Top positive review
350 people found this helpful
Has made my life infinitely easier.
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.