With its cap on, the Sensu Brush resembles any other iPad stylus with a rubber tip. With its cap removed and placed on the other end, the device is indistinguishable from a paint brush, right down to the bristles. But this is not a novelty product; Sensu is aiming to deliver a stylus for touchscreen devices with two very different kinds of functionality.
The rubber tip stylus is common for users who either don’t want to use their own fingertips, or who want more precise control for use with a creative app such as a drawing program. The brush stylus is a more niche product aimed squarely at artists who want to “paint” on their touchscreen using brush strokes. Of course in the iPad era, anyone can be an artist if they like. And so the Sensu becomes a nice starting point for those users who are looking to evolve beyond digital fingerpainting, so to speak.
In my tests with the Sensu Brush, I tried using both the rubber and brush tips in not only artistic apps, but also in basic navigation of my iPad and iPhone. I found that it worked well in each of the various scenarios. It seems the product was designed to be used more often in brush mode than rubber mode, as the configuration of the former gives your a nicely rubber padded grip right where your fingers are inclined to hold it, while the latter leaves you simply gripping the metal material of the cap. So I’d recommend the Sensu more for users who intend to put both ends of the device to good use, rather than users who only really plan to use the rubber tip with regularity.
At $39, the Sensu Brush is not inexpensive as far as the stylus market goes. But its combination of dual functionality and a nice solid look and feel makes it a worthy consideration for artists and wannabe artists alike.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 • Price: $39 • sensubrush.com
Beatweek Top Lifestyle Product for 2013
When the late Steve Jobs first showed off the touch sensitive screen of the iPhone, he bragged that it didn’t require a stylus, which he infamously decried as “yuck!” But in the five years since, certain segments of users have found that their fingers just aren’t the answer. That applies to those wearing gloves, artists, and in some cases, musicians who need fine-tune control of their virtual music apps. Of all the various stylus products which have come to market for devices like the iPhone and iPad, the Woodees iPic just might be the most original.
While most stylus products are shaped like a pen and held like one, the iPic is instead shaped like a guitar pick. I was initially tempted to classify it as a mere novelty product. But upon using it, I came to conclude that a shorter stylus which can be held with just the thumb and index finger can indeed be more accurate – and less laborious – than a larger pen shaped product.
So that makes the iPic a practical product for those users who, for whatever reason, feel the need to defy Apple and use a stylus with one of his products. Also, frankly, any guitar pick shaped accessory is just plain cool – even Mr. Jobs, a music lover, might have conceded that.
Price: $9.99 • woodees.com
Now here’s a new stylus that has some artistic flare. It’s the new Emote Stylus from Arctic, the makers of The Architect Stylus.
Their new line of stylus for the iPad (and other capacitive touch screens), is a 2-in-1 pen and stylus combo. It features vibrant designer artwork printed on a clean white body. The Emote serves two purposes and has a personality of its own.
The Emote is available in four different designs — Origami, Pixel, Scratch, and Universe. For more information, please see thearcticstore.com
It’s a stylus.. it’s a pen, wait, it’s both! Yes, the Kensington VirtuosoTM Metro is both a stylus and pen, all rolled into one, making it easier for you to write on both iPad or paper.
The VirtuosoTM Metro is made of two main parts — the cap and the pen/stylus. The cap has a convenient loop that you can put a lanyard cord through if desired. The cap also fits on both sides, covering the pen or the stylus if the other is in use. It also has a clip on it like most pens, so you can clip it onto paper or a pocket. The second part is a full size stylus/pen piece. One side has the soft tip stylus that can be used on any capacitive touch screen. The other side has the ballpoint pen in blank ink, which can be replaced with a Standard Parker Inkjet Refill.
Writing with the stylus or pen is quite comfortable because it’s so lightweight. It feels like a full size pen that glides nicely on paper or a tablet screen. The stylus part is a soft round nub that’s accurate enough for creating simple drawings and annotating documents on your iPad.
Overall, it’s a very good choice for a stylus/pen combo. It works on all capacitive touch screens, including the iPad family, iPhone, and more. It’s currently available in only black for $17.99.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · Kensington.com · $17.99
There’s now an iPad / tablet stylus made with musicians in mind. It’s both stylish and functional, and may I add, quite adorable. It’s Woodees’ new iPic Stylus. It works with all touchscreen devices, and resembles a guitar pick, but with a stylus nub on the end.
