Almost all of the best Chromebooks these days have touchscreens, and while just using your finger to swipe and tap your way through tabs and Android apps is fine, your fingers are nasty. Even went they're not dirty or covered in crumbs from your latest snack, fingers are greasy, flabby, and not all that precise, which is why having a great stylus can make all the difference. Whether your Chromebook can use the fancy new USI styli or just the old-fashioned capacitive kind, these are the best Chromebook stylus models you can find.
Jot down some notes with the best stylus for Chromebooks
The future is USI
USI styli are supported by the newest Chromebooks, and this is the only third-party USI stylus I'm confident recommending right now. It's comfortable to hold and it doesn't have the useless eraser button other models do.
Name brand quality
Adonit has been at the forefront of stylus innovation for years, and while most of its models focus on iPad, the Mini 4 is a precision capacitive stylus that will work on every touchscreen Chromebook, and its design makes it hard to lose.
Slim and precise
This is the USI stylus I'm rocking right now, and it works great with every USI-compatible Chromebook to come across my desk so far. I wish it was rechargeable instead of a AAAA battery, but at least the battery can last a long time.
Powered by USB-C
A USI stylus needs to be powered somehow, and while other pens are still opting for AAAA batteries that you never have on hand, HP's pen charges over USB-C and lasts weeks at a time. It comes with two additional tips.
Best for Duet
This is the other manufacturer-made USI stylus, and while it's not as easy to power as the HP, it should last months on a single battery before it needs replacing. It features a pen clip to help you secure the stylus in your backpack.
Fat and thin
This adaptable stylus has two stylus tip types: hybrid mesh tips for more casual swiping through games and apps and precision tips for sketching, handwriting, and accuracy. This kit comes with two pens and six spare tips.
Best for kids
Kids tend to be extra-hard on stylus, applying too much pressure, and unfamiliar with proper grip. These highlighter-sized styli are easier to hold and they come with two replacement tips so you're not hunting for spares immediately.
This stylus pen lets you keep a spare tip inside the cap so that you can swap out while on the go, and there's a magnetic cap to keep your precision tip viable for as long as possible. There are four color options, but I dig the blue.
Like the Ciscle, the Cosmonaut adopts a wider diameter that makes it ideal for younger children and older users with arthritis. That said, it's much harder to find replacement tips for this version since it covers the entire head.
The best stylus for Chromebooks without USI support
Most of the best Chromebooks still use good old-fashioned capacitive styli, which means that there are millions of stylus tips, shapes, and sizes to choose from.
Still, I'm a fan of the Adonit Mini 4 for three reasons: you can't lose the cap because you unscrew the entire bottom of the pen to reveal the precision tip. The color selection here is subdued but colorful and diverse; the Royal Blue has just the right amount of pop and the Olive Green looks exceptional, too. Thirdly, Adonit knows how to make a good stylus, but the Mini 4 allows you to get that experience without dropping a week's worth of grocery money on it.
If you're looking for a stylus that your child could use on a student-friendly Chromebook, there are a few extra things to be mindful of: you'll want a more durable stylus with a wider grip like the Ciscle Youth Series or the Cosmonaut, but be mindful that wider-tipped stylus can be harder to find replacement tips for — and kids will break the tips far more often.
What is USI and does my Chromebook support it?
The Universal Stylus Initiative is a collaboration to standardize styli the same way that groups like the USB-IF and the Wireless Power Consortium have done with USB-C and Qi wireless charging. This is a process that invariably takes time, and so while we have several USI-supported Chromebooks at the moment, there aren't that many USI pens available.
The HP Rechargeable USI Stylus is a better pen than Lenovo's in terms of shape and power since it recharges over USB-C, but some users have reported it feeling cheap to them. On the other hand, Lenovo's pens sell out even more frequently than HP's, but they use batteries and there have been some quality control issues.
That's why the iPlume USI Stylus leads our roundup. It feels good, looks good, and so far we've seen few complaints of compatibility issues. It still uses an AAAA battery rather than being rechargeable, but it also has a tall, dark, and handsome version rather than leaving you with so many shades of grey like Lenovo and HP.
Ara Wagoner was a staff writer at Android Central. She themes phones and pokes YouTube Music with a stick. When she's not writing about cases, Chromebooks, or customization, she's wandering around Walt Disney World. If you see her without headphones, RUN. You can follow her on Twitter at @arawagco.
- Andrew MyrickSenior Editor - Chromebooks, tablets, and wearables
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