All iPads Adonit Jot Dash stylus review

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Donka, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. Donka macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #1
    With the recent announcement of the Apple Pencil, now is a great time to discuss styli and the Jot Dash is the latest from Adonit. This forgoes some of the higher end features such as Bluetooth support for palm rejection and pressure sensitivity to bring a capable stylus at a respectable price point. Included in the package is the stylus and USB charge dock - there is no true documentation included but it really isn't required. For those who must read up on every last detail though, there is good information available on the Adonit support pages.

    The Jot Dash is a classy looking device, fashioned from Aluminium and coming in either a silver or black finish. It measures in at 141 x 8.5mm and weighs 12g. It features a simple click power button on top and a handy shirt clip on the side. Further down from this clip is the power indicator which briefly lights up in green when powered on, and red when powered down. Whilst charging, the indicator will pulse red and turn to solid green when fully charged. There is also power saving at work and the stylus will power down after 15 minutes of inactivity.

    Included in the package is the USB charger which is a small but clever design allowing the stylus to sit magnetically in place whilst charging. This magnetic hold benefits with the safety net of easily disengaging when the user needs or when knocked to ensure neither the stylus nor charger are damaged. The charger is small, only protruding 25mm and lightweight thanks to its plastic construction although I would be wary when carrying this around as it could easily be lost. Thankfully, Adonit do offer additional or replacement chargers on their site.

    The whole reason for this stylus requiring an internal power source is that it generates a small electrical charge around a very small tip that replicates a fingertip interacting with a capacitive touch screen. This composite polymer plastic tip measures just 1.9mm across which is the main benefit of this type of active stylus - it offers up a higher level of precision over a fingertip to the user because they can see exactly where they are interacting with the screen. The tip is smooth and very hard wearing, designed to glide effortlessly across the screen while being durable to last the course of ownership. This stylus should work with pretty much all capacitive touch screens including iOS and Android devices.

    The whole purpose of this stylus is to replicate what you would do with your finger without the need for an additional Bluetooth connection. This means that there is no additional requirements and this should work just as well with any touch based application. If it works with your finger, it will work with the Jot Dash.

    The Jot Dash takes around 45 minutes for a full charge and lasts for around 14 hours of continuous use. This is great battery life for such a small stylus and it's great that there have been no compromises in the design to achieve that battery life. It is sized just like a normal pen and feels great in use. If you are going to be taking a lot of notes with a stylus, you want it to be comfortable to hold and work with and this definitely ticks that box!

    Performance of the Jot Dash during my testing was every bit as good as using a finger. On the iPad, the screen responds the exact same way with perhaps the only small deviation being drawing slow, diagonal lines where a small stepping pattern appears in the line. This is down to the way a capacitive screen uses a matrix to detect contact and is essentially calibrated for a fingertip. This is a product of the screen technology employed and not a failing of the stylus itself. There is also some detectable lag which manifests itself in the line on screen being drawn behind the tip. Again, this is down to the screen technology and is exactly the same when a finger is used; it is just more apparent with a fine stylus tip because your fingertip largely obscures this on screen delay.

    The lack of official palm rejection and pressure sensitivity may be seen as a limiting factor in some usage scenarios but this can be a non-issue when used with the right application. I tested this with Notability, Notes Plus and One Note on the iPad and all of these apps do a very respectable job of automated palm rejection, to the point where I could relax my hand on the screen and take notes and only the stylus input was captured.

    When it comes to art applications, you are still limited to manually selecting different brush widths due to the lack of pressure sensitivity but the stylus still offers the precision a fine tip provides in place of a fingertip. This means the Jot Dash is still a viable option for such apps although perhaps not the optimum choice if you are serious with your creativity.

    The design and functionality of the Jot Dash combined with the sensible price point make this a very good active stylus indeed. Although it works fine with any application, used in conjunction with certain note taking apps makes the lack of palm rejection a non-issue. A stylus on a glass screen is never going to replicate the feel of pen on paper but if you take notes with your finger or a capacitive rubber tipped stylus and are looking for the next step up, it is really hard to fault this stylus from Adonit. Perhaps the only flaw with the design is the tapping sound of hard tip on glass. This may not be so much of an issue in a noisy environment or when you are on your own but may prove a little distracting in a quiet meeting room with others around you. That is a the trade off with a hard wearing, smooth flowing tip on a glass screen and one I'm sure, many will be willing to make.

    Video review:
     

    Attached Files:

  2. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2014
    Location:
    europe
    #2
    But why aluminium always? Surely it feels great(?) on your hand, but surely you also need to be more carefully when using it on the screen. I love my Pencil53, a wood pencil and i dont need to worry when using it, lay it on the screen or sometimes drop it on the screen.

