The Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo ($39.95) is a stylus available for any touch screen device. It features a stylus on one end for writing on an electronic device and it features a pen at the other end. Itis $39.95 direct from Wacom so it is a bit of an investment but if you’re looking for a stylus, this may be your winner. It has a nice silver and black finish that makes it look and feel like an Apple product. That is hard to do but they did accomplish the sleekness of Apple’s devices. The stylus is favored over the use of a finger when looking for more detailed, fine touches on the screen rather than your digits. It does its job very well and the iPad picks it up every time, so it is very responsive. Many students, artists and designers use styli every day.
Steve Jobs was right. Everyday people do not need a stylus to operate their devices. I have gone days using the stylus with everyday things on my iPad and I always find myself going back to my finger since it’s just better. Unless you are someone who takes notes on their iPad (no stylus should be used on phones), drawing, sketching, designing, or anything that requires a fine point, you do not need a stylus of any brand.
With the previous paragraph in effect, it is not fair to review the specific stylus based on personal preference of stylus vs. finger. Therefore, I will review the stylus as if I were one of the aforementioned persons.
Structure and Design
While styli have a reputation for being cheap and made of plastic, the Bamboo Stylus Duo has a great Apple-like design. With a heavy frame, it doesn’t exactly fit Apple’s lighter is better philosophy but the weight is not wasted. The weight of the stylus puts weight on what your writing, which I have found is better to use than a pen for say. The weight provides a sturdiness that I have not seen of any other stylus. The weight also provides protection from drops. The finish on the stylus does not easily scratch, protecting its value for a long time. The ink part of the stylus, as with all pens, is covered with a heavy frame cap that will not easily break nor bend. You don’t have to set the cap aside either as you can put it on the top where the stylus tip is. One great feature of the stylus, as simple as it is, is it’s ability to clip onto something like some pens. Whether it be your shirt pocket or your iPad case (where I have it now), you can clip it on to something so you always know where it is. In terms of holding the stylus, it has a smooth texture that is easy on the hand and more comfortable than most styli, if not all of them. The stylus has little caps that hold either the pen or the stylus tip in and they are can easily twist off so you can replace the stylus tip or the pen’s ink, which is a great thing because, when I first started using it I didn’t think you could replace it and a question on my mind was “What if the pen runs out of ink?”. Problem solved. They are easy to replace, adding to the Apple-like simplicity to the product. The structure and design of the stylus deserve a lot kudos, they did a really great job with it.
The stylus is useless if it isn’t practical or if it doesn’t work on the screen. As aforementioned, it works very well on the screen. It has smooth movement on the screen and glides seamlessly on it. So it does fit number two. Number one is kind of a different story. It really depends on what you use it for. It is not for the common man, however for it’s intended audience, it is absolutely great. Using several applications for which the stylus should be used, I come to realize that there is a market for these things whether Jobs saw it or not. Unfortunately for Wacom, it’s not a huge one, but they are still here and making money. Anyways, I used the stylus first for taking notes. Personally, it was an okay experience, I felt that writing on a paper with a pencil was a better experience and faster too. I also noticed my handwriting was sloppy using the stylus while taking notes. That may just be due to the fact that the iPad is not paper and it is smaller than paper. However, I have met people with better handwriting than me on the iPad so I have reason to believe it’s just me. There are some apps that will take your handwriting and convert it into text however and that is what the stylus is for! Taking notes that way is great! The popularity of apps like Notes Plus really drive the market for styli. Teachers can use the Apple TV and a projector and you have a smart board right there! The right app will make it great! Drawing and sketching with the stylus is an even better story. I absolutely loved drawing with the stylus on the iPad. I felt like a master artist at his easel, even though probably more than 95% of people are better artists than me. Using Sketchbook with the stylus was a great experience and my more-than-an-artist-than-me relative absolutely loved it. There are many apps that take advantage of the iPad’s large display and artists will love it. Interestingly enough, it is easier to use the iPad for art than it is to handwrite something due to the iPad’s size but if you find the right apps, handwriting is great too. Apps that don’t convert handwrite to text aren’t worth it, those apps get me agitated but the apps that work, work.
-Offers a seamless experience with the apps it should be used for
-Smooth to the touch, and smooth to use
-Replaceable pen ink and stylus tip
-Clip to clip it to your shirt or case
-Provides a great handwriting experience (if you can convert the text) and provides the most seamless sketching and drawing experience
-Not seamless with the entire device, I may use it for some games like Draw Something but I wouldn’t use it for all apps and throughout the OS
-Don’t write on the iPad with the wrong end, iPad screen and ink don’t mix
-If dropped from a high enough distance by accident, it could damage your iPad’s screen due to it’s weight
The first con I think could be the deal-breaker with most people, since it will dampen the user-interface FOR MOST PEOPLE-especially with a price of $40. However, it is a con of ALL styli. It is my belief that you get what you pay for and for $40 you get the best stylus money can buy. Would I, the average Joe (no pun intended), spend $40 for it? Nope. But would a teacher who desires a smart board, an artists with ambitions or a student with millions of notes to write buy it? Absolutely. And of course, you might just be one of those people who prefer styli and if you are any of these people this is THE Stylus. It’s sleekness, smoothness, ease of use and the cleverness of an added pen to it make it the ideal stylus. For me, despite the fact that I would not buy it nor use it everyday, those who will will appreciate the fact that I give it 5 stars. Excellent job Wacom for an outstanding stylus!
Thanks for reading,