As a student the iPad has really helped to consolidate all my files and notes. During my first module in business school I was juggling several binders and notebooks and always seemed to leave the one report I needed at home. Boom, enter the iPad. Problem solved. However, taking notes on an iPad without a stylus is impossible. My handwriting is bad as it is. Using my sausage fingers makes my notes look written by a pubescent child with broken fingers.
So I got a stylus, which I didn’t like, so I got another. And then I got another, and another, and another. Here’s my experience with the following styli, hopefully they’ll help save you some time.
Adonit Jot Pro
I really want to like this, especially after the $30 I shelled out for it and all the kickstarter hoopla it had. However, I don’t, and here’s why. 1) The damn thing misses strokes when you write quickly. 2) Its hard tip makes annoying tap tap tapping sounds. 3) It doesn’t work at certain angles, making for an uncomfortable writing experience. 4) It’s not good for navigation and casual use.
I don’t want to have to think about using my pen at the right angle and right speed and right anything. It should just work, and at $30, it should work damn well for a long time. Thankfully the tip hasn’t broken, but there are lots of reports on the interwebs of it falling off or splitting in half. Apparently Adonit is coming out with a pressure sensitive model for around $100 soon, hopefully that one won’t suck.
Amazon Link $30
I was stuck using this junk for two months. I have largish hands, okay, I have gorilla hands, so its small form may just bother me more than others. However, I can’t imagine anyone using this comfortably for any period of time who’s older than five. But not only does the size suck, the tip sucks too. These types (the majority) of styli have a hard rubber tip surrounded by another thin rubber tip. It’s hard to explain. But if the second layer extends too far it makes an annoying yak yak yak sound. Maybe it’s gotten worse over the two months. I did use it quite vigorously. Nonetheless, styli shouldn’t do that.
Amazon Link $13
VIPERTEK Premier 2-in-1 Capacitive Stylus and Executive Pen
This has quickly become my carry around stylus. I always carry three things in my pocket: a highlighter, pen, and stylus. Yeah, I guess I’m a nerd. But I’m a student, so I suppose that’s a nerd license. Anyhow, combining the pen and stylus cuts the load by a third.
I really like this stylus. It’s large, long, hefty, and writes smooth. It probably isn’t good for drawing as the head is pretty thick, but for writing and navigation it does just fine. And I like the pen. It’s a gel tip, not ball, which is my preference.
I do have a couple reservations. As I mentioned, it’s quite hefty. It hasn’t started to bother me, and I haven’t done any lengthy writing sessions with it yet, but it may. Also I don’t really care for the styling. As any of my friends know, even though I love Apple products, I care more for function over form. Score for a nerdy 2-in-1 pen.
Amazon Link $12
AYL (TM) Newest Generation Slim Capacitive iPad Stylus
I was excited for this pen as it’s a top seller on Amazon and has a nice long form that I’m keen on. However, it too suffers from the same annoyingly lose tip as the Kuel. I suppose this might be nice if you’re looking for precision, but I can’t get over the squeak.
Amazon Link $12
BoxWave Capacitive Stylus
I rather like this one. The tip feels sturdy. The only thing is that it’s a little short for my monster hands. Why are styli always so short? Where do these companies think people are going to be keeping them that they need to be made so short? Pens aren’t short, why should styli be? Strange.
Amazon Link $10
Griffin GC16040 Stylus
See the Boxwave review above. These styli are almost exactly identical. I’m not sure who released their styli first, but whoever followed definitely pulled a Samsung. (Kudos to you if you got that reference. And you’re a tech nerd.) The Griffin is slightly thicker though. Just a bit thicker, thus for me, giving it the edge.
Amazon Link $11
Here’s my preference from best to worst.
5. Adonit Jot Pro
6. Kuel H10