    An interesting fine point stylus though... Great review!
     
  3. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    Location:
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    #3
    Thanks. The Aluminium seems a fine choice as the barrel is smooth although if you are in the habit of leaving the stylus on the screen, the likes of the shirt clip may be a concern but I don't in reality it would pose an issue. I think I would be inclined to use it in conjunction with a screen protector though for peace of mind.
     
  4. Cptnodegard macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Somewhat interested in this, but want to see it used on an Air 2.
     
  5. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #5
    I later tested it with an Air 2 and Mini 4 and it performs exactly the same as best I could tell.
     
  6. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #6
    Thanks for the review! I currently use the Adonit Jot Classic, but this is definitely on my list to get.
     
  7. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #7
    Np. I can create a quick video of this with the Air 2 if anyone wants to see the performance.
     
  8. Lisat78 macrumors member

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    Jun 5, 2015
    #8
    I'm getting the Air 2 this week and will be looking for a fine tip stylus so definitely interested in seeing a video!
     
  9. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #9
    Anything specific you would like to see in the video or just general usage?
     
  10. Lisat78 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    #10
    General usage, I think. How fluidly it writes would be important—sketching too, if possible, given the issues with the Air 2 and styli. It would also be great if you could find a way to make any commentary accessible; I'm deaf and following commentaries on review videos doesn't really happen!
     
  11. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #11
    Sure. I will just be a quick video comparing against the video review above but I'll call out any issues or observations in the thread.
     
  12. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #12
    Excellent. The Air 2 + Anker Keyboard cover + Adonit Jot Dash will be my "poor man's" iPad Pro solution. ;)
     
  13. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #13
    - Skipping?
    - Offset?
    - Wavy lines (drawing a straight line in a 45 degree angle)?
    - Drawing a ball (slowly)
    - Handwriting generally
     
  14. GerritV macrumors 65816

    GerritV

    Joined:
    May 11, 2012
    #14
    Great review, I enjoyed it a lot (yes, I too am a stylus junkie).
    Thanks for sharing this !
    But I will never ever buy a noisy tip stylus, no way I'm going to annoy the people working next to me.
    Which is the main reason why I went with the Lynktec Rechargable Apex, nice and quiet.
     
  15. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #15
    Just posted a quick video of the Jot dash on the Air 2 and Mini 4. There was no skipping at all, I did miss a couple of lines due to how I was leaning over the camera and engaging the palm rejection...

     
  16. Lisat78 macrumors member

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    Jun 5, 2015
    #16
    That's a great review, thanks! May end up ordering the Dash now. I wasn't sure because the reviews are very 50/50 about it, but it looks like it will be fine for my needs.
     
  17. Donovan Dillon macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2014
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    Dallas, TX
    #17
    Thank you Donka for this excellent review -- especially the iPad Air 2 addendum.

    I use the Jot Dash Pro and love it but the clear disc is still a bit hokey for me. Can you comment on how the Jot Dash compares to the Jot Pro in terms of offset/accuracy, lag and noise? I would love to get the Jot Dash, but only if it is as good or better than the Jot Pro.

    Thoughts?
     
  18. Cptnodegard macrumors 6502

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    Jan 17, 2013
    #18
    If you're making another video, I'd love to see one with smaller writing, focusing on whether there is an offset, from different angles etc. That's generally where adonit products fail badly.
     
  19. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #19
    also much slower moves... that has been the problem with air2. when you draw slow, it starts to draw wavy lines... but thanks, great vids! we are just too demanding :D
     
  20. Donka thread starter macrumors 68020

    Donka

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    #21
    Hi All.
    This is my first Adonit so I'm unable to compare against other models in their range.
    I'll try and find some time to explore the other requests but I certainly have no complaints from a regular note taking perspective on the Air 2.
     
  21. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #22
    This reviewer shows some limitations of the Jot Dash that have me rethinking it. (I already have the Adonit Jot which works quite well)

     
  22. Cptnodegard macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    #23
    Got mine today. It essentially works exactly like a Jot Touch Pixelpoint that's not connected, which means it has an offset in portrait mode, but works ok in landscape mode. It's definitely not a flawless product, but considering the price, size, and the fact that connecting an Adonit stylus makes it worse IMHO, it's ok.
     
  23. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #24
    How well does it draw diagonal lines? I was quite surprised to see various review videos that show wiggly lines when drawing diagonals.
     
  24. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #25
    I have this problem (wavy lines with slow motion).
     

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