updated 07:10 pm EDT, Wed August 24, 2011
Bracketon, GreenBulb, Primary Case, Ten One Design
Though Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously said, "if you see a stylus, they blew it" referring to tablets, there are occasions and certain types of software that benefit from stylus use, particularly handwriting, photo-editing and drawing apps. As users continue to find specific uses for styluses on iOS products (and particularly competitor touchscreen devices), a small but significant market has sprung up to meet demand. Four of the latest styluses to hit the market are highlighted below.
Bracketon has announced the Style-iT ($25), a combination stylus and ballpoint pen, and uses a pen-style clip to keep the stylus handy in one's shirt pocket, briefcase or folio case. It features an omni-directional soft tip that adapts to right-handed or left-handed writing, and comes in colors designed to match the line of Apple's Smart Covers for the iPad (though it will of course work with non-Apple touchscreen mobile devices).
An independent maker called GreenBulb is hoping to bring its own innovative design to market using "crowdsourcing" funding through IndieGoGo. The product, called the XStylus Touch, is a wide-grip, heavyweight moulded metal iPad stylus similar to the popular XStylus Crayon for the Nintendo 3DS. The company is seeking funding on their project page, and hope to begin production next month.
The XStylus Touch features a discreet magnetic holder to keep the stylus with the iPad, and uses a polished iron core with a plastic housing to give it the proper weight in the hand. The final product, if produced, should retail for around $25, and is said by the company to be the heaviest stylus on the market at 32 grams (1.125 ounces). The developers have offered to fully refund any pledges if the project does not achieve its ambitious $50,000 funding goal.
U.S. accessory maker Primary Case are offering the self-named Primary Case Stylus ($10) for capacitive touchscreens of all sorts. The stylus uses the clever idea of a attachement to the headphone jack to keep the stylus attached when not in use, and the company says the combination of a very sensitive tip along with a carefully-considered ration of weight and grip make it a great choice for writing, drawing and normal functions like clicking and page-turning. It is currently available directly from the company's website.
Ten One Design, known for their elegant and Apple-complimentary style, have updated their existing line of styluses specifically for iOS devices with the Pogo Sketch Pro ($25), a "paintbrush-like" stylus with an ergonomic grip, a patent-pending tip technology and balanced aluminum body aimed at digital sketchers and painters. The tip is easily replaceable and consists of patterned structures within the tip to enhance sensitivity with a smaller tip diameter.
The body features a rubber grip to keep the pen temperate and comfortable at all angles and for both left-handers and right-handers. It is available now from Ten One Design's website.
GreenBulb XStylus Pro
Primary Case Stylus
Ten One Design's Pogo Sketch Pro