The iPic offers a very natural feel for musicians, especially if they’re playing the guitar, bass, or other musical string instruments on the iPad or iPhone. You can hold it between your thumb and index finger for that natural “pick” feel. Or even hold it to “poke” at the screen to type. You can even turn the iPic to the side and strum it like a real guitar pick on your device.
For fun with musical instruments, download the free iPad app, Miso Music: Plectrum for iPad to test iPic with.
One thing I would change about the iPic is the surface of the pick. It’s a little bit slippery to hold at times. If the surface of it had some texture, it may work better even for the sweatiest fingers.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars · Woodees.com · $14.99
When it comes to elegance and design, Just Mobile understands and delivers. Sculptured from fine soft aluminum is the exciting new AlupenTM; a stylus made with the iPad in mind.
This chunky pencil-shaped stylus gives you what their competitors don’t — more precision and control over your device. The simplistic design in itself is one to marvel at. This piece fits perfectly in your hand, like a chalk or a crayon when you were a child. The wider pen gives a better grip and more control of your writing or drawing.
Instead of a flat tip like some of their competitors, the Alupen has a soft round tip used to write on your iPad. No matter what angle you hold the stylus in, it’ll still make the intended marks on your device.
It’s the perfect tool to use with iPad apps like Penultimate (note taking/drawing app) and We Doodle (drawing game). You’ll be surprised at how much your handwriting is more clear when writing. Or how more crisps your drawings are.
Another plus to this stylus is the beautiful color. It matches Apple products perfectly! It’ll match your Apple iPad, keyboard, and trackpad like it was part of a set.
This stylus also works on the iPhone and iPod Touch, however, the size of it may seem a little awkward on the smaller devices. Overall, this is probably the best stylus for the iPad on the market now and is a necessity for any tablet artist.
Just Mobile’s new AlupenTM comes in only aluminum color and can be purchased for $24.95. For more information, see their official website.
When the iPad first came out, I thought it’d make a magnificent artist tool. But the only way I could create sketches was by drawing with my fingers.
But there’s a great accessory to fix that. It’s the Pogo Sketch stylus. It’s like a pen for your iPad! The Pogo Sketch is about the same size of a slender pen. It’s made of a lightweight aluminum alloy that feels like a feather in your hand. One end has a clip that you can use to clip on your shirt, pocket, or purse. And on the the other end is a soft tip that you use to glide over the iPad when drawing or writing.
iPad apps like Penultimate and iDraft, and other drawing apps work very well with the Pogo Sketch. Since you’re writing with your hand (and not your fingers), the letters are more accurate to your real handwriting.
To do this, launch your preferred drawing/writing app and write as you would with a pen. Instead of writing at an angle, try writing in more of a right angle. The stylus doesn’t have a pointy end, so writing on the iPad in 90 degrees angle works better.
Just think, now you can sign your name on documents electronically. Or draw and write with a little more accuracy than your fingers would. Also, since your fingers are no longer needed to tap on the iPad surface, you can wear gloves when it’s too cold. Just tap on the icons on the screen to open and close apps like you would with your fingers!
One downfall of the stylus is it’s flat writing surface. As mentioned before, it’s not a pointy tool, so there is less precision when writing and you would need to write in a more upright angle. But that’s not much of a drawback if you need a tool like this. Think of is as a wide medium point pen instead of fine point pen.
The Pogo Sketch also works on iPhones and iPod Touches, as well as your MacBook trackpad. For the MacBook, it will need the help of a software called Inklet, you can also turn the trackpad on your Macbook into a mini tablet as well.
The Ten 1 Design Pogo Sketch is available in four fun colors — pink, orange, green, and silver for $14.95. In addition, the new Ten One Design Particle iPad Case comes with a silver Pogo Sketch stylus, packaged together for $30. You may consider getting this package if you want a place to put your stylus. Review of this item is forthcoming.
For more information on the Pogo Sketch, see the official website.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars · $14.95 · TenOneDesign.com
Ten One Design has announced, perhaps not surprisingly, that its existing stylus products for iPhone and iPod touch are fully compatible with the iPad. The lineup consists of the standard Pogo Stylus as well as the longer Pogo Sketch, the latter of which as a built-in shirt/pocket clip. Both products consist of an aluminum tube with a padded tip which the company claims offers a more precise touchscreen user experience. Both are currently available for $14.95 each.
Learn more about the Pogo Stylus and Pogo Sketch at TenOneDesign.com.