The Never Ending Quest for a Stylus

I continue to search for the next, best stylus.  It sounds hilarious, but over time, I’m sure that I’ve spent so much on various stylus devices that I had I saved my money, I could buy an entry level iPad 2.  Or the new iPad.  It’s just like apps–you don’t buy them all at once, but over time, they start costing real money.

There are always 4 styluses in my iPad bag or on hand.

My favorite stylus, hands down, is the Studio Neat Cosmonaut.  It’s a big, chunky stylus that costs $25.  The idea behind the Cosmonaut–and I agree–is that you hold the Cosmonaut like a dry erase marker.  When you work with a dry erase marker, you tend not to put your hand on the surface of a white board–so when you hold a Cosmonaut, you keep your hand off of the screen of the iPad.  I also like the “grippy” nature of the stylus as it is coated in rubber–easy to hold regardless of the state of your hands (cold, wet, whatever).  Whenever I’m using my iPad as a presentation device (large notes) or when I take notes with Noteshelf, using the “zoom” feature.  This is actually how I take most notes (Noteshelf), so this is the stylus I use the most.  Noteshelf’s one negative aspect is that it doesn’t allow for the import of PDFs, something they are working on adding in a future version.

My second-favorite stylus is the Adonit Jot Pro.  The Adonit Jot Pro is a pen-sized stylus with a clear disc tip, with a capacitive “dot” that connects the pen to the disc.  The magnet is overrated, but the rest of the pen–particularly the rubber grip–is quite wonderful.  It truly allows for detail when using the stylus–but it can be tricky to do so without resting your hand on the iPad, which is how you hold a pen or a pencil in the real world.  There are apps that offer “wrist protection” but you have to disable multi-touch functionality to use them (or you find that you are switching apps when you don’t mean to).  The plastic disc does not hurt the screen of the iPad, but it does “tap” while you write–which is different than any other stylus on the market.  My original Jot Pro dealt with separation issues with the disc; they fixed that problem and sent me new discs which haven’t been an issue.  Some people have used polysynthetic silver thermal compound from Radio Shack on the “ball” of the stylus, fixing a “skipping” issue–I may do this, too.

My final “favorite” stylus is the Justmobile Alupen which sells for $25 (you can find them for less).  The Alupen functions much like the Cosmonaut, but it is thinner and made of aluminum–which can be less pleasing to hold when it gets cold out.  When my Cosmonaut went missing, I used the Alupen in its absence.

I have a $15 Belkin stylus from WalMart that stays in my iPad bag at all times, for those rare occasions that I wouldn’t have any of the other styluses with me.  It’s not the greatest–but it works.

I have two more styluses on the way.  The first is a Kickstarter Project called “the Hand.”  I’m always looking for a better stylus, so I bought one.  It will arrive in August.

The final stylus is also on backorder, the Maglus.  I learned about the Maglus from the Verge, as apparently other users did.  The Maglus was the number one stylus of choice by the Verge.  We’ll see how it works when it arrives.

Monoprice offers a series of styluses–I haven’t tried them.


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