iPad stylus and screen protector questions.
March 25, 2011 11:29 AM   Subscribe

iPad Question: Advice on stylus and/or screen protector.

Just got the new iPad 2. I definitely want to get a stylus, to use Penultimate. The Griffin Technology stylus looked nice and so did the Acase second generation.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Also, I was looking at an anti-fingerprint screen protector and I'm wondering if that will impact the use of the stylus. I think the brand I was looking at was media devil, unless anyone has other suggestions.
posted by hazyspring to Technology (18 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I have not used those stylii myself, but I have heard that there's a big drawback with them: rubber-tipped stylii apparently have a tendency not to slide well on the screen, so writing smoothly can sometimes be harder than it should be. This is second-hand, however.

My own experience is with the Pogo stylus; I use Penultimate daily myself, and find the Pogo works pretty great. I will say that it took a little while to get used to having a larger surface on the tip, but that's a common thing with all stylii on the iPad, given that the capacitive interface needs a large input surface. However, I'll also say that, after a few days, I was completely comfortable with the tip, and could write very small as I am wont.

I find the blunt tip works fine for writing, and I think that makes sense, since it's still pretty analogous to a pen.

However, if you want more precision, and don't mind getting used to something a little different, I was looking at stylii recently and really like the look of the Dagi Stylus. It solves a pretty direct and obvious problem – the fact that a stylus on this kind of capacitive device can't have a sharp point – by replacing the tip with a clear plastic circle that has a marked point in the center. This means that it's much easier to know precisely where you're marking on the screen. I imagine it takes some getting used to, as it's not really as analogous to a pen tip, but it seems like an ingenious solution to the problem, if you (like myself and many) are a little annoyed at the lack of a tip on stylii for the iPad.
posted by koeselitz at 11:44 AM on March 25, 2011

(Also, I've never seen a stylus that didn't work with the screen protector. You should be fine.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:45 AM on March 25, 2011

Response by poster: Yes, my concern with a stylus was a bit of what you mentioned, that adding the screen protector would make it slide over in a weird way.

I prefer using an iPhone and iPad without a screen protector, but already in a day it has gotten tons of smudges, and even the smart cover is causing smudges.
posted by hazyspring at 11:50 AM on March 25, 2011

Well, I guess I can offer that: the Pogo Sketch stylus will definitely not have that problem, as the tip is a rounded brush rather than rounded rubber. It slides smoothly over both the bare screen and the screen covered by the protector, in my experience; never had a problem with it.
posted by koeselitz at 12:04 PM on March 25, 2011

I've been using the ZAGG Invisible Shield Products on my iPad ever since I've owned an iPad. It's the best screen protection I've seen so far. Watch their little promotional video to see them scratching the screen with housekeys and dropping drywall screws onto the glass of an iPhone. Plus, if you enter their iPad a Day promo, they'll email you a coupon you can use to order a screen protector.
posted by Wild_Eep at 12:08 PM on March 25, 2011

I should also say that in that video, they attempt to scratch the screen with a dremel tool as well.
posted by Wild_Eep at 12:21 PM on March 25, 2011


since you're running a clinic here...can you tell me if there are any practical differences between the branded pogo sketches...and the cheap-ass ones you can get on ebay for $3?
posted by hal_c_on at 12:30 PM on March 25, 2011

They are exactly the same, hal_c_on. Exactly. And you can get them lots of places for that cheap... so you're recommended not to pay the full $20 I paid at the Apple store.
posted by koeselitz at 12:35 PM on March 25, 2011

The Griffin works well on my iPad. Mine's a Logiix but it's the same thing. I gets a lot of use, since I'm using my iPad as a sketchbook. I've only played with a foam tipped Pogo for a minute but thought it seemed too light and flimsy. The Logiix rubber tip does have a slight tendency to "grab" the glass but I still like it. A screen protector might make it work better. I'm going to get one and see.
posted by bonobothegreat at 1:03 PM on March 25, 2011

I'm been using the skins from bestskinsever.com for every skinable toy I own, and they're exactly the same stuff as the Zagg Shields but around half the price. I've always been a little hesitant to trust my toys to the cheap knock off skins, which these definitely aren't. They've saved my iPhone(s) so many times, and I'm going to order my iPad skin from them once I get my iPad (ordered 3G today, but if I might still pick up a wifi-only one and cancel my order, if I can find one in the next couple weeks.)
posted by cgg at 1:49 PM on March 25, 2011

I bought a bunch of styluses from dealextreme for a buck each and they work great. Many people at the office use them.

I don't use a screen protector. When the screen gets smudgy I just buff it off on my shirt.

To help the stylus glide across the screen, touch it to your nose and pick up a bit of skin oil.
posted by chazlarson at 2:02 PM on March 25, 2011

Seconding bestskinsever. I've been using them for years. I once bought a Zagg screensaver and they were exactly the same. However, neither of them are are anti-fingerprint. They are shiny, just like the iPad and as prone to smudges. They are aslo a little (very little) rubbery -- you don't notice it with a finger, but it might casue some stickness with a stylus. I don't know for certain, I've never used one.
posted by rtimmel at 2:18 PM on March 25, 2011

Watch out for those screen protectors. I used them on my Palm back in the day, and the screen was never the same the first time I removed one. Peeling it back off flexed the surface of the screen in a way it apparently didn't like. It ruined the accuracy of the touch screen. No amount of recalibration would get it back right.

I thought the point of iPads (and all modern smart-devices) was that you used your fingers and no longer had to futz around with a stylus? If I was going to buy a stylus, I would just make sure it was made by Apple and made of the right kind of nylon or teflon kind of material that isn't meant to scratch the screen.
posted by gjc at 3:49 PM on March 25, 2011

I tried an I-Con film with my Griffin- type stylus today and it worked fine. I didn't notice any difference in sensitivity at all. It was a bit too "grabby" for my taste though. It was the matte version and had a bit of tooth to it. It came with a gloss version as well, so entually I'll try that one out. I think I actually prefer a bare, greasy screen for sketching. The protector film removed without any residue that I noticed.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:36 PM on March 25, 2011

I can't say what brand I have of either, but I have a matte screen protector that I absolutely adore. It doesn't show fingerprints/tracks like the screen glass or the non-matte protector I tried, and helps fingers & stylii glide across the screen without any - for lack of a better word - lubrication. The stylus I have I cannot, for the life of me, remember the brand of, but it's a short sponge-tipped doohickey that works like a charm for detail work. I'd bet any stylus you find with a similar tip, like the Pogo linked above, would be just what you're looking for.
posted by AthenaPolias at 5:44 PM on March 25, 2011

I have tried several different types of stylus, and I strongly recommend models from Boxwave. They have a hollow rubber tip that glides smoothly over the glass.
posted by shaun at 9:54 PM on March 25, 2011

Ditto the suggestion for Boxwave. I've been very happy with mine not only for writing but for controlling games as well.
posted by iarerach at 2:07 PM on March 26, 2011

Response by poster: Gjc - the reason for the stylus is there are programs where you can actually write notes and draw things. A stylus makes this process much better.
posted by hazyspring at 9:05 AM on March 27, 2011

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