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4.2 out of 5 stars1,014
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 13 December 2012
With the advent of the iPad, my laptop barely leaves the office these days. In a typical week I'll usually expect to attend 7-8 customer meetings, which I normally travel to by foot or by tube, so it made sense to ditch the bulky laptop bag in favour of a small slip-in case for iPad.

The problem this posed was obviously the absence of room for a pen and a notepad; especially if I was going for lunch, dinner or drinks with the client, following the meeting.

I did a bit of research and discovered several apps which could replace a paper notepad (my preference, in the end, being Penultimate) for taking meeting notes - the next challenge: to find a good stylus with which to write!

Before I start, I want to make it clear that purchases at this end of the financial scale are a grey area to me; investing £20 for a stylus does not mean that my family can't eat for a month, so if you pay attention to the other reviewers who class this as an "expensive item", then this review isn't for you.

I ordered several models to evaluate. The TRIXES High Quality HQ Stylus; the Universal Capacitive Stylus; the COLT HQ Stylus, and this, the Wacom Bamboo Solo Stylus.

Immediately upon opening, you can feel the quality of the Wacom Bamboo Stylus over the others listed above. It has a good weight to it, and feels of very solid build; the others had an almost hollow, plasticky feel to them, whereas the Bamboo felt well built. It's also of good size; I'm not a small guy, and have fairly big hands, so when I looked at the pictures of these styli on Amazon, I was slightly worried that they would be to fiddly. Certainly not the case with the Bamboo. It fits in my hand perfectly, and feels like a mid-range rollerball.

Second was the usage test. This paragraph will, I'm sure, be ubiquitous to ALL styli; however, I thought it best to include it for those whom have never used a stylus with a tablet.

It does take a good bit of getting used to. End of story. So much so, that at first I was actually quite disappointed, and thought my utopia of a truly paperless quest was at an end. Fortunately though, after several uses, it becomes second nature, and you don't find your eye trying to connect the "nib" with the "paper" at a precise point; it simply becomes second nature. Within a very short period of time, my tablet handwriting had evolved from that of a 5 year old with Parkinson's, to that of a 32 year old with a mild hangover - typical of my normal paper scribblings.

Lastly I'd like to discuss longevity. I'd seen previous low reviews stating that the nib wore out very quickly; obviously this was of some concern, as I didn't want to be halfway through a meeting and find myself having to scrawl on the iPad with my finger, like a caveman. Just in case, I purchased a spare set of nibs for the "princely" sum of £5.43 (seriously, guys, if you can't afford £5.43 for a spare set of nibs, how did you afford the tablet in the first place?). I am, however, pleased to announce that I've not once needed to change nibs - I'm still on the original after 4 months - and I tend to write a great deal (as you may be able to tell from this long-winded review! N.B. Not written with a Bamboo stylus...). By saying a great deal, you won't be able to quantify it, so here it is:

In a typical week, I'm in 7-8 customer meetings, in which I tend to fill 15-18 full pages in Penultimate. On top of this, I usually have 4-5 internal meetings; this time using slightly less page space - 7-12 pages.

Over the course of 4 months, I'd say I've written enough to fill 2.5 x Moleskine A5 notepads. So:..

Is it financially worth it? YES.
Is the convenience worth it? YES.
Will you be glad you bought it? YES.
Will you lose it? PROBABLY.

I've added the last question as it would be nice to see Bamboo add a lanyard type device which the TRIXES styli have. This is an excellent afterthought from TRIXES, as it means that the more forgetful of us (such as myself), can instantly attach the stylus to the headphone port at the end of a meeting.

I haven't lost one yet (I fold it into the crease of my iPad sleeve (Mulberry - very good!)) when not in use, but I know it's only a matter of time before I leave it somewhere!

