January 1, 2011

iPad Stylus Review

For notetaking on my iPad I use a stylus, currently with the NoteTaker HD and Noteshelf apps.

A plastic stylus, such as those included with the older pressure-sensitive touchscreen Palm PDAs, does not work on the capacitance touchscreens found on the iPad, iPhone and Pod Touch. You must use a special capacitance stylus, which allows an electrical path from the stylus tip through the stylus body to your hand.

Shown [click photo to zoom] are a Pilot G2 retractable gel ink pen (for size), followed from top to bottom by:
iOS is optimized for detecting a finger, not a stylus tip. Hence if you are seeking a 'pointy' tip stylus you are likely to be disappointed – the business end of a capacitance stylus generally has a larger contact area, approximating that of the pad of your fingertip lightly touching the display.

All three styli above work well for notetaking, so choosing one came down to personal preference:
  • I found the conductive foam tip of my Pogo Sketch wore down.
  • The DAGi's accuracy was not something I needed as I'm not drawing on my iPad, and the funky tip could catch on something in my computer case – no cap is included.
  • I really like the smooth (low friction) writing action of the Griffin Stylus , its slightly heavier weight, and its metal clip – I keep my stylus clipped to the outside of the spine of my iPad SGP leather folio case – so the Griffin Stylus is my current preference.