Hands-On Review of the Revamped Adonit Jot Pro and Jot Mini Styluses

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Apple has never shown much interest in styluses, even as companies like Samsung and Microsoft have embraced them as major selling points for smartphones and tablets. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs even went as far as saying "If you see a stylus, they blew it," on one occasion, and at Macworld in 2007, he asked "Who wants a stylus? Nobody wants a stylus."

Apple's focus on the fingertip as the best input method doesn't mean styluses are entirely pointless -- they can be useful for taking notes, making sketches, creating artwork, and in dozens of other situations. Luckily, Apple's disinterest in the stylus hasn't stopped third-party accessory makers from developing them, and eight years after the iPhone first debuted, there are a range of stylus options on the market.

Adonit is a company that got into the stylus game early, debuting its first stylus on Kickstarter in 2011. The Adonit Jot was one of the first styluses to incorporate a thin plastic precision disc, doing away with a rubber tip to let users see more of the screen while writing. Since then, Adonit has gone on to make a range of styluses, some that even connect via Bluetooth to incorporate pressure sensitivity.

The company's newest styluses, the Jot Pro and the Jot Mini, are standard non-connected styluses, but they're the culmination of years of work perfecting the stylus based on customer feedback and they're some of the nicest writing utensils that Adonit has produced yet. Get a quick look at the Jot Pro or Jot Mini in the video below, or keep reading to see our full thoughts on the two styluses.


What's in the Box

The Jot Pro and the Jot Mini come nicely packaged in an outer cardboard box and a plastic insert with an adhesive strap that holds them in place during shipping. They arrive with caps in place to keep the tip from being damaged and are ready to use once the cap is removed and affixed to the bottom of the stylus.

Design and Features

Both the Jot Pro and the Jot Mini are made from a lightweight aluminum in black or silver that matches the aluminum backing of the silver/space gray iPad and iPhone. Each comes with a screw-off cap that connects to both ends of the stylus and serves two purposes -- keeping the stylus safe during transport in a bag or pocket and extending the size of the stylus when in use.


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Article Link: Hands-On Review of the Revamped Adonit Jot Pro and Jot Mini Styluses
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,030
14,844
Central U.S.
The state of the stylus right now on iOS is a cluster. Last summer I bought Adobe's Ink and Slide. What a crock that turned out to be. Adonit manufactures the Ink, and here is why I'm furious…

So I bought my Adobe Ink for $200 last summer because I have been desperate for years to get a bluetooth stylus with a small tip and pressure sensitivity for drawing. $200 is a lot of money for something like this and Adobe and Adonit have massively failed. The thing worked ok with my iPad Mini 2, but wasn't supported by any other drawing apps outside of Adobe. This is especially surprising considering that Adonit has an SDK that developers can implement, but for some reason Adobe's Ink is blacklisted, even though I later found out that it is functionally the same as their other small-nibbed pressure sensitive bluetooth styli such as the Jot Touch, which costs half the price. I guess that's what you get when you pay more—no support.

I upgraded to the iPad Air 2 when it came out so that I would have a proper-sized drawing surface (and more RAM for art and design apps). To make thing MUCH worse, the pens didn't even work with them. The company has been very sketchy (no pun intended) when it comes to keeping us in the loop for the past several months, and the SDK's they've released have done little to alleviate the constant dropouts (like every 4-5 seconds so you can't even draw) and wavy lines—at least according to other users who can actually use their stylus with 3rd party apps. But there were some improvements. Adobe apparently feels the need to restrict this by not letting me even use it with other apps.

And don't get me started on Adobe. They've never even updated any of their drawing apps to address the issue. They've hardly updated their drawing apps at all since debuting them last summer. At first it seemed like they were going really exciting places with it, then it crapped out and they've lost all momentum in that space. And now I've got this $200, beautifully crafted but functionally retarded aluminum paper weight. Fantastic.

I'd stay away from Adonit. This whole experience has really soured me on them—and Adobe. It's going to take a lot to earn back my trust.
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,644
3,301
California
I am still very impressed with my purchase of the Mini. It is a little bit too compact, but would pair nice with a wallet/flip case on the iPhones.
Yes, good use case for that one. It's just the right size to stick in a wallet or attach to a case like the BookBook.
 

Macyourdayy

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2011
324
150
The state of the stylus right now on iOS is a cluster. Last summer I bought Adobe's Ink and Slide. What a crock that turned out to be. Adonit manufactures the Ink, and here is why I'm furious…

I'd stay away from Adonit. This whole experience has really soured me on them—and Adobe. It's going to take a lot to earn back my trust.
Thanks for the heads up, very disappointing but not unexpected. I think the only the only Adobe app that doesn't feel like a trap at the moment is Lightroom. I'm dreading that it's going to go the way of the rest of them now that Apple's thrown in the towel on Aperrture. I bet Photos is going to be a dying dog like iPhoto and FinalCrapAmatuer have been going.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,054
2,386
I picked up a Bamboo fineline stylus last week for $49 at Best Buy. It's the first stylus that doesn't feel like I'm using a crayon. It isn't perfect, but it's the best stylus I've used yet on my iPad.
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,644
3,301
California
I picked up a Bamboo fineline stylus last week for $49 at Best Buy. It's the first stylus that doesn't feel like I'm using a crayon. It isn't perfect, but it's the best stylus I've used yet on my iPad.
Nice, I've seen those around but haven't gotten to try one. They've gotten some pretty bad reviews, but seems like a decent pick if you need pressure sensitivity.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,703
3,316
I'd stay away from Adonit. This whole experience has really soured me on them—and Adobe. It's going to take a lot to earn back my trust.
As someone who owns 3 Adonit styli and has spent a lot of time in their support forums helping people get the best they possibly can out of them I have to say this is an unfair assessment, even having read your story here. Most of your complaint is with Adobe. You bought an Adobe product and they chose to limit what apps it'd be compatible with.

Adonit has actually been quite forthcoming about the issues with the Air 2. They have addressed it regularly in their forums and posted updates in their blog. It's a difficult situation, which is why it's important for Apple to get on board sooner than later with offering real stylus support. At the moment, there are no active styli from ANY manufacturers that work any better than Adonit's with the new screen.

In the vast majority of cases, Adonit has worked with their customers to make them happy. If you go into the active stylus market with the expectation it is going to work like pen on paper, you are bound to be disappointed and there is no helping you. The screen tech of the iPad has severe limitations, but with that in mind, with good app support some of these offerings are still quite decent.
 

Renzatic

Suspended
Nice, I've seen those around but haven't gotten to try one. They've gotten some pretty bad reviews, but seems like a decent pick if you need pressure sensitivity.
I had one for about 36 hours. When it was used in an app that supported it, it made for a surprisingly decent experience. I wouldn't say it's quite as good as an actual Wacom digitizer, but it's pretty close considering what it is. Definitely a step above the usual fat capacitive styluses.

The problem is there aren't many apps at the moment that support it. You have some of the official Wacom apps, and...that's about it. When you try to use it in an app that isn't set up to use it, Like Procreate for instance, you experience all kinds of problems, like line offset, stair stepping, and occasionally some pretty severe lag.

I'd say it has the potential to be a good, relatively inexpensive iPad stylus. But it's not there yet. It needs developer support to work as its intended, and right now, it doesn't have that.

The Adonit Jot Pro still has my vote as the best good-in-all-situations stylus.
 

jclo

Editor
Staff member
Dec 7, 2012
1,644
3,301
California
I had one for about 36 hours. When it was used in an app that supported it, it made for a surprisingly decent experience. I wouldn't say it's quite as good as an actual Wacom digitizer, but it's pretty close considering what it is. Definitely a step above the usual fat capacitive styluses.

The problem is there aren't many apps at the moment that support it. You have some of the official Wacom apps, and...that's about it. When you try to use it in an app that isn't set up to use it, Like Procreate for instance, you experience all kinds of problems, like line offset, stair stepping, and occasionally some pretty severe lag.

I'd say it has the potential to be a good, relatively inexpensive iPad stylus. But it's not there yet. It needs developer support to work as its intended, and right now, it doesn't have that.