I'll caveat this entire review by stating that I DON'T use the stylus for drawing, as many of you will; I purely use it for note-taking in meetings (that said, I did once draw a cock & balls when I was in a meeting with a particularly odious little fellow). However, if the ease of use when it comes to handwriting is reflected in the ability to draw, I'm sure that all of you little Picasso's out there will not be disappointed.
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on 17 April 2013
I am an artist & draw a lot on my iPad, I also now like to use a stylus to type, scroll etc. rather than my finger, so I have bought & used all the styluses available. This is the best in my view, though the Just Mobile Alupen comes a close second, the problem with that one is the rubber tip is a bit too soft, & some might not like it's heavy & stubby feel. The Bamboo is not stubby at all though has a pleasing weight that is nicely balanced. For drawing I like the Bamboo stylus because like a pencil one can hold it higher up the handle.

Many reviews mention the rubber tips splitting quickly, I am surprised at this as in fourteen months of daily (& heavy) use I have only needed to replace the tip three times. I just wonder if these bad reviews are because people have been conned with look-alike replicas. The tips are easy to get on Amazon & cost around £7 for three, which I think is a high price for what they are, but not prohibitively so.

It is surprising how differently the tips behave on the pad, the cheapo styluses (ones you get three for a couple of quid) are OK but they feel flimsy & lack balance for drawing, their tips are not that responsive. The Acase stylus feels nicer to use, but the tip is as unresponsive as the cheap ones when drawing. One cannot replace split tips for either of these. The Alupen is good, feels solid & very much like a thick graphite 'pastel' to use, it has good reviews, the tip is nicely responsive but I find the tip far too soft. I also see no way to replace a split tip, which considering the cost of the pen is a serious consideration.

So though rather expensive to buy, & to get replacement tips, the Bamboo stylus seems the best buy to me.
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on 17 June 2014
I purchased three of these in separate purchases in 2014 through Amazon but all were from third party vendors. I also purchased a couple of packs of Wacom replacement rubber tips.
They all worked very well & I find that the tip rubbers have a reasonable life for my use which is mainly browsing on an iPad.
Yesterday I tried to replace the tip on one of the styli & discovered that the brass tube on which the rubber tip fits was the wrong size on one of them. This means that the replacement tips won't fit.
Genuine styli have a brass tube which is about 3.5mm in diameter, the counterfeit model I have has one which is larger - about 5 mm in diameter. There are also cosmetic & quality differences but these are quite subtle.
Unfortunately I cannot now identify who supplied which stylus so I'll have to junk the counterfeit model,
I recommend that you check out your purchase immediately, return it if it has the larger tip diameter & report it to Amazon as counterfeit. There are videos on Utube about counterfeit Wacom Bamboo Stylii.
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on 19 October 2011
This is a great product with a major flaw. The design is very comfy to use and has produced excellent results with SketchBook Pro, iThoughtsHD, Noterize, Notesplus and other similar programs - art wise it really moves the ipad up a notch in terms of sketching, layout preparation and accuracy. However - after 2 weeks a small tear had opened on the rubber tip, after another 2 weeks this tear was so substantial that I had to cease using the pen while awaiting Wacom shop to deliver replacement tips (20 pounds, up to 10 days delivery for 6 tips) which frankly is an extortionate rate and will send me looking for alternatives should the replacements tear after a similar short duration.

