I love watching crowd-funded projects make it from concept to reality. Precision Touch just recently (July 19, 2014) reached the end of a funding campaign on Kickstarter for the Dart Stylus, now available for pre-order for US$59.95 (normal price $69.95). What makes this such a unique stylus? It has a fine (2mm) point for extra precision when you're using it with your favorite iPad. Be one of the first people to own a Dart Stylus by entering our giveaway at the end of this post.
- Barrel diameter: Approximately .47 inches (12mm)
- Length: 5.2 inches (132mm)
- Tip diameter: 2mm
- Weight: 1.1 ounces (31.18 grams)
- Power: One AAAA battery
- Type: Active (does not require Bluetooth pairing)
The first thing that hits your eye when you see the Dart Stylus is that it looks like it looks like a traditional drawing pen. Rather than a wide tip on the end like you'd see with most iPad styli, the Dart comes with a small 2 mm wide tip. That tip is replaceable, and two extra tips are supplied.
To work on the iPad's capacitive touchscreen with such a small tip requires special circuitry, hence the need for a battery. The Dart comes with one AAAA battery installed and another spare.
There's one tiny blue LED on the stylus nib to let you know that it's powered on, and three lightly engraved lines circle the barrel of the Dart to help you grip it. To turn on the stylus, you just turn the tail cap clockwise until that LED turns on. Turning it off is done with a counterclockwise twist.
The Dart Stylus doesn't require Bluetooth pairing, so in that respect it's like many of the passive styli we've reviewed over the years. The battery and circuitry is there simply to make the tiny tip of the Dart work with the iPad touchscreen. With the power shut off on the Dart, it is as useful as a "real" pen on the screen -- it doesn't work.
Twist that tail cap clockwise, though, and the Dart becomes a very accurate stylus. During my review, I used it with the FiftyThree Paper app. Using the pencil tool, I was able to draw very thin lines, perfect for sketching in a rough outline of something to paint. The pen tool, when used with the Dart, started pen strokes with a fine point, then gradually increased in thickness. With the brush tools, the Dart acted just like a medium point brush.
I also used the Dart with a few note-taking apps. I found the stylus to be much more controllable and my writing actually clearer than when I have used other passive styluses in the past. If you like taking handwritten notes on an iPad, you'll want a Dart.
The Dart has a great feel, much more like a pen than a marker, and it is balanced so well that you'll have no problem using it for hours on end.
The Precision Touch Dart Stylus finally brings a fine tip stylus that really works to the iPad accessory market. While it's not inexpensive, it is well-designed and very nicely constructed, and it will be your drawing and writing companion for years.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
Be the envy of all of your friends by being one of the first people to lay your hands on a Dart Stylus. Here are the rules for the giveaway:
- Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
- To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
- The entry must be made before August 3, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
- You may enter only once.
- One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Precision Touch Dart Stylus valued at US$69.99
- Click Here for complete Official Rules.
- Key specs
- Form factor Tablet
- Operating system iOS (8)
- Screen size 9.7 inches
- Storage type Internal storage (16 GB, Flash)
- Maximum battery life Up to 10 hours
- Dimensions 9.4 x 6.6 x 0.24 in
- Weight 0.96 lb
- Announced 2014-10-16