Styluspt1

“Which stylus should I use?” Part 1: The Contenders

My wife, Kristy, and I have been blown away by the response to, How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad. The number one question we are asked at comic book conventions and comic shop signings is, “What stylus should I use?”  Until recently that was a difficult question to answer. When it comes to sketching and painting on iPad the first generation stylus pens left a lot to be desired. Fortunately a new wave of stylus pens are entering the marketplace offering something to make almost every artists happy.

In our search to answer that pressing question of, “What stylus should I use?” Kristy and I contacted manufacturers of stylus pens from Adonit to Wacom and everyone in between. In the end we gathered a bakery’s dozen of stylus pens to review. We will put these stylus pens to the test sketching, inking, and painting comic book, cartoon, and children’s storybook artwork. Below you will find the contenders for our stylus test.

Adonit Jot Touch

Tip: Plastic Disc

Replacement tips included: 1 plus USB charger

Pressure sensitive mode: Yes

Storage case included: Yes

Price $99.99

 

GoSmart 200 Series & 300 Series

Tip: Metal Disc

Replacement tips included: 0

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: Yes

Price $24.95

 

Griffin Stylus

Tip: Rubber

Replacement tips included: 0

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: No

Price $19.99

 

Hex3 JaJa

Tip: Plastic Disc

Replacement tips included: 0

Pressure sensitive mode: Yes

Storage case included: No

Price $89.99

 

Just Mobile AluPen

Tip: Rubber

Replacement tips included: 0

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: Yes and packaging can be reused as storage case

Price $24.95

 

LynkTek TrueGlide & TrueGlide Duo

Tip: Metal Mesh

Replacement tips included: 0

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: TrueGlide No, TrueGlide Duo Yes

Price $15.95 – $39.95

 

NomadBrush Nomad Compose dual tip

Tip: Bristle

Replacement tips included: 0 (bevel tip can be interchanged with included metal cap)

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: Optional 2012 Standard for 2013

Price $35.00

 

Spigen H14

Tip: Rubber

Replacement tips included: 1

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: No

Price $19.99 (also available H10 $12.99 – H12 $16.99)

 

Ten 1 Design Pogo Sketch

Tip: Sponge

Replacement tips included: 0

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: No

Price $14.95

 

V23 Next Möbius

Tip: Rubber

Replacement tips included: 2

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: Yes

Price $29.95

 

Wacom Bamboo Pocket

Tip: Rubber

Replacement tips included: The stylus comes with the “hard” nib pre-installed 1 alternate “soft” nib is included

Pressure sensitive mode: No

Storage case included: No but packaging can be reused as storage case

Price $34.95

That is the line-up for the review. We have a mix of tip styles including rubber, metal, plastic, and a paint brush to put through the paces as well as a couple of pressure sensitive models to test. You may also notice a few well hyped stylus products missing from this test, notably the Sensu Brush and Pogo Connect. Sensu Brush makers, Artist Hardware, offered us a demo unit during San Diego Comic Con then failed to deliver on their promise. They also failed to return our e-mails or phone calls. Pogo on the other hand simply did not have a review unit of their Connect stylus available for testing or purchase. Their product looks like it should be impressive but if you need a stylus today, look elsewhere. The date for Pogo Connect shipments has slipped again. This time to November 18th.

Come back next week for “Which stylus should I use?” Part 2 and see how each stylus holds stacks up when sketching, inking, and painting with the iPad.

Brian Miller is the founder of comic book color studio Hi-Fi colour deisgn and the co-author of the book, How to Paint Comic Books with the iPad available from iTunes.