So frankly a lovely pen that has transformative effects on your ipad but one that carries not only a heavy investment cost but seemingly a steep up-keep cost.
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on 9 June 2014
I have spent the past hour trying out this bamboo stylus (why the word "bamboo"?) against a cheaper stylus i bought for just a few pennies and, for the life of me, i cannot tell the difference, having used them both on my ipad air and blackberry playbook. So, my question is, why should one have to pay around nine times (yes, you read that correctly. NINE TIMES!) for the bamboo stylus? The screens are just as responsive to my cheap stylus. Is it longevity? Well, if it is, then just the mere fact that i could buy 9 cheap styluses for the same price would more than make up for the fact that the cheap one i have mightn't last that long! What makes me really annoyed, though, is that there was lots of elaborate packaging for the bamboo, and instructions for removing the pocket clip (why would i want to do that?) but none for how to change the rubber tip. Well, guess, what, after what i have just discovered, i won't need to change/buy any rubber tips for the bamboo. I'll simply buy a fistful of my cheap 40pence styluses! Problem solved!
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on 4 January 2014
This is an excellent stylus, well made (but not designed -- see below), comfortable to hold and use. However -- warning -- there is a design fault which means that you can easily scratch your tablet surface. The metal surrounding the nib comes too far down, and the nib is soft, and unless you hold it upright the metal can touch the surface. You can get round it by either removing the metal nib cover, in which case the lid won't fit on, or cut it back a couple of millimetres.
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on 23 November 2013
There is a coating around the rubber nub, this began to wear away like pva glue, until there was this white skin on top that kept creasing over itself. When this tore itself off the rubber was all that was left, and so the stylus was no longer smooth, there was simply too much friction for it to be of any use. This happened within a week of owning it. You're better off buying one of the other stylus than this one.
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on 26 August 2013
I purchased my Bamboo Solo for my kindle fire partly because the tips could be replaced rather than wasting a complete stylus and partly because of the longer length and weight. I also purchased a few packs (3 per pack) replacement tips. At first the new nibs appear much firmer than other styluses i have used but they tend to go soft fairly quickly. I dont have a great problem with that because i dont abuse the stylus but anyone a little less careful could expect continous replacements every month. Replacement tips are quite reasonable at around £5 for 3. After a few months i noticed the paint was coming off the stylus but only the top half. It suddenly became very easily removed with the brass barrel showing through. The lower half of the barrel remains unmarked. I cant explain why this has happened as i havent ever abused the stylus and must conclude it is a "coating" error. I guess things like this must happen occassionaly. I emailed Wacom but didnt hear from them until I mailed them a second time. Bit dissappointed that they didnt contact my first mail but gave them the benefit of the doubt. I had done my homework re this problem via Google and discovered i wasnt the only customer with this same problem and in each case Wacom had failed to resolve it. In my case I sent photographs of the offending stylus and explained that i had the packaging etc but couldnt locate the paperwork. There was no doubting the genuiness of my claim or product as i even supplied photographs but said i would need to return it to my local dealer or to Germany at my own cost both ways and that the German return would get things done quicker but would be a lot more expensive. The stylus was expensive enough without throwing more money at it. I was prepared to send it to them even though i honestly beleived as customer service they could have replaced it without so much hassel. Needless to say i have chalked this down to experience. I can only say the stylus is good except for the poor quality control and poor customer service. So you really have to buy from Wacom at your own risk.
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on 23 January 2012
the clip fell off within 10 minutes of being placed in my pocket, the thread is not long enough and unscrews itself with natural vibration. The soft end is too clumsy to be of any use for drawing, a friend bought one with a smaller end for £3 that is easier to use. Altogether a waste of money
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on 15 November 2011
Really wanting to use my iPad for study the idea of pen writing on it appealed. The Bamboo Paper app worked pretty well with one limitation, I didn't have a pen. What the heck decided to just buy this one. Looks good and works well considering your writing on a capacitive surface.

Style & Ergonomics - The stylus looks just like the picture and in my opinion a very nice design indeed. Weighs 18.9g, 120.8mm long, 9mm diameter (excluding clip). The clip comes off by screwing the top, personally I prefer it with as stops the stylus from rolling around. Feels light in the hand with a firm construction, black plastic main body is hollow but does not detract from the quality. The soft silocone tip writes well and have no worries that it will scratch the screen.

Proformance - This stylus (well all really) don't feel natural when navigating iOS and would even recomend agaist it due to the poor way it proforms when scrolling. Writing & drawing is what it's all about and used in conjunction with Bamboo Paper (Free App) is very good especially considering this is a capacitive surface**. When writing there is no issues like when scrolling more likely due to the extra pressure used. Seems to be quite accurate compared to the pressure touch screens I have used before

Final Thoughts - This pen looks great, feels good in the hand and is accurate for writing notes. The one thing that lets is down is the price as at £25 is expensive compared to other similar pens out there.

**I can even rest my hand on the screen while writing, this only occasionlly causes any errors too.
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