All iPads Can the iPad Air replace notebook and pens yet?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by iFanboy, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. iFanboy Guest

    I just got my iPad Air and it's awesome.

    I'm having trouble finding a great stylus that would enable me to throw away my notebook and pen for good however? I'm getting a little concerned that they don't exist?

    I have tried the much loved Wacom Bamboo which is the thinnest nibbed capacitive stylus, but actually found it to be quite poor in that I needed to press harder than with a wider nibbed stylus. It seems the iPad Air screen isn't a fan of thin nibbed stylus?

    I've looked for a bluetooth pressure sensitive stylus but it seems none support the iPad Air?

    Is it really that the iPad Air can't replace notebook and pens yet?
  2. Capt T macrumors 6502a

    Mar 20, 2010
  3. iFanboy Guest

  4. weezin macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2012
    I'm interested in this as well. I have a Pogo Connect and just bought an Air. It will really suck if they don't work together...
  5. wotfan macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2011
    The makers of the of the TruGlide Apex claim it works well with the iPad Air. I have one on order. If it works as advertised, I should be able to get rid of my paper notebooks.
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    The short answer is no.

    The longer answer is, it depends. Any stylus on the iPad is kind of a hack. It's just not designed for it. A good app can help. There are different styluses on the market today that do different things to make it more powerful, but they are expensive and people are reporting mixed results.

    Even on my Surface Pro with a true digitizer and a real pen-like stylus I find the experience to still be only mediocre.
  7. PhoenixMac macrumors 65816

    Mar 7, 2010
    The Jot Script seems the most promising with a real pen like nib.
  8. iFanboy Guest

    Thanks for posting about this. I have just backed it too. It looks great!
  9. rbarry macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2013
    I use the iPad 2 as a portable white-board (I teach college), using Goodnotes to annotate PDFs of the assigned texts in lecture or seminar (displayed on a screen through Apple TV) or just to draw diagrams. I also grade papers, putting comments in the margins or between the lines, using a stylus, and I take notes at conferences or meetings, again using Goodnotes. That is pretty constant use, I'd say about 2-hrs/day of stylus contact on the screen.

    I've used two styli for this; here are my impressions:

    Bamboo- The rubber tip takes a beating, and lasts about 6-months before tearing. Good thing they are replaceable; but stock up on tips ahead of time, as supplies dry up or are hoarded by EBay speculators. The weight is good, and the clip is useful for clipping it inside the flap of the Kensington keyboard case I've got. It is dead-reliable, always making good contact with the screen, but it is not very precise, with variable friction over smooth and rough patches in the screen-protector. The tip is very wide, but you get then hang of where the line is going to show up on the screen, so for general annotation or highlighting, it's fine.

    Jot Pro- The thin tip is much more precise; this is much better for note-taking or marking up student papers. It is also better-balanced, with the extra length making it feel more like a real pen. I also find the friction of the tip to the screen is pretty consistent, though I found that in order to keep contact with the screen, I had to hold the pen more vertically than the Bamboo, which still worked even at a steeper angle. I quickly adapted to the unusual round plastic disc on the tip, which became a non-issue. There are some major drawbacks: there is no clip, so you've got to find some way to store the pen apart from the iPad. The cap very easily unscrews, so could lose it if you are not vigilant. Most annoyingly is the flexible tip loses contact with the body of the pen, resulting in "skipping" in the lines that you draw, which gets worse over time to the point that the pen becomes unusable. The solution is to regularly pop off the tip and dip the point of the pen contacting that tip in dielectric grease/heat-sink compound, or pressing the body back into the tip through a piece of aluminum foil, or finding some other method of enhancing the contact. This is an engineering design flaw that the company doesn't seem to want to remedy. Oh, and the steel point in the tip will scratch the heck out of your screen, so you ned a protector that you should consider sacrificial, unless you like the matte-finish from a throughly-scratched screen.

    Overall, I prefer the feel of the Jot, but keep the Bamboo around as backup. Despite the drawbacks, I am seriously considering the Jot Touch, which adds pressure-sensitivity, allowing you to vary the line-width through pressure on the tip. Even if I have to grease the tip, the quality of the feel drawing with the Jot would make it worth it.
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    Personal experience only. The Jot Pro works fine on my mini but is hit/miss with my Air. I have screen protectors on both of my iPads but different brands so that could be the difference. But if Jot's maker is suggesting a design change is needed for 100% compatibility on the Air then maybe it's not just me.

    To OP: I edit and annotate PDFs on my iPads w/ a pen all the time. However, for note taking either a keyboard or real pen and paper are best. Jobs hated styluses and so iOS isn't really designed for them. Apps and stylus makers in the iDevice market are going against "nature" here so they all have a synthetic feel to them.

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