Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Nexus 10

Cosmonaut stylus for tablets review

technologyEdward Kiledjian2 Comments

I have tested over 20 styli this year ranging from $80 precision devices to cheap $4 ones from china. Most seem to have a similar look so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the Cosmonaut from Studio Neat.

Cosmonaut2.png

It looks like a giant crayon and made me feel like a kid again.

Why a stylus?

Readers often ask me why they should use a stylus with their tablets:

  • it provides much greater control than your finger (more detail)
  • it moves your finger away from the screen (greater visibility and less oily finger marks)
  • it allows you to use your tablet as a high powered digital notebook

The Cosmonaut

Cosmonaut5.png

It is a fairly compact stylus (compared to the its main competitors like the Jot from Adonit). It is a very solidly built product with a nice grippy soft touch rubber covering. This pen is easy to hold. The manufacturer describes their pen as:

"The perfect tablet stylus is one that feels like a dry erase marker: fast, simple, low fidelity. " - Studio Neat

The tip is also made of a rubber-like material that provides just the right amount of friction against the screen. It is a thicker pen so it won't appeal to everyone. I passed the pen around the office and wanted to get feedback from as many people as I could. Most of the younger professionals found it just a little too thick for their liking but older adults seemed to love it. A couple of my testers had slight mobility issues (like arthritis) and fell in love with the Cosmonaut. They said it was the first stylus they could use comfortably.  Another tester that loved the pen was my 3 year old daughter. She loves drawing on my tablet with it.

I love it and it found a permanent place in my work bag.

Accuracy

As for the accuracy, it was one of the most accurate styli I have tested in the last 2 years, This really surprised me. With its thick tip, I thought it was going to be a brute writing instrument but it ended up being a superbly accurate work of art.

Cosmonaut4.png

Because of the design and thickness, I found I was holding the Cosmonaut higher up on the barrel (compared to other styli) which meant my fingers and palm were less likely to rub against the screen (aka I didn't have to deal with unwanted artifacts).

Build Quality

I find manufacturers building cheaper and cheaper accessories. Users are willing to pay $600 for an iPad then want to use a $5 cheap plastic stylus with it. The Cosmonaut is basically an aluminum core wrapped in a premium grippy rubber, 

Cosmonaut3.png

This stylus is built like a tank and I am sure you'll get many many years of use from it. It is one of the best most robust and well built styli I have ever tested.

Verdict

3 words will sum up my verdict: " I loved it". It is a well designed, well priced stylus that performs incredibly well. It is accurate enough to take notes, draw or sketch. It is comfortable enough to use for hours and compact enough to travel easily in a bag.

Source: Cosmonaut

Think before you force your Google Nexus to update

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Creative Commons License - Flickr user  DragonLord878

Creative Commons License - Flickr user DragonLord878

Knowing that there is a brand new shiny update to Android but being damned by the Google gods to wait is frustrating. You bought a Nexus device because it came with the promise of quick and plentiful updates, yet 3 weeks past the release of KitKat, still no sign of the automatic Over the air (OTA) update.

So you search the interwebs and find a trick. A neat trick that many claim has magical powers to quickly deliver the wonders of Kitkat (even if the Check for update button didn't work). But should you be dabbling with the dark arts (clearing the Google Service Framework data)?

A Google engineer has taken to Reddit (Dan Morrill) to inform users of the risks associated with this trick. By wiping your Framework Data, you are invalidating your push notifications (minor issue but could be very annoying). Dan says that the preferred method to accelerate the update to Kitkat for Nexus devices is to use adb sideload but this is for the more experienced users.

Reddit 1

Reddit 2

Android 4.4 Kitkat rolling out to Nexus 7 & 10

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Flickr. Creative Commons image by     medithIT

Flickr. Creative Commons image by  medithIT

As excited as we were for the release of the Nexus 5, we were more excited to see Android 4.4 (aka Kitkat). One benefit of a Nexus device is super fast updates and now we learn that the Nexus 4,7,10 devices will be getting the update shortly. Additionally the update for Google experience phones HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 will receive their updates in a couple of weeks.

Can't wait for the automatic update, go to Settings > About device > Software to check.

Updated Google Nexus 10 coming soon

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
If you were worried Google was neglecting its 10" Android tablet, a WSJ reporter now claims Sundar Pichai (Google's chrome+android leader) confirms a new version is coming and will be built buy Samsung.
There are rumors that Samsung is working on an Octa-core Nexus 10 (which will be similar to a refreshed Samsung Tab (later this year).

Free app to clean junk files from your Android device

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

I am an iPhone user playing with Android and was surprised when I learned I have to “maintain” my Android devices. One of the main maintenance tasks I do on Windows machines that I also have to do on my Android tablet is “getting rid of junk files”.

These files consume precious storage space you definitely want to reclaim. After testing over 20 different apps, I have finally settles on a free software called Clean Master. This app cleans application cache files, orphaned files after uninstalling apps and deletes app histories.

Cleanup is simple and quick with one click. It also provides storage utilization metrics so you can determine which apps are using the most of your precious space (like WinDirStat on Windows).

Download this free app here