Where have you been for the last five years?
Chromebooks have supported Universal Stylus Intiative (USI) stylus pens for three years now in a bid to step away from the annoying inconvenience of Active styli that only work with one particular model or manufacturer. USI stylus pens are compatible with all USI-enabled Chromebooks, and because they don’t need to be paired with the laptop in order to work, you can use one with any and every Chromebook you come across so long as it supports the protocol (which all the best Chromebooks of the last three years do).
While we’ve seen a handful of models from Lenovo, HP, and third-party manufacturers, they’ve so far been a bit lackluster. Only HP offers a rechargeable stylus rather than one using batteries you have to replace every several months, and all have been rather boring in the design department too. Thankfully, Logitech spiced up its shiny new Logitech Pen in its quest to make a Chromebook counterpart to the Logitech Crayon.
Logitech set out to make the best Chromebook stylus for students, but the Logitech Pen is just flat-out the best Chromebook stylus period. Or it will be once you can buy it.
At a glance
Bottom line: This is the USI stylus we’ve been waiting three years for. It charges over USB-C rather than dealing with AAAA batteries, and the triangular design with a higher rubberized grip makes it easier to grip no matter how you hold a pen or pencil.
- Triangular design for better grip
- Weeks of battery life
- Uses the same USB-C chargers as your Chromebook
- Spill-, chew-, and drop-resistant
- Education-only for now
- It still rolls pretty easily
See at Logitech
- Price and availability
- Thoughtful design and durability
- Cons and competitors
- Should you buy it?
Logitech Pen Price and availability
The worst part of the Logitech Pen is that it’s initially only available in education channels, meaning we normal consumers will have to wait a bit longer to purchase one. Announced on Jan. 18, 2022, the Logitech Pen is launching through Logitech Education Channels and associated education resellers for $65, with the device shipping out in April 2022.
The packaging for the Logitech Pen is designed for easy checkout and deployment. The plastic, resealable back features a QR code bearing the serial number printed on the stylus itself, meaning that IT departments can simply scan the pouch, assign to a student, and then match it back up to that serial number at the end of the year, whether they still have the pouch or not. This packaging isn’t quite as theft-proof as you’d need for consumer retail, but rest assured Logitech is working to bring the Logitech Pen to normal channels so that normal Chromebook users like you and me can get our hands on one sooner rather than later.
Logitech Pen Thoughtful design and durability
The Logitech Pen easily stands out from your crowded pen cup or pencil bag with its triangular shape and long yellow grip. The gentle rounding on the edges makes it easy to grip whether you’re using a proper handwriting grip, a lazy handwriting grip, a looser brushstroke grip, or if your little one is holding it with their fist while they draw out their numbers and letters. The triangle grip made the Logitech Pen the easiest stylus I’ve ever held between two fingers while I’m typing something out real quick between tapping through sheets and highlighting copy.
|USI (Universal Stylus Initiative)
|Pairing & Use
|Auto On/Off No pairing/buttons needed
|Up to 15 days “regular school use” 30 minutes use in 30 second charge LED pulse below 10% charge
|USB-C (Power Delivery)
|Tri-lobe shape Extended silicone grip Balanced weight distribution
|Bend & Spill resistant MIL-STD 810G drop certified (4ft)
|5.94 x 2.58 x 0.41 inches 151 x 65.5 x 10.42 mm
|0.033 lbs / 15g
The comfort here means that you’re more likely to actually remember to use the stylus outside of scribbling some doodles, and if you’re using it for art or handwriting notes, you can comfortably hold and use it for hours on end. Logitech claims you’ll get 15 days of “regular school use” which was about 2-4 hours of active use and another 3-5 hours of semi-active use, but should you run out of battery, one of the Logitech Pen’s best features gets to shine.
