It has always struck me that the iPad is just crying out for some form of alternative input device other than my finger. This is not a view that I share with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who famously asked the question “Who wants a stylus?” when launching the original iPhone. Of course, Steve’s dislike of styluses doesn’t stop people wanting them or companies making them. And to prove the point (no pun intended) I own not one but three of them.
In my search for the ultimate stylus I have shelled out £31 and now think that I have found one that is fit for purpose. For me it is not about drawing but writing and doing quick diagrams and so what works for me may not for you, as they say “your mileage may vary”.
This was the first stylus that I bought and had high hopes for as it had been recommended by a number of publications but I was immediately disappointed. Unlike the other products on offer here the Pogo has a tip that looks and feels a little bit like a sponge. If you have a tendency to press hard when writing as I do the sponge tends to collapse leaving a much larger line that I would have liked or simply not working at all. It is also a little light weight and unsubstantial in the hand.
This was certainly the bargain of the three coming in at £1 for not one but two styluses, the smaller of which had an attachment that allows it to be plugged into the headphone socket. However, it is the larger of the two I am looking at here as it is consistent in size to the others. Unlike the Pogo but like the Kensington this one has a rubber tip and is probably the smallest of the lot. In use it is firmer than the Pogo but there is an awful lot of resistance when moving the stylus across the screen. But the biggest killer is that it is simply too lightweight in use. I did try prising the top off to see if the metal case could be filled but alas not.
The last of the lot is from Kensington and has the added advantage of not only being a stylus but also a pen too. Having the pen included has the advantage of adding both weight and length to the device which makes it much more usable than the other two. It also has a nice balance between the springy and spongy feel of the Pogo and the stiffness of the Poundland. The Kensington also writes smoothly giving clear lettering and makes it an outright winner.
(In the picture above you have from left to right the Poundland Stylus, Kensington Virtuoso and the Pogo Sketch)