Just before #CESlive ended, I ran back and took a look at all the stylus pens that were being shown off on the show floor. There's weren't any big new announcements, but I did get to go hands on with a lot of the most recent updates. I have to say, the improvements we're seeing are remarkable. Instead of dull and drab, we're getting sexy and stylish, instead of big plastic disks, we're getting fine points, instead of rubber nibs, we're getting interchangeable brushes, and instead of dumb, dead pens, we're getting Bluetooth 4.0 LE-based pressure sensitivity and palm rejection. And 2014 has only just begun!
Wacom has announced a new, pressure-sensitive stylus for the iPad called the Intuos Creative Stylus, paying homage to the branding of their famous tablet line. The Intuos Creative Stylus connects to your iPad 3, iPad 4, or iPad mini using Bluetooth 4.0, and features shortcut buttons, along with support for palm rejection. These features help make creating more natural, says Wacom:
Adonit was one of the first to launch a pressure sensitive Bluetooth stylus for the iPad back in July of last year. That original Jot Touch had quite a lot to like about it, including Adonit's trademark mechanical pencil-style construction and clear capacitive disk, but the new one takes it to the next level. Raphael Gomez of Adonit gave us the story at Macworld|iWorld 2013
iPads are great for kids -- intuitive, interactive, and engaging -- and Griffin continues to expand the possibilities, and the fun, with peripherals like the Crayola Light Marker. With a large crayon stylus that's easy to grip and easy to use, you pair with Griffin's free app and then paint and play to your heart's content with a variety of modes and tools.
It's meant to use in the dark and at a distance, almost like a pointer driven light show. The crayon sends light to your iPad camera, and the camera interprets that and makes it into magic. Check out their CES 2013, and if you have kids, or just like drawing in the dark, let me know what you think.
Ten One Design released their Pogo Connect Bluetooth 4.0 pressure sensitive stylus before CES 2013 -- and we have a full review on the way -- but they still showed up to show it off at the show. (Isn't English fun?)
Thanks to BT 4.0's low energy requirement and fast connection ability, the Pogo Connect gets found and setup by apps that support it nearly instantly, and a single battery can power it through weeks and weeks of stylus fun.
So, rather than build in a digitizer like Samsung did with the Galaxy Note series or Wacom does with their device, Apple has left the iPhone minimal for those who don't need more, and let smart people make smart accessories for those that do. Pressure sensitivity gets offloaded from the tablet to the stylus.
As an artist, and someone who used Wacom for a long time in the design world, I'm all over this. Anyone else?
I love hybrid stylus pens like the AlluPen Pro from Just Mobile. I use traditional ink pens all the time, and it's so much more convenient to have capacitive stylus tip available at the same time. I sometimes find them to be heavier than single-purpose pens or styluses, but the simple utility makes them worth it. The AlluPen Pro is also extremely well balanced, which helps enormously.
The Incipio Premium KICKSTAND Case with Stylus for the iPad packs a lot of features into one solid package. Not only is it a folio with a secure flap, but as the name implies it comes packing a kickstand for excellent -- and multiple -- viewing angles, and even a stylus pen for note-taking, drawing, and gaming.
The LynkTec TruGlide Stylus takes a different approach to any other stylus pen we've looked at. Instead of having a silicone tip like the Pogo Sketch Plus, Kuel H12, or Wacom Bamboo, or a plastic disc like the Jot Pro, the TruGlide has a tip made of strong, woven, capacitive fibers. LynkTec claims these fibers are more durable and last longer than either the silicone tips or plastic discs of their competitors, and also provide a smoother, more friction-free experience on the iPhone or iPad. Does it work out that way?
The Adonit Jot Pro really stood out in our recent pro stylus pen shootout. Adonit made a brave, bold choice by not going with the common fat-style silicone tip. Instead they went with a thin metal tip more like that of a mechanical pencil or fine pointed pen, and mounted it with a see-through, capacitive disk.