Wacom Introduces an iPad Stylus.

Since the iPad hit the market a year ago, I have been clamoring for Wacom to get in the game and make a stylus for said device. Well it looks like my wish is about to come true.

Wacom, the largest and most popular manufacturer of graphics tablets for the desktop computer has decided to produce a stylus for the iPad. This is a big deal, because most of the current styluses suck. I know I have given positive reviews to both the Touchtec, and Dagi styluses, but at the end of the day they really are lacking when it comes to responsiveness and accuracy. With Wacom entering the market, it looks like we will be getting a stylus designed and built by the leader on the desktop side.

Unlike most of the bulky, thick tipped styluses on the market, the Wacom stylus is lighter, has a more natural feeling in the hand, and the tip is 25% smaller which translates to better accuracy, and a natural feeling when writing, drawing or painting. Wacom’s many years of graphics tablet and digital pen making experience will hopefully lead to a much nicer stylus. That 25% smaller tip (6mm vs, 8mm) is a huge plus for me.

Wacom describes the stylus as having “satin-textured metal body and balanced weighting” which sounds like it will be as comfortable to hold the digital pen you are used to with Wacom’s line of desktop graphics tablets.

If you are wondering why you would want to have a stylus instead of using your finger, there are a number of reasons, especially if you use any of the drawing and painting applications available for the iPad. A stylus gives you better control and a more natural form of input when you draw on the iPad. I know that sounds counter intuitive, but your finger tip is fat, and it blocks what you are seeing unless you are zoomed way in on the screen. And when it comes to note taking, I can write with a stylus faster than I can type on the virtual keyboard.

For me, I am looking forward to trying this out with apps like Brushes, Art Rage, and Sketch though. I have been using the Daggi stylus for a while, and it works. The thing is though, you have to conform to holding the stylus in a specific way which makes using it challenging at times. I can’t wait until this is in a store where I can check it out in person. I have a feeling that like all Wacom products it is going to raise the bar quite a bit for other stylus manufacturers.

The Bamboo Stylus will be priced at $29.99 and become available mid-May on the Wacom site, at Amazon, and in most electronics retail outlets.


More/Real iPad/iPhone Stylus Cap

I use my iPad everyday, and I am always in search of a better stylus for it. I have a couple, and while they do the job, they aren’t nearly as good as my Wacom tablet when it comes to drawing and sketching. When I saw this today over on Kick Starter, I got really excited.

Here we have a stylus, designed by, and for designers and artist. Please watch the video embedded below, and then click the link to the kick starter site for more information. And if you feel so inclined, make a pledge to help this guy get his project started.

The Dagi Capacitive Stylus for the iPad Review.

Update to the Update. This original review dates to 2009 or 10. The update about the Wacom stylus from about 2015. I have been using the Apple Pencil with my iPads since the day it came out. It’s hands down the best stylus I’ve used to date. You can stop reading this article now and just move on because the Dagi and Bamboo don’t even come close to the Apple Pencil. I’m not even sure the Dagi stylus is still on the market.

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 fall back 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 a 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?

Painted with the Dagi Stylus and Brushes on the iPad.

TouchTec Stylus for iPad Review.

Yesterday I got my first stylus for the iPad. I didn’t go with the very popular Pogo Sketch, instead I got the TouchTec Pen. When the item arrived I have to admit I was pretty disappointed by what I saw in the box, but I decided to keep an open mind, and reminded myself it only cost 14 bucks and it was free shipping, no tax.

The TouchTec pen is exactly what it sounds like. A ballpoint pen on one end and a conductive stylus on the other. It works with all capacitive screens like the one found on the iPhone and iPad. My disappointment came from the fact that this looks like a pen with a piece of leather glued to the end of it. It’s a pretty straight forward device, use it as a pen, flip it over and use it as a stylus on your iPad. What I wish I had done was a bit more research, because I’m thinking I could have made this myself. I’m not exactly sure how its is working, but if I shield my hand from the metal pen shaft, it still works.

So lets talk about the stylus. On first use, the leather tip has a tendency to stick, but after using it for a couple of hours, it moves smoother across the surface of the iPad screen. There is a bit of latency at times from the click/touch to applications opening, or with click-able functions inside of an application but it isn’t all that bad.

The one app that I have actually spent time using the stylus with is, “Brushes”. I did one digital sketch last night in about a 45 minute time frame. This is where a stylus has the most potential, and where everyone that I have used falls short. The stylus end is simply to damn big. I don’t know if this has something to do with the capacitive screen, or if these are being designed by non-artist, but at the end of the day I want a stylus with a pencil point tip. Something like a Wacom tablet stylus. The TouchTec is good for quick sketching, but in order to refine and get maximum control over the stylus you have to zoom in and out far to often. Since I have an extra Wacom stylus, I really think I am going to try to hack it with a piece of leather and see if I can get it to work like the TouchTec.

This stylus is far from perfect, but then again all of them are. Until someone comes up with a Wacom style stylus, I think we are all going to have to get used to working with fat sluggish input devices.

Oh one last note. I used this on my iPhone which has an invisishield screen cover on it. Ummmm, not good at all.

Painted using the TouchTec stylus for iPad with Brushes 1.2