While styluses are one of the most straightforward types of iOS accessories, there are quite a few options in the field, some offering unique designs, features, or both. Today we’re looking at three recent models, each of which stands apart from the crowd of generic OEM pens for a different reason. There’s the chunky Cosmonaut from Studio Neat ($25), Just Mobile’s new AluPen Pro ($40), and Nomad Brush’s Compose, available in two different sets for $39 each. Even though they all do generally the same thing, each has a unique design characteristic that will appeal to a different audience.
We’ve seen intentionally chunky styli before, most notably including Just Mobile’s AluPen, but the Cosmonaut takes the cake in terms of shear girth. The diameter is just under three quarters of an inch; you choose a central wood or aluminum core that’s about the same size as AluPen, but then Cosmonaut wraps the core in grippy rubber. At the end of the 4.75” long stylus is a capacitive tip that depresses when pressed against a screen, although not as much as many other touchscreen pens. The whole thing feels very much like a large-barreled crayon, and it ships in neatly-designed cardboard packaging.
Given its size, we were surprised at just how precise Cosmonaut is. Writing within the lines of a notebook-styled page in Penultimate was impressively accurate and legible, without having to put in an overly concerted effort. The stylus is also quite comfortable to hold and to use, with the rubber providing a very nice texture. Some may not like the coating, however, because it can be more difficult to slide in and out of a pocket. It will also not fit in most bags’ pen slots.
Cosmonaut’s simple design is certainly appealing, as is the cool visual accent the core provides—that core also elevates the look to something a bit more professional. The fact that the stylus writes so well is surprising, and will please many users. It’s not going to be for everyone, but we can offer a strong recommendation for Studio Neat’s stylus with a B+ rating. If you like the look, you’ll be very happy with the results.
Company and Price
Company: Studio Neat
Compatible: All iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches