Bamboo Stylus for iPadRating:
The reason this is clunky is that the onscreen keyboard will never be
as good as the real thing and if you add an external keyboard
(bluetooth or otherwise) you might as well have bought a netbook.
Enter the Bamboo Stylus from Wacom.
I purchased the Bamboo Stylus on the recommendation of a review and the promise of it, and the accompanying Bamboo Paper application for the iPad, being a revolution in note taking. Although a little expensive at £24.99 I took the plunge to see if the claims were true.
Some certainly is true, some definitely not.
Initial impressions of the stulys are good, it has a good size and feel much like a normal pen and less like a little plastic stick as others I have seen. The tip is quite large (although narrower than the competition) and made of a surprisingly squashy black rubber. I was expecting it to be harder for some reason.
After installing the free Bamboo Paper app from the AppStore I was ready to go and was instantly surprised at how useable the stylus was. With some fettling of the pen thickness (in the App) I was writing normal hand written notes with ease.
Then the problem occurred…
I am left handed (pretty sure it will affect rightys too) and as soon as my hand touched the screen halfway through my sentence everything stopped. Being a capacitive touch screen, my hand over rules the pen in the “touch” stakes and writing ceased. The only way to stop this is to hover your hand over the screen which really makes writing unnatural.
Anyhow, this review is about the Bamboo Stylus and not general stylus issues with the iPad.
In general, as a stylus, the Bamboo is great, it has good weight and feel, a smaller tip (which is replaceable) and is certainly the best of the several I tried. The accompanying app is lacking some features that its competitors have but it is free and I am sure will develop.
There are of course many other applications for this, or any other stylus, where being more than a fat finger’s level of accuracy on the screen is important. Photo editing, drawing, art etc… And in this world there are definite merits. More of that in a future review maybe.
- Feels like a real pen
- Replaceable tips
- Pricey compared to others
- App lacking in features
If you are looking for a stylus then the Bamboo is definitely a great product and is a cut above the rest in terms of quality and feel. Yes, it’s a little pricey but I believe worth it. You did afterall spend at least £400 on the iPad.
As for note taking, my recommendation would be to use Notability which has many many more features than Bamboo Paper including integration to Dropbox, iDisk, email etc and a host of drawing options as well as handwriting and audio dictation.
I’m not sure I am sold on the replacement to my paper notepad story due to the concerns expressed above but will certainly be using the iPad in another new way which I was not before.