To Stylus or not to Stylus?

Posted by DBS
Born in England when black and white TV was a novelty in most homes, I have grow
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 06 March 2012
in Digital Blogs

That is indeed the question.

One of the biggest pluses of using your finger is that most of us have them with us all the time and there are only a few that do not. But using a finger is alien to one used to using a fine Mont Blanc instrument. However using your finger to write with on an iPad is not an intuitive sensation we feel the need for something to hold on to and place into that grip hammered into us with the edge of a ruler (for some of us).

 With devices like tablets you can’t just use any old stylus it has to be a capacitive device as it is the flow of current that is actually doing the writing. I went out and invested in the device below.



 I sourced it at the local Apple store and liked it because of its size and that it had a normal pen in the back that I could use on paper. The choice though was limited to this one from Ozaki and another make that looked like a fat crayon. Even with a device like this it feels a little strange to use. Almost like using a 2cm wide crayon to write on a big piece of paper at nursery school.

 Fine motor writing is not easy and this is really the same problem you have in using a finger to write. Our eyes are used to seeing where the ink hits the paper beyond the end of our gnarled fingers. It was OK but not brilliant.

 In a meeting a couple of weeks ago I noticed that someone had a slightly different stylus as pictured below.



Immediately you can see that it has a point on it and then has a capacitive disc on the end of the point to touch the iPad. This looks much more like a pen and using it also feels more like a pen. Another trip to the Apple store and I had ownership. Yes it does feel better sort of like using a felt tipped pen.

It still does not give the fine motor feel of a well sharpened pencil but it is better. It is manufactured by Jot. Some clever marketing has given it a packaging that allows you to see the point and disc without opening breaking the seal.

 A word of warning though. These devices are not cheap. In both cases the plastic was warped for R300 so do take care of them. Quality can be a problem too. The first one had a clip like a normal pen but this soon broke. The new red one has the disk at the end which is a potential weak point, no clip but does have a screw on cap.

 Mont Blanc is this an area you want to look at?

Born in England when black and white TV was a novelty in most homes, I have grown up and dedicated my life to technology.

Came to South Africa in 1970 and completed formal education here.

I have used computer technology all my working life and still am learning more about using it everyday. The speed with which we can now share ideas and information is proof that the dreams and visions I heard in the late 1960's can come true


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