From doodles to designs – sketch it out with a stylish stylus
Perfect iPad add-on for the holiday season, or what?
Ten One Design Pogo Connect
The Pogo Connect pioneered pressure-sensitivity for iPad styluses. Originally released for the iPad 3 and 4, it’s recently been superseded by the Connect 2, which adds compatibility with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. This claims enhanced pressure response, but I had no complaints about my existing Connect on that score.
The Pogo tip is said to require ‘zero grams of activation force’. Early reviews pointed out that the squishy rubber blob actually needed a bit of a press to draw lightly, and a heavy hand to reach full pressure. But this could just as well be seen as a positive: you get precise control, albeit with more effort, rather than unwanted variation at low pressures. The single button also requires just enough force to avoid accidents.
A unique feature is that Ten One sells a range of alternative tips of different shapes and sizes. This is a great idea, but it’s impossible to know whether you’ll find them better to use without trying them first. Supplied in a blister pack with a standard AAAA battery, the Pogo Connect feels a little basic by today’s standards, but it’s still a very good stylus, and at under £30 from Amazon the original version is a bargain. The new model is still reasonable at around £45.
More info Ten One Design
Pencil by FiftyThree
Available in black, gold or natural wood, this unique stylus looks like a carpenter’s pencil. Rather than sensing pressure, it responds differently depending on whether you draw with the tip or the flat side of the nib; by default, former draws lines while the latter smudges and smears them. It works with FiftyThree’s own Paper app, which uses speed as its key dynamic, so line width varies as you move faster rather than press harder.
This is also an option in other apps, but FiftyThree’s software somehow does it better. If you’re an expert artist, you’ll find the Pencil’s lack of direct control frustrating. For the rest of us, the combination of Pencil and Paper instantly produces strokes that look as if an artist made them.
Don’t try peeling the soft cover off the bottom of the Pencil: this serves as a secondary tip or eraser, not a charging port cover. To power up the Pencil, you pull out the nib, revealing a slim battery compartment incorporating a plug that you can stick straight into a USB socket. At around £40-50 online, the Pencil is less technically advanced than the other styluses here but rewarding to use.
More info FiftyThree