Review: Just Mobile AluPen Twist L
AluPen Twist L ($40) is Just Mobile's second redesign of the classic AluPen, which has been updated with different colors and versions over the years. Coming in either black/black or silver/black, it serves double duty as both a pen and stylus, following the 2012 model AluPen Pro. Twist the barrel one way, and it'll expose the pen tip; the other brings out the rubber stylus nub. It's not the most exciting combination of these features that we've seen, but it's nice to see an update. A new feature is the shirt clip, which wasn't included before.
There have been big advances in iOS stylus technology since the earliest models came on the market in 2009 — consider Adonit’s Jot Script Evernote Edition, which incorporates Bluetooth 4 technology and a fine-point tip as just one option. By contrast, AluPen Twist L’s dome-like stylus tip looks and feels the same as numerous models that have come before it. Made of squishy rubber, it doesn’t feel like a pen when used on the iPad’s glass screen. We found ourselves writing better than we would have expected, which may be partially attributable to the shorter height of the dome, compared to some competitors. Even small text written quickly was mostly legible. It’s not the best stylus we’ve used, but it does work pretty well. As for the pen, well, it’s a standard ballpoint pen, with black ink. The cartridge is replaceable if it runs out or you prefer another color.
The body of the pen is really the differentiator here, as it was with AluPen and AluPen Pro. Torpedo-shaped, we found it to be comfortable and attractive, but not exciting, and it’s relatively large by both stylus and pen standards. For smaller hands, a slimmer version called AluPen Twist S will be available in late February.
AluPen Twist L isn’t our top stylus pick, but it does a respectable enough job that we can offer a general recommendation. Having both a pen and a capacitive stylus in one unit is useful for those who often find themselves switching back and forth between pen and tablet. The price is somewhat high though, and the design, while nice, isn’t Just Mobile’s strongest. We’d like to see the company continue to improve upon the shape and features, incorporating lessons learned with the upcoming AluPen Digital, amongst other styluses and pens that are available.