Review: Acme Mobile Products MicroStylus Jack
Company: Acme Mobile Products
Model: MicroStylus Jack
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPod touches
With so many iOS styluses on the market, some developers are trying more aggressively than others to set their designs apart from the rest of the market. We've recently seen interesting innovations with unique capacitive tips, while others are focusing more on the stylus's base -- or lack thereof. Today, we're examining seven recently-released models from four different companies, a handful of which are truly unique. The list includes Acme Mobile Products' MicroStylus Jack ($10), Imymee's Crayon Touch Stylus Pen, Stylus Diamond, Stylus Presenter, and Stylus Titanium from Logiix, and oStylus Design Studios' oStylus and oStylus Dot. Each works with all iPads, iPhones, and iPods, although some are better suited to a larger or smaller screen.
We’ve seen plenty of compact styluses, but MicroStylus Jack takes the crown as the world’s smallest touchscreen input device. Measuring just about 3/4” long, it’s composed of a rubber capacitive tip and short silver or black aluminum stem—that’s it. The appeal here is that the shaft can be inserted into any standard 3.5mm headphone port, meaning there’s a higher likelihood you’ll have it on you when you need it. Writing or drawing with MicroStylus Jack is more precise than using a finger, but the tiny shaft is somewhat awkward to hold.
We don’t think it’s likely that one would want to take extensive notes on an iPad using this stylus—the design isn’t ergonomic, and would likely become uncomfortable after an extended period of use— but it’s well suited for a quick round of Draw Something or sketching in your downtime. Unlike other styli we’ve seen that have some sort of plug that fits in the headphone port, this one doesn’t dangle; it’s easy to insert and remove as needed, staying very much out of the way when it’s not in use. For those that want a quick little writing implement, particularly users with big fingers or longer fingernails, MicroStylus Jack makes sense, although the appeal is likely limited to that group. There’s no question that we’d prefer a full pen-sized stylus for most tasks, yet the price and convenience are benefits with this one, enough to earn it a limited recommendation.