The S Pen Creator Edition tablet stylus that Samsung introduced alongside its Galaxy Tab S9 series in July is now available to purchase in the US for $99.99. Designed with digital writing, drawing, and painting in mind, the S Pen Creator Edition is a more premium stylus compared to the standard one. $59.99 S Pen that ships with Galaxy Tab S9 devices, bringing more benefits for creative professionals, such as additional tilt sensitivity and a thicker shape for a better grip.
The S Pen Creator Edition is compatible with Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and above, Galaxy Note10 and above, Galaxy Tab S Series, and PCs that already support the existing S Pen. It cannot be used with any Galaxy Z series of foldable devices. The pencil has no battery and does not require charging, and the flat side can be magnetically attached to compatible Galaxy Tab devices for storage, like an Apple Pencil.
Samsung claims that this latest stylus is its “most advanced S Pen yet,” although that comes with some caveats, as Air Commands (a feature of the S Pen that allows users to quickly access various functions by pressing the button on the pen while scrolling over the screen) Curiously they are not supported. The S Pen Creator Edition is only available in white and features a single button on the side that can be used to interact with tools in creative apps (such as switching between pen and eraser functions). It also has an IPX4 rating, meaning it can withstand light splashes, which is less protection than the IP68 waterproof rating of the cheaper S Pen.
Until its appearance, the S Pen Creator Edition is Samsung’s real rival to the Apple Pencil, which has earned a loyal fan base of iPad creatives who prefer its blended convenience to traditional, bulkier drawing tablet setups. This popularity is largely due to the iPad platform (due to its well-supported catalog of iOS-only apps like Procreate and Forger), but the Apple Pencil itself (particularly its $129 second-generation model) has its own merits, including creativity-focused features like gesture controls for switching between tools in drawing apps.
Samsung will need to improve its creative software offering across the Galaxy Tab series to have any real hope of competing with the reputation Apple has already built, but the S Pen Creator Edition is certainly a start. At the very least, it’s better equipped to handle creative tasks than the $79 Apple Pencil USB-C that was announced last month, which eliminates features like pressure sensitivity entirely.