I admit I don’t have a strong need for a stylus when using my iPad, but there have been occasions when I wish I had one. Using my finger to take notes in a drawing app is sometimes frustrating to me. My finger drawn text is usually too large, and on hot summer days, my finger doesn’t always glide smoothly over the surface of my iPad. So I decided to give an stylus a try. The problem was, which stylus to buy.
I narrowed my search down to two styluses, the Pogo Sketch from Ten One Design and the Boxwave Capacitive iPad Stylus. I spent more time than I should have reading reviews of both only to come to the conclusion: I don’t know which one to buy. So I bought both.
The Pogo Sketch gets points for price ($10.78 on Amazon at the time), which is much less than the Boxwave ($20.95 plus $4 shipping). Both work well on my iPad. The Pogo Sketch is longer and thinner, and felt cheaper than the Boxwave. The Boxwave stylus is heavier and thicker, much like a nice ball point pen, but it is short. I personally don’t mind the shortness since I’ve carried short pens in my pocket for most of my life, but others might not care for it.
The tip on the Pogo is shaped differently than on the Boxwave. With the Pogo tip, I can hold the stylus in different positions as I draw, sort of like a pencil. The Boxwave, on the other hand, is like using a pen. I find myself holding it in the same position as I would a pen.
The Pogo tip also looks like it could wear out quickly. With both styluses I must use more pressure to draw than I would with pencil and paper. I can’t help but feel I will flatten out the Pogo tip quickly with regular use. On the other hand, the Boxwave tip looks and feels solid, and I don’t have the same concern of it wearing out.
After spending time with both, I decided I prefer the Boxwave Capacitive iPad Stylus over the Pogo Sketch. I like the thickness and weight of the Boxwave, and it doesn’t have that cheap feel that the Pogo does. But $25 is a lot to spend. Given the amount of time I will use a stylus and having played with both, I know I would have been happy with the Pogo Sketch. But since I bought both, I will continue using the Boxwave stylus, and I will likely give away the Pogo Sketch at an NSHappyHour or similar event.
Speaking of NSHappyHour, I brought both styluses with me to the July NSHappyHour for others to try out. Jon Lee was kind enough to email me his own review, which I’ve included here. I love his final verdict.
Pros: Always available when you need it. If you lose one, there is always another.
Cons: Pen tip is too squishy, and big. Writing by finger is an awkward user experience.
Pros: Tip feels smaller, like you’re drawing with a thin Crayola marker. Using a stylus is familiar as a experience, as compared to finger painting.
Cons: The squishy sponge material makes me afraid that if I press too hard I will scratch the iPad surface with the edge of the ring that holds the sponge. Sponge feels very rippable after continued use.
Boxwave Capacitive iPad Stylus
Pros: Good weight, feels substantial. The tip, being rubber, feels like it could last longer than the Pogo.
Cons: The rubber end is like the bulb end of a turkey baster. And it feels like you’re writing with one. The thicker footprint does not make me feel like I have a high chance of being accurate when I draw. And $20? Really?
Make your own.