The Apple Pencil is a fantastic device, but with its premium price tag and short list of devices it will work with, it's a niche product. The Adonit Pro 4 Stylus, on the other hand, is for anyone and any device.
Price: $30Bottom line: This disc stylus works on all of your touchscreen devices. While it looks and feels luxurious, its price point is reasonable.
- Works on all touchscreens
- Never needs to charge
- No need to pair with a device
- Aesthetically appealing
- Comfortable to hold and use
- Reasonable price point
- More precise than a finger
- Skips and misses sometimes
- No palm rejection
Adonit Pro 4 Stylus: Features
When you want to do something on your touchscreen that requires more precision than your finger, a stylus is a great tool. Most high-end styli only work with specific devices. They also must be paired to a device, and must be charged. Cheap styli, like the ones with the black rubber tips about the size of a baby's finger, don't need to be paired or charged and they do work with any touchscreen, but they aren't all that useful. The rubber tipped styluses have to be held pretty upright, or they won't work at all. Plus they just really aren't better than my finger, and they obscure my view of whatever I'm working on. I have a couple of these cheapies that I've collected over the years, and they just collect dust.
Enter the Adonit Pro 4 Stylus. It fits right in the middle between the premium niche styli and the cheap rubber-tipped ones. There is no need to turn it on, charge it, or pair it. Just … use it. It'll work with any touchscreen. It's luxurious and natural in the hand. Using it feels like using a nice pen.
The tip has a soft PET material disc. In the center of the disc, you can see a metal disc about the size of a pinhead. That's the pen's point. The plastic disc is the only part that contacts your screen; it glides smoothly over your touchscreen without scratching it. Since you can see through the disc, you can see where you're aiming your stylus. The tip rotates around freely like a ball-and-socket joint, so you can hold the stylus at many different angles according to your preference.
There is a pen clip so you can secure the stylus into a bag or pocket when not in use. What looks like it might be a power button is really just for looks, and ADONIT PRO 4 is printed upon it. A gorgeous copper cap screws onto to either end and works just like a pen cap. It protects the stylus when not in use, and stays out of the way but securely on the opposite end when you're using the stylus.
While I don't draw or do much writing by hand, I did find the Adonit Pro 4 useful in other applications. I like to relax with coloring and puzzle apps on my iPad. I also tested it out on my iPhone and Apple Watch, where it works beautifully in place of my finger. I found it generally to be more precise than my finger, which is especially useful on a tiny screen like the Apple Watch.
However, occasionally I "miss" what I'm aiming for. Note that there is no palm rejection feature, so you don't want to rest your palm on your screen as you write. There is also no pressure sensitivity like the Apple Pencil has, so your line will look the same whether you press lightly or firmly. I found there to be no lag time at all, which makes the experience even closer to writing with pen on paper.
I'm no artist, but my youngest daughter is, so I asked her to give it a spin too. She created the green character seen above with the Adonit Pro 4. She loves how it feels in her hand and enjoys using it. In fact, she asked if she could take it with her when she goes away to art school in the fall. But even she, with her artist's hand, noticed that it misses sometimes.
Adonit Pro 4 Stylus: What I like
It feels a high-end stylus in your hand, but the price tag is reasonable. While it's not quite as precise as the styli several times the price, it's "good enough" for many of us.
What I like most about this is that it's more precise than my finger and it works on all of my devices, even my little Apple Watch. Plus, I love the fact that I don't ever have to charge or pair it.
Adonit Pro 4 Stylus: What I don't like
The only thing I really don't like about it is the skipping or missing that happens sometimes. High-end styli like the Apple Pencil don't do that.
Adonit Pro 4 Stylus: Bottom line
The Adonit Pro 4 is miles ahead of the rubber-tipped cheapies. While not quite at the level of the much more expensive styli, it's an excellent compromise. Draw, write, tap, and swipe with more precision than a finger. No power, charging, or pairing is ever needed. It works on every touchscreen. It does lack desirable features such as palm rejection and pressure sensitivity, but that's not surprising at this price point.
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.