable $29.98 retail price. At time of writing it was selling on Amazon in the $22 range.

At that price, a stylus becomes an impulse buy. Is the MKQ stylus for iPad worth considering?

Many Similarities to Apple Pencil

The MKQ stylus looks very similar to Apple’s own Pencil 2 — from a distance. Same approximate size, same flat surface for magnetic attachment to a compatible iPad, replaceable tips (there are three replacements supplied in the box), same instant pairing with your iPad (no need to fuss with Bluetooth), and the same experience with basic use.

Some Differences

On closer examination, you’ll notice physical differences between the MKQ stylus and an Apple Pencil.

The MKQ is made of white ABS plastic and it has a gloss to it while the original has a matte finish. There is an exposed USB-C port (a removable cover is included but it’s pretty easy to lose), while the Apple Pencil 2 uses wireless magnetic charging. The original Apple Pencil used a Lightning connector hidden beneath the end cap (which meant you couldn’t use it while it was charging). The MKQ has a tap on/off button on the end but still connects instantly with your iPad when powered on. And when you tap that power on button, you’ll see a small, orange LED on the side of the stylus barrel that shows the percent of battery charge remaining.

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