A Summary of Styluses For The iPad

A debate about tablet computers is whether or not they should support styluses for writing on the screen. Steve Jobs has made the statement that if you see a stylus, they blew it, and many people tend to agree. I agree that a stylus should not be the only way that you can interact with a touchscreen, but that shouldn’t mean that you can’t use a stylus at all. Operating a tablet with touch makes a lot of sense, but there are times when the greater precision that a stylus provides is desirable, and I contend that handwriting with pen and paper is more natural than any keyboard.

While the iPad does not come with a stylus, and uses a capacitive touchscreen that does not recognize the input of small, plastic tip styluses, there are in fact a number of different styluses on the market that will work on capacitive touchscreens. I own a Pogo Sketch stylus and use it with Penultimate, Note Taker HD, and Adobe Ideas to write and draw on the screen. The tip of the Sketch is a round, spongy surface and writing with it feels like writing with a magic marker. You are not going to write in fine detail with a capacitive stylus, but it works good enough for jotting down a quick note or drawing.

Warner Crocker at GottaBeMobile is a big advocate of using a stylus with tablet computers, and has been testing a number of different ones with the iPad. He currently prefers the Pogo Sketch, and he has written an article that provides a summary on the styluses that he has tried. I think the Boxwave stylus looks appealing and I am looking forward to Warner’s review of it. If you are interested in getting a stylus to use with an iPad, I suggest that you read Warner’s article.