The Adonit Jot Pro still has my vote as the best good-in-all-situations stylus.
Yeah, no app support is a reason why I stick with the "dumb" styluses. At least they work everywhere.
 

Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,884
714
Hawaii, USA
In the vast majority of cases, Adonit has worked with their customers to make them happy. If you go into the active stylus market with the expectation it is going to work like pen on paper, you are bound to be disappointed and there is no helping you. The screen tech of the iPad has severe limitations, but with that in mind, with good app support some of these offerings are still quite decent.
I have a Jot Pro (second generation, I guess) and don't use it because it has major skipping issues. However, I can speak to Adonit's excellent customer service. When I first identified problems with my Jot Pro they sent me replacement disks at no cost to try. When the skipping issue persisted, they covered the cost of shipping to have my send back my Jot Pro, and they replaced it with another (and even allowed me to change the color). Unfortunately, the replacement still had skipping issues. This was with both a "naked" iPad 3 and an iPad Mini housed in an Otterbox Defender.

It's a shame, too, because the craftsmanship was delightful and when it worked it was a lot more pleasant to use than my fat-tipped styluses from eBay. Given that the cost of these new Jot Pro/Jot Mini styluses is a lot cheaper than when they first came out, I'm tempted to try with them one more time...
 

Renzatic

Suspended
I have a Jot Pro (second generation, I guess) and don't use it because it has major skipping issues.
There is a easy, easy way to fix that. Take the little disc off the end, clean it and the nub with a bit of alcohol, dry it off, then take a small piece of aluminum foil, fold it up a couple of times, lay it on top of the disc, then push the pen through it when you reconnect them both together.

I read that somewhere back when I first got my Jot Pro, and was kinda skeptical, but sure enough, it hasn't skipped a bit since I did it.
 

Fzang

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2013
1,314
1,081
Personally use a GoSmart stylus with a metal disc. With the iPad Air 2's new screen it's as if you're writing on laminated paper! :eek: Haven't scratched my screen yet, and when I do it will be because I drop something on it :rolleyes:

Granted, no special features, but at least it works everywhere.

 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68040
Jul 6, 2007
3,054
2,386
Yeah, no app support is a reason why I stick with the "dumb" styluses. At least they work everywhere.
The Bamboo fineline works as a "dumb" stylus for UI navigation and in unsupported apps. Just wanted to clear up any mis-perceptions.

It does need to be powered on in order to work. I wonder if the fine tip must be an antenna of some sort that "pretends" to be a fingertip.
 

msandersen

macrumors regular
Jan 7, 2003
216
30
Sydney, Australia
... I bet Photos is going to be a dying dog like iPhoto and FinalCrapAmatuer have been going.
Gee, did it take you long to come up with such an excellent pun, or are you just a natural? I'm guessing here, just a wild stab in the dark, that you have never actually used either Final Cut or Aperture. So... Maybe you're talking crap? Just maybe? Hmm...
 

a0me

macrumors 65816
Oct 5, 2006
1,074
166
Tokyo, Japan
Apple has never shown much interest in styluses, even as companies like Samsung and Microsoft have embraced them as major selling points for smartphones and tablets. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs even went as far as saying "If you see a stylus, they blew it," on one occasion, and at Macworld in 2007, he asked "Who wants a stylus? Nobody wants a stylus."
Could MacRumors stop misusing this quote? It's bad enough that everyone on the Apple-hate bandwagon brings this back over and over, we shouldn't have to see this on Apple related sites.
Jobs' comment targeted tablets that rely on styluses for input as opposed to focusing on finger input. He never said that tablets shouldn't use styluses.
 

mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,768
4,253
Apple really needs to embrace the stylus, especially for the iPad and iPhone plus. It has huge multi-tasking benefits.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
11,030
14,844
Central U.S.
Could MacRumors stop misusing this quote? It's bad enough that everyone on the Apple-hate bandwagon brings this back over and over, we shouldn't have to see this on Apple related sites.
Jobs' comment targeted tablets that rely on styluses for input as opposed to focusing on finger input. He never said that tablets shouldn't use styluses.
Thanks for helping people understand this. Jobs often took extreme viewpoints to get the message across or attack competing products. He knew full well that many Mac users (especially back then relative to the overall population of Mac users) were creatives who were using drawing stylus on their Mac. Stylus have their own place in the input world. At the time he said that they dominated primary input on touch-enabled mobile phones. To attack the stylus was to attack the entire competition who had never come up with intuitive gestures and the smooth with physics scrolling experience of the iPhone.

