Comparison of three styli

I’ve got three styli for drawing on my iPad: a Wacom Bamboo, a Pogo Connect and a Jot Classic. I used to have couple others (Kensington, Griffin) but I gave them away when I bought a Bamboo.

My thoughts on the pro’s and con’s of each stylus:

Bamboo (Wacom)

  • I like the Bamboo. The nib has a small diameter, smaller than other brands, so you have a better view on what you are doing. The nibs are better than other brands, less friction when drawing on an iPad. I think it’s more responsive.
  • The nibs wear out rather fast. I draw a lot, and need to replace them after a month or two. (But at least you can replace them, instead of buying a whole new stylus.)
  • It’s more expensive than other similar styli, it costs about EUR 30. It’s wise to check out first how much it would cost you to buy replacement nibs (online or at a local store). In Europe you can order them straight from Wacom in Germany, three nibs for EUR 4,90 and EUR 3,45 shipping costs. So I usually order three packs at once.
  • Two dollars for a replacement nib seems like a fair price to me. Compare it with a traditional pen like a Copic Multiliner SP, which costs 9.95 USD. Copic replacement nibs are 3.95 USD a piece and refill ink costs 2.95 USD.
  • It has a clip, but the nib isn’t protected with a cap.
  • Conclusion: Great stylus. It has been my primary stylus for about a year. I happily recommend it.

Pogo Connect (Ten One Design)

  • It’s pressure sensitive!
  • I really, really like it. I admit: I’ve used the Pogo Connect for only a couple of days. So it might break next week, but I’ll let you know if that happens.
  • Update: It did break the next week. When drawing in Paper it suddenly stopped registering pressure properly. When I removed the tip, some kind of metal disc was attached to the magnet of the rubber nib. I think this disc was glued to the circuit board that’s visible inside the pen, and it came loose. I’ve read a few tweets about the same happening to others. I’ve contacted Ten One Design, and they’ll send a replacement. And there’s another issue: since I started using the Pogo Connect, Paper crashed a couple of times, which never happened before, it’s the same issue that has been reported here.  The crashes weren’t really that frequent, and Paper only lost the last drawing step. I’m sure 53 will solve it in future release.
  • Update2: Unfortunately, my Pogo Connect broke two more times. Ten One Design sent replacements every time, but it is frustrating. 
  • I’ve only used it for Paper, so I can’t comment on using it with other applications. (Quick tests using Sketchbook Pro and Procreate but no real sketching.) 
  • Because of the pressure sensitivity, the drawing tools in Paper behave more like their natural counterparts, which is great. The pencil (“sketch”) is more like a real pencil. The fountain pen (“draw”) is more like my trusty Gillot crow quill: the lines are thicker when you press harder. Same for watercolour (“color”), the blob size depends on how hard or lightly you press your brush on the paper, the opacity depends on speed. So basically, the tools behave more natural, and you have more control.
  • You have to make a connection with an app first, but it connects really fast, within one second. Once the connection is made, you don’t need to reconnect, unless you want to use the Pogo in combination with a different app. I’ve read some comments online of people who complain about connection problems. I don’t recognize any of these. It just works.
  • I don’t care much about palm protection, so I can’t really say anything about that. It’s application dependent. For me, it works fine in Paper, others might find the palm projection in Paper insufficient. 
  • The nib has a larger diameter than the Bamboo Stylus. Not much, but it’s larger. The Pogo Connect has replaceable tips too, just like the Bamboo. They are not cheap: 9.95 USD for a pack with two nibs - I don’t know what the shipping costs are. So that’s a bit more expensive then the Bamboo, but I don’t know how long they’ll last, maybe longer then the Bamboo, maybe less. Pogo say they’ll come with other kinds of replaceable nibs, but they won’t give any details.
  • It needs one AAA battery, although it doesn’t consume much power.
  • You need to switch on Bluetooth on your iPad. This consumes extra power on your iPad.
  • The Pogo Connect costs EUR 80. That’s more expensive then the Bamboo. And please note it’s for iPad 3rd and 4th generation only. If you have an older device, you might be able to use it with certain apps, but check Ten One Design’s website for details.
  • A clip would have been nice. Or a nice leather cover. Something to protect the nib.
  • It’s not like a Wacom Intuos or Cintiq (= professional & expensive and not very mobile). But it’s a pressure senstive stylus for a iPad (= great for sketching, less expensive and very mobile).
  • Conclusion: If you like to draw and/or are used to a pressure sensitive tablet (Wacom Intuos or similar), then you might consider buying the Pogo Connect. Or an instant buy, if you don’t mind the relatively high price.

Jot Classic (Adonit)

  • The Adonit Jot Classic is - in theory - more precise then the Bamboo, because the Jot Pro has a transparent plastic disc instead of a rubber nib. So it looks like you are using a normal ballpoint pen. This is useful for writing, details or outlines (especially in Paper, where you can’t zoom). 
  • It has a lot more friction then the Bamboo stylus, and is very sensitive for dirt and particles. When I try to use it, it skips constantly, which is very frustrating, especilaly when you are working on details. It’s like using a nearly empty pen.
  • The pen makes a peculiar tapping noise, as if you are constantly tapping with your fingers on a table. This might annoy others.
  • You’ll need a screen protector, or you will certainly scratch your screen. And be prepared to replace your screen protector often, about once a month.
  • The replacement discs aren’t cheap (8 USD for two spare discs) and if you live outside the US, the shipping costs are another 15 USD. That’s expensive, compared to the replacement nibs for the Bamboo. Adonit also has different discs for different types of Jot pens, so a mistake is easily made when ordering these discs.
  • It hasn’t got a clip. But it has a cap, which protects the disc.
  • ConclusionConsider buying this stylus if you’d like to annoy your colleagues in a meeting by making weird tapping noises, without using your fingers. Also, if you need something to scratch your iPad screen, then this is the perfect stylus for you. But a rusty old nail is cheaper.

Overall conclusion:

  • I like the Bamboo, and probably keep using it, in combination with the Pogo Connect when I need more control. When Ten One Design introduces other (smaller?) nibs, then the connect might become my primary stylus.
  • Update: The Pogo Connect is the best stylus available, but it’s fragile. Mine has broken three times now, and others have reported the same issue.

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