Model: oStylus DOT
Requirements: iPad, iPhone or iPod touch
TiP Rating: 4.5/5 stars
The oStylus DOT takes the stylus design rulebook, shreds it, composts it then magically transforms it in to a beautifully slim piece of Aluminum. Couple with a tiny “dot” and Titanium wire hinge, it’s the ultimate stylus.
Steve Jobs’ strongest belief when it came to touchscreen phones and tablets was that if the UI needed a stylus, it had failed. And I agree with him. His vision to have a user interface that was thumb-able transformed the way smartphones are designed, leading to innovative changes and features. So, it’s killed off Windows Mobile and Blackberry, but the benefits are there to see. What he perhaps didn’t envision was that artists would go digital and start using the iPad for genuinely incredible pieces of art. In those cases, using a stylus is second nature, comfortably replacing a pen or paintbrush.
Most styluses (stylii depending on how you like to pluralize) feature the same domed rubber tip. This generally leads to thick pens that feel like hot dog sausages (which incidentally, work well as styluses thanks to begin conductive). The original oStylus went against the flow and featured a super slim metal shaft and a small vinyl-coated ring, with a hole to see what you were drawing. Feedback came through that users would like the option to not have this hole. So, the team designed the oStylus DOT.
The oStylus DOT features the same, unique, slim shaft but has a really small “dot” attached at the end of the wire hinge. All-in-all, it looks fantastic. It’s so minimal and slim, it’s hard to imagine why anyone – artist or otherwise – would consider the status quo. The dot is as small as it physically can be in order for your iDevice’s screen to detect it, and is coated with an incredibly thin layer of vinyl. Everything has been thought through with the intention to create the slimmest, smallest tool possible.
Being so slim means it’s a joy to use. It’s incredibly light, and its tiny profile means it’s hardly noticeable when in hand. The wire hinge is a stroke of genius too. It strikes a perfect balance between resistance and flexibility, this ensures that if you do press a little too hard when drawing, it’ll take the brunt of your force and leave your precious screen unscathed. It’s hard to tell you exactly how impressed I am by the DOT.
On the negative side, there’s only one complaint, and it’s a very minor one. Around the end of the stylus’ shaft, where the wire hinge joins, there are four small indents (presumable for grip when writing). That’s one too many. Natural writing position normally involves thumb, index and middle finger – that’s three digits. For a more comfortable grip, it should be a more triangular shape. Personal preference perhaps, but it would certainly feel better in hand.
For $37.50, you’re getting a very unique hand finished Aluminum and Titanium stylus that will outperform all other styluses for the iPad (except the original oStylus, perhaps). If you’re seriously considering a stylus, you can’t ignore this one.