Update: When I wrote this review, Wacom had not released the Bamboo stylus for the iPad. Since I got the Bamboo stylus, I haven’t touched the Dagi. Why? because it pretty much sucks in comparison. You can read my thoughts on the Bamboo here, and to see the kind of work I am producing with it, click the ArtRage link at the top of the page.
Since I bought my iPad, I have been exploring using it as a digital sketchbook. I have a couple of paint applications that I use, but I almost always fallback to “Brushes”. I find it easier to use than “Sketchbook Pro”. Both applications are great, I simply have been using brushes longer and I’m more familiar with the paint tools etc. Both applications do a great job when it comes to digital painting, but both benefit from using a stylus. Or I should say I benefit from using a stylus. My fat fingers get in the way making it hard for me to sketch, and paint. And because I tend to go in and do tight clean up, when using my finger I have to zoom all the way in. Bottom line it is a hassle.
I am now on stylus number two, and I am sold on this one. Last Friday I received in the mail, my fabulous Dagi Capacitive Stylus. It is the most expensive of the three I have tried coming in at $23.00, but it has the most promise. The Dagi, has a clear plastic tip, with a red dot in the center indicating the exact point that you will paint or draw from. The tip is angled away from the barrel of the stylus creating a more natural feel when holding it, and that plastic tip lets you see exactly where you are painting. The feel of it in your hand is superb. Another plus to the plastic tip is that it glides over the surface of the iPad or iPhone with zero resistance. One of the issues I had with the TouchTec stylus was that the leather tip tended to sort of stick, or have this kind of drag when you would try to use it. It wasn’t much but it was noticeable.
The Dagi like all styluses, has a bit of a lag at times when drawing with it. By this I mean that the line you are drawing might trail just behind that small red dot as you move your hand. The thicker the brush, the more transparency, the more fall off etc. all effects this. It is possible that this has less to do with the stylus, and more to do with the processing power of your iPad or iPhone. (This is not a Wacom hooked up to your Macbook Pro.)
The Dagi is a simple device. It is a medium length metal barrel. On one end you have the stylus tip, on the other end a plastic plug with a hole drilled in it so you can attach it to a lanyard or strap of some kind. I’m not exactly sure what the Stylus material is made of, I just know it works, and the surface is pretty sensitive allowing you to slightly roll it back or tilt it without losing contact. So far it seems pretty durable, but I have to be honest here. The plastic stylus end is pretty thin. If you are rough on your gear or heavy-handed you might break or crack the tip off. I am sure that Dagi has tested these out, and I bet they did an impact test, I’m just noting that the flat plane that makes up the stylus tip is about 1/32 of an inch thick. It is very thin, and it is plastic.
After using the stylus for a week, I haven’t seen any issues with the surface of both my iPad and iPhone. No scratches, or marks left behind on them at all. I am really happy with the results that I have gotten from the Dagi stylus, and I’ll probably use this until something better comes along. I’m still hoping that Wacom brings something to the table that has more of a pencil tip point, and an eraser on the back just like the one I use with my tablet. Wacom, are you listening?