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, Imymee’s Crayon Touch Stylus Pen, Stylus Diamond ($30), Stylus Presenter ($40), and Stylus Titanium ($20) 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.
Well on its way to establishing itself as a stylus iteration machine, Logiix has introduced another three models with different features. Stylus Diamond is pitched as “the best and most accurate stylus yet,” using a transparent plastic tip that bends with a spring to provide “pen-like accuracy;” it’s somewhat like Adonit’s Jot series. The body and cap are made of metal and have some heft, although not as much as might be expected from similar-looking styli we’ve covered. The cap can snap onto the back end of the stylus when not in use, and there’s also a shirt clip.
Shipped with two tips, one of the springs bent to the point of damage the first time we tried to install it. Once we got the other installed properly, we were able to test Logiix’s claims. Yes, Stylus Diamond does write pretty well, but the performance comes with some caveats. The spring design doesn’t make a lot of sense to us, as it seems to hinder writing rather than helping it. If you write with your hand closer to the back of the pen, the tip becomes hard to control and often bends backwards, lifting the plastic disc off the surface of the iPad or iPhone. We found that holding your hand closer to the tip provides a much better writing experience, with superior precision to most dome-tipped styli we’ve tested, although Stylus Diamond at its best is still not as good as Jot, and the $20 Jot’s considerably less expensive.
Stylus Presenter is Logiix’s “all in one” model with a pen, laser pointer, and rubber-tipped stylus together in two parts that can be connected and disconnected; three total pen tips and three batteries for the small laser pointer are included. The exterior feels very similar to that of Diamond, although this pen is much heavier thanks to what’s inside. We found the capacitve tip to be better than some of the other rubber options we’ve tested: a little more solid, so it doesn’t squish as much, and offers a respectable level of accuracy. It’s worth noting that with the stylus end out, Presenter is about 5.25” long, while flipping it around and exposing the pen increases the length by about half an inch.
Finally, there’s Stylus Titanium. It has a long barrel with a carbon-coated soft tip, plus a silver shirt clip. Among these three styluses it’s the most basic in design, although unlike the all-black other versions, Titanium comes in seven different colors. Like Diamond, it feels quite light in the hand, as if it’s hollow. In our testing, we found the writing experience to be very similar to that of Stylus Presenter.
Of the bunch, Presenter is our favorite: while it’s the most expensive, it also feels the most substantial, and will make sense to some users in business environments. The stylus and pen ends both work well, and despite the fact that they’re interchangeable, they look like dedicated devices. Laser pointers likely don’t appeal to everyone, but for those who need them, this one gets the job done. Stylus Presenter is worthy of a strong general recommendation. Titanium earns a limited recommendation: it’s a bit expensive for just how generic it is, and users looking for no-frills options will find comparable models for less. Then there’s Diamond. We appreciate that Logiix really tried something different here, but it simply doesn’t work as well as should be expected. The fact that one of the springs broke immediately, combined with the somewhat precise conditions under which it must be used—specially gripped, as opposed to held in a more relaxed way—take away from the overall appeal. If you do everything just right, it will write pretty well, but if you make one mistake during installation of the tip, you’ll be throwing away part of your new stylus within minutes of opening the package. It’s worthy of a C+ rating; because of the easily damaged spring, we can’t recommend it to our readers, but if you’re willing to be super careful with it, you’ll get better results than with a typical stylus.
Company and Price
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, iPod touches