iPad Stylus Review and Guide for Artists
The New iPad more than any other tablet is not only a consumption device but also a creation device and that’s certainly the case when it comes to art. And one of the key accessories for any artist who is working with the iPad is a stylus.
While there are many stylus out there a whole genre specifically for the artist are now available and we’re going to look at some of the best here. If you’re looking to paint your first masterpiece or are just drawing for fun some of these styluses may be just what you are looking for.
LOGiiX – Stylus Diamond – $34.95
The Stylus Diamond form LOGiiX is a precision stylus which is a great tool for those times where attention to detail is the core requirement. The stylus may look like a pen with its black styling and clip but where the pen nib would be a plastic disc resides instead.
This plastic disc is the key to the precision of the LOGiiX Stylus Diamond but it takes a bit of getting used too, if you do though there is no beating the precision. The tip is flexible so that the stylus can be used at multiple angles.
The one problem I have with the Stylus Diamond is that the clip is fairly low down on the barrel of the stylus which means it can sometimes be uncomfortable which is not ideal if you’re going to be using it for long periods of time.
For the $34.95 price tag you will not only get the stylus but you’ll also get a spare tip and 5 clear tip protectors that would add extended life to the tip. The LOGiiX Stylus Diamond is a professional looking stylus and while providing good precision lines for artists it would also work to write freehand on the iPad and look good in the boardroom.
PenGo Creative – Brushpen – $39.99
For the price of one stylus you are getting 3 with the Brushpen from PenGo Creative as not only do you get two different sized styluses but also a brush stylus all of which can be easily swapped in and out.
Both ends of the Brushpens’ barrel are available to put the interchangeable nibs into meaning that you can quickly and easily use the one that you need at the time while the other end can be covered with the pen lid which has a clip attachment too.
The 3 nibs certainly feel different on the iPad screen with the brush nib specifically providing a very smooth and natural feel for sweeping paintbrush style strokes.
The 3 nibs provide great value for money and having choice at your fingertips could be just what you need as an artist.
Sensu – Sensu Brush – $39.99 – TOP PICK!
The Sensu Brush from Sensu is not only a tool that artists can use to create works of art but is a work of art in itself. The metal barrel of the Sensu Brush is a smooth solid mirrored face and feels great in the hand.
With both a stylus nib and a brush available it’s the nib that is available by default and it provides a soft yet solid tip to use on the iPad or any other touchscreen device. The brush end meanwhile is hidden inside the shaft and can be access by pulling the on the nib end of the stylus, reversing it and re-attaching it to the barrel.
With the brush stylus in place the stylus doubles in length which provides excellent balance for the more sweeping style that the brush stylus allows. And if it’s at all possible it looks just as good in this form than when the nib is used.
The brush is slightly harder than the other brushes that are available and whether that is a good thing or not will be a personal preference. It’s also at the more expensive end of the price scale but quality comes at a price and quality plus style is what you get with the Sensu Brush.
Studio Neat – Cosmonaut – $25.00
You may think that once you’ve seen one stylus you’ve seen them all and that it’s difficult to tell them apart. That’s not the case with the Cosmonaut from Studio Neat as you can forget everything that you’ve previously thought of what a stylus is. From a style perspective at least the Cosmonaut is the crayon of the art world.
As one of the shortest styluses we’ve looked at it makes up for in diameter for what is lack in length and with a thick rubber sleeve encasing the entire shaft and nib it’s pretty weighty too and feels solid and sturdy in your hand.
Despite it’s size it feels great in the hand especially when used for extended periods of time and while it may not provide the fluid movement of a brush stylus it works great across a range of iPad apps that we tested it with as well working as a writing implement too.
The Cosmonaut may not look conventional but it’s a great stylus which thanks to it’s sturdy design is going to last you a long time at with a $25 price tag provides great value for money.
adonit – Jot Pro/Classic – $29.99/$19.99 – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
adonit provide a range a quality styluses all of which provide slight alternatives on the same theme and that is precision, control and style and they all use a precision disc that enables the user to draw and write in detail and provides the most pen/pencil like experience.
Because of the ball point style tip you get to hold the Jot Pro like a pen and it includes rubber grip at the bottom end of the shaft to provide a more comfortable feel and certainly lends itself well to being used for long periods of time.
The ball point style tip could be a make or break it deal for some people and I certainly found that it took awhile to get used to it, once I did however it was worth it.
The Jot Pro is also magnetic which given the fact that the iPad is too it means that you can keep you stylus attached to your iPad for safe keeping. My iPad has a skin on the front and while the Jot Pro would stick to it the connection wasn’t the strongest, however, without the skin it was a much better connection.
If you are going to be to a lot of precision artwork then the Jot Pro comes highly recommend.
The Jot Classic offer many of the benefits of the previously mention Jot Pro but at a more attractive price.
The Jot Classic uses the same ball point tip for precision use and the same pen/pencil like experience however there is no rubber grip and it’s not magnetized.
For just $19.99 though it’s a great entry level price and a great opportunity to find out if the ball point tip is right for you.
oStylus – Original/Dot – $39.00/$38.00
Along with the previously discussed Cosmonaut the oStylus is one of the more uniquely styled styluses. It’s a thinner shaft than most styluses and the barrell is one solid piece. The cold aluminium shaft feels good in the hand and its lightweight makes it feel very comfortable in the hand.
Both the Original and Dot oStylus use a precision disc still nib for drawing with the Origianl using a much larger disc than the Dot which using the same size disc as the other styluses that have been discussed.
While both the Original and Dot oStylus allow excellent precision drawing the benefit of the Original oStylus with the larger disc with a hole in the middle of it which will allows you to easily see what you are drawing as you do it which I found to be very advantageous at times.
Both versions also include replacement vinyl film dots which are used on the discs and that provides additional value to the oStylus.
Nomadbrush – Compose – $35.00
The compose stylus from nomadbrush provides the most paint brush like experience of the stylus we’ve reviewed. From the narrow shaft and two-tone color scheme it certainly looks the part and with two interchangeable tips you also have options when it comes to the feel of the stylus.
The first tip provides the most paintbrush like experience with it’s long soft bristles, despite the softness of the bristles though it still provides a great response on the iPad especially when used with an app that provides a painting option. (In this case Paper by FiftyThree).
The second tip still has bristles but they’ve been cut much shorter and provide a more original stylus type experience which provides a good contrast to the other tip.
The two nibs screw in and out and while this provides a secure connection it can be a little fiddly to switch them out, not that you should ever be doing this in an emergency!
The Compose from Nomadbrush is a great stylus for those looking for the most paintbrush like experience.