Kiss the AAAA batteries goodbye, kids; the Logitech Pen charges with the same USB-C Power Delivery charger that your Chromebook does. In fact, Logitech doesn’t even bother putting a cable in the bag; you can literally use any USB-C charger you have on hand, from the 45W charger your Chromebook came with to a Snickers-sized 5,000mAh power bank you use to keep your phone alive on extra-long days. And because Logitech uses Power Delivery, we can get some impressive charging speeds when you really need it: plug in the Logitech Pen for 30 seconds and you get 30 minutes of battery back.
We’re no stranger to “get 50% charge in 30 minutes* from our phones and even some Chromebooks these days, but this is even better than the “10 minutes for 2 hours playtime” on the best true wireless earbuds. 30 seconds means that if a student’s pen dies mid-period, they can top it off enough to finish the class in the time it takes the teacher to go through one slide on the daily PowerPoint. Even better, you can keep using the Logitech Pen while it’s plugged in if it’s dead after you get home from school.
The USB-C port is spill-resistant and the pen itself is reinforced to help avoid it bending or breaking when thrown in with the rest of your pens, pencils, and paraphernalia in a pencil bag or that bottomless pit you call a backpack. There’s no cap kids can lose, though I’ll confess I wish there were some oversized pencil toppers you could stretch over the end to differentiate between multiple kids’ Logitech Pens (and make them more fun). As it only comes in one color, the only way to truly tell them apart is to either read the serial number near USB-C end of the stylus or take a label maker to it.
Tips are replaceable on the Logitech pen, though the point is quite durable to the point that I’d worry more about a kid scratching the screen than messing up the stylus. And if you need to switch tips, you can use pliers rather than having to dig out some unique tool that’ll get lost in your junk drawer. Logitech accepts that teachers and parents already have enough gear and tool to keep up with, so if a tip gets rubbed all the way down or split, you can pull it out with regular or needle-nose pliers.
Logitech Pen Cons and competitors
Again, there’s not much downside to this stylus other than you not being able to buy one right now. The triangular profile isn’t as “anti-roll” as they say — my review unit rolled around my table pretty frequently unless I sat it at the hinge of my Chromebook while it was open and in use, but so long as you keep it close to your Chromebooks or anything else on your desk, it should stop rolling pretty quickly should you bump the desk.
Even with that, the Logitech Pen handily beats almost every other USI stylus to cross my desk so far. The best USI stylus models you can buy right now mostly either use AAAA batteries or a non-replaceable battery, and every single one of them are narrower than the Logitech Pen with a completely round cylindrical shape, making them harder to grip for long periods.
The only other USI stylus to feature USB-C charging, the HP Rechargeable USI Active Pen, is tailor-made to match the HP Chromebook x2 11 and hard to find in stock anywhere. Even HP is regularly sold out, and when it does happen to get in a shipment, it’s more expensive and not as comfortable to hold as the Logitech Pen. It features NFC charging when it magnetically docks to the side of the HP x2 11, but for those of us rocking other Chromebook models, there’s little incentive to buy HP’s pen over Logitech’s.
Logitech Pen Should you buy it?
You should buy this if…
- You want a durable, long-lasting USI stylus
- Your grip isn’t prim and perfect (I know mine isn’t)
- You’re willing to wait for quality
You should not buy this if…
- You need a stylus right this minute
- You dislike yellow
All told, the Logitech Pen is quite simply the best Chromebook stylus I’ve ever seen. It can recharge anywhere your Chromebook does, the grip is more forgiving of “improper” grips and longer sessions of sketching diagrams or writing out notes during class periods, and the kid-proofing Logitech underwent in order to make this school-ready means it’s also life-proof for us adults.
out of 5
As soon as this becomes available for normal consumers, I’m buying every Chromebook owner I know one. And I’ll buy myself another should Logitech give us some cooler colors like blue, red, or purple. If you’ve been debating grabbing a USI stylus for your Chromebook and can hold off a few months, the Logitech Pen will be 110% worth the wait.
See at Logitech
Simply the best — once you can buy it, that is.
This is the USI stylus I’ve been waiting three years for. It charges over USB-C rather than dealing with AAAA batteries, and the triangular design with a higher rubberized grip makes it easier to grip no matter how you hold a pen or pencil.