To those who say that suddenly Apple "fanboys" are interested in stylus…that's not true. Many of us have been using them for years as artists, illustrators and photo retouchers. Wacom is where its at and I've owned several of their drawing tablets. What many of us want is to be able to easily do digital sketches on the go using a device we often already have with us—starting with basic things like pressure sensitivity support and palm rejection. Drawing with a finger is not ideal, it never has been, and it never will be. For one it's too fat to be precise. Having an Apple-approved stylus program and API would be incredible. I hope that comes in iOS 9 and Apple makes their own version for $150 or less.
 

technicalFoozle

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2011
15
3
Compared with hybrid styluses

OK, the term "Hybrid" is confusing but it is their term so I'll use it. Rubber tipped styluses are terrible compared to hybrids like Ampen. Ampen is under $10 on Amazon and actually really good. It is as responsive or sometimes more responsive than my callused finger tips. It's smoother and has less friction than a rubber tip.

I'd like to see them used as a comparison instead of rubber tipped devices.
 

thefourthpope

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2007
993
245
DelMarVa
I'm a fan of my first gen Adonit Jot. About the only quibble is the lack of any clip--it slides around my shirt/coat/bag pockets enough that in sometimes worried about losing it. But it's accurate, has good battery life, and has enough heft to feel like a legitimate pen. Good product.
 

fitshaced

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2011
1,730
3,104
I think the best solution is a non Bluetooth stylus and a modified glove. No skipping and works in Procreate <- best drawing/painting app on the iPad.
 

sracer

macrumors G3
Apr 9, 2010
8,707
9,461
Prescott Valley, AZ
I have the Adonit Jot (not Pro)... $15 @ Walmart. It works very well, though the clickety-clack is noticeable in a quiet room. It is more of an issue with handwriting than with drawing.

I've avoided the active pens because they don't work with all apps. As stated above, this is why Apple needs to have active stylus support baked into iOS.
 

Carlanga

macrumors 604
Nov 5, 2009
7,017
1,303
The state of the stylus right now on iOS is a cluster. Last summer I bought Adobe's Ink and Slide. What a crock that turned out to be. Adonit manufactures the Ink, and here is why I'm furious…

So I bought my Adobe Ink for $200 last summer because I have been desperate for years to get a bluetooth stylus with a small tip and pressure sensitivity for drawing. $200 is a lot of money for something like this and Adobe and Adonit have massively failed. The thing worked ok with my iPad Mini 2, but wasn't supported by any other drawing apps outside of Adobe. This is especially surprising considering that Adonit has an SDK that developers can implement, but for some reason Adobe's Ink is blacklisted, even though I later found out that it is functionally the same as their other small-nibbed pressure sensitive bluetooth styli such as the Jot Touch, which costs half the price. I guess that's what you get when you pay more—no support.

I upgraded to the iPad Air 2 when it came out so that I would have a proper-sized drawing surface (and more RAM for art and design apps). To make thing MUCH worse, the pens didn't even work with them. The company has been very sketchy (no pun intended) when it comes to keeping us in the loop for the past several months, and the SDK's they've released have done little to alleviate the constant dropouts (like every 4-5 seconds so you can't even draw) and wavy lines—at least according to other users who can actually use their stylus with 3rd party apps. But there were some improvements. Adobe apparently feels the need to restrict this by not letting me even use it with other apps.

And don't get me started on Adobe. They've never even updated any of their drawing apps to address the issue. They've hardly updated their drawing apps at all since debuting them last summer. At first it seemed like they were going really exciting places with it, then it crapped out and they've lost all momentum in that space. And now I've got this $200, beautifully crafted but functionally retarded aluminum paper weight. Fantastic.

I'd stay away from Adonit. This whole experience has really soured me on them—and Adobe. It's going to take a lot to earn back my trust.
Just get a surface pro and be happy
 
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