GreenBulb’s Xstylus Touch ($39) is one of the more unique capacitive styluses we’ve seen so far, and takes a minute of playing around to understand. The plastic body surrounds a heavy metal core that rotates all the way around, making the accessory resemble a barber’s straight razor. One end is thicker than the other and expands the plastic, creating a wider grip surface that the company touts as a benefit.
Xstylus Touch ranges from about 4.75” to 5.25” inches depending which way the stainless steel “blade” is flipped. Although official images show the stylus being used with the plastic expanded, we found that it can be held comfortably either way. Besides the thickness of the grip, the only difference is weighting: it’s much more balanced when used as recommended. The core is also magnetic and connects to both the iPad 2 or third-generation iPad’s left side—rather loosely—or the included plastic Dock Connector clip much more firmly. Depending on how you carry your iPad, this could be a benefit, but most people will find that it doesn’t work as well as expected; it’s too easy to knock the pen off.
The most important element of any stylus is its performance when used for writing and drawing. Xstylus Touch’s tip is the same kind of squishy rubber most competitors use, although it’s narrower than many we’ve seen. It requires just a bit of pressure to register on the screen; all but the lightest touches and drags are recognized. The tracking is pretty good, and we were surprised by how small we were able to write without losing legibility. Overall, it’s as good as the best rubber-tipped options we’ve tested, but as great as Adonit’s Jot styluses.
At a lower price, the Xstylus Touch would be a good option, as it sticks out from the crowd of simple capacitive styluses in a number of ways. It writes and draws pretty well while having substantial weight in the hand; it doesn’t feel like a disposable accessory. The fact remains, however, that better options can be had for much less. Users who like the design’s aesthetics or prefer a wider grip will be served well by this one, but it’s not for everyone, and a bit too pricey. As such, it earns our limited recommendation.
Company and Price
Model: XStylus Touch
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones + iPod touches