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Stylus

A Bic pen for your tablet

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
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I come from a generation where cheap Bic pens were plentiful and the go to tool anytime you wanted to write something. There is something nostalgic about using one of this pens these days. 

Imagine my surprise when I learned that Bic was releasing the above Bic Cristal Stylus pen. It looks exactly like the Bics I remembered except this one has a nib at the end for your tablet or smartphone. These pens sure bring back a lot of memories.

Unfortunately this bringer of old memories is the european version (link). The North American version looks like this (link):

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Sure its cool but its nothing like the Bic I remember... Too bad... I would love to get my hands on the old school european version. 

All Amazon links provided in this article are for convenience only. I do not get any financial benefit from them.

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.

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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

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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.

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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, 

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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

The secret to amazing handwriting on an iPad

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
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Most stylus' have large tips which result in imprecise device interaction and an ugly overall user experience. Evernote wants more people to use its services and partnered with renown stylus designer Adonit to build the best stylus money can buy.

Here is the Adonit Jot Script for Evernote

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This is a bluetooth connected pen with an incredibly fine tip

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The pen was designed to work with Evernote's Penultimate app with advanced palm detection technology. I can't stress how important palm rejection is. Palm rejection means you can rest your hand on the screen while writing and the software is intelligent enough to disregard it. Because my Nexus 7 doesn't have it, it is impossible to do "good" handwriting on it.

Before you panic though, Adonit is making the enhanced functionality available to third party developers through its developer kit (I expect most ipad apps to include this going forward). 

Because the pen's advanced powers come from its Bluetooth connection, it needs juice and that juice comes from a user replaceable AAA battery.  

The Stylus can be ordered today (but will ship early November) for $75. 

Evernote says. Mobile auteurs can buy the stylus today for $75, and the corresponding Penultimate app is available for free.

You can pre-order it from Adonit  or from the Evernote Marketplace.