Over the past twelve months or so we’ve reviewed quite a few accessories for iDevices. And, while the largest majority of those are cases, we’ve been graced with a handful of really interesting styluses for people who really can’t get used to drawing and scribbling with their fingers. Each of the following six is unique in one way or another, and deserves a place on the list of top styluses.
1. STM Tracer Deluxe – $29.99/£25
I only came across STM’s Trace Deluxe at CU Exposed towards the end of last month. It’s the Swiss Army Knife of styluses. It has a black and red ballpoint pen inside, a soft silicone stylus nib hiding a tiny Phillips/pentalobe screwdriver and a SIM ejector tool. Heck, give this and a ball of string to the A-Team and you’d end up with an F16 fighter plane. It feels great in hand, and has a nice wait, and it’s very natural to write with. The only fault is perhaps the placement of the clip, kinda gets in the way some times.
Get it now from: Amazon
2. Arctic Emote – $19.95
The Arcitc Emote is a 2-in-1 pen and stylus, with an incredibly slim body. It’s the thickness of a regular ball point pen, and features a very soft inductive tip making it an absolute joy to scribble with. Its uniqueness comes with its design. It’s available in four eye-catching patterns: Scratch, Pixel (above), Origami and Universe. It’s made almost entirely from aluminum, is very sturdy and light and does a great job of being a daily pen or stylus without favoring one mode over the other.
Get it from: Arctic Online Store
3. Sensu Brush – $39.99
The all-round artist’s ultimate weapon in the digital age: the Sensu Brush features a stylus and an inductive brush made from specially coated nylon bristles. What I particularly liked about the Sensu was the ingenuity between the method of switching. The main body of the pen is completely hollow, so it’s light, but being made out metal is also very sturdy. Since it is hollow, it acts as the case for you brush to protect it from getting damaged when you’re on the move. Pull it out, and insert the stylus end to reveal the brush. I also loved that the “brush mode” was much longer than the normal stylus form, making it a much more natural feeling paint brush. It has a neat grip on the shaft too.
Get it from: Sensu Online Store
4. Maglus Stylus – $32.55/£22
The main compromise of the new trend of using softer, smaller silicone tips on styluses is that they tend to be too easy to break, or they get so soft after a lot of use that they no longer provide adequate resistance. Maglus’ stylus is fantastic in that the tip is easily removable and can be replaced with the spare tip that comes with the pen in a neat little keychain-hung capsule. It’s very nifty. You can buy spare tips and the body of the Maglus features some magnets to attach it to your iPad. All in all, it offers a lot, and is carved out of one piece of solid aluminum. It’s one of the heftier styluses on this list, but it makes up for it by being one piece of solid awesome.
Get it from: AppleDea.com
5. oStylus Dot – $38
Perhaps the most unusual stylus on the list, but it deserves a place for its designers’ different thinking. The body is a rather long and very slim piece of aluminum, and instead of having the usual silicone end, it has a microscopically thin piece of inductive material stuck to a tiny metal disk.It feels great to write and draw with, just be sure you don’t accidentally catch your iPad’s display with the edge, or you may find that your digital artwork becomes permanently etched in to the glass. In my use, I never once had any accidents with scratching, so rest easy, it’s actually a very good stylus.
Get it from: oStylus
6. Lunatik Touch Pen – $19.95
Lunatik’s 2-in-1 stylus and pen was the first I tried, and it didn’t take me long to learn to appreciate it. Unlike the other stylus/pen combination accessories, it features both the pen and stylus at the same end. Simply click the pen and it pokes through a tiny hole at the end. The body is very light, and easy to hold. What I particularly liked was the smooth flowing ink used in the pen, it made writing a breeze. On the stylus front, it’s not the best, but if you want the most convenient tool for switching between stylus and pen, this is it.
Get it from: Lunatik
7. Arctic Architect – $22.95
You’ve heard the saying: save the best until last. I believe that’s what I’ve done here. No, it doesn’t have any secret hidden tools. It doesn’t have a ballpoint pen. It’s just an elegant, minimalist stylus that feels fantastic to write with. I’m convinced that if you just need a stylus without any bells or whistles, that looks and feels great, you’ll not find one better than this.
Get it from: Arctic