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Dear Aunt TUAW: Help me find a pointy iPad stylus


Dear Aunty TUAW,

I just bought an iPad and I want a stylus for taking notes, but every stylus I see online has a tip that's as blunt as a piece of chalk.

Why aren't there any pointy-tip capacitive styli available?

Your friend,


Dear R,

Pointy styluses (stylii?) are a no-go because they don't provide enough contact with the screen. Google tells Auntie that your fingers register on capacitive screens because they distort the screen's electrostatic field. A pointy stylus with such a small tip does not.

Some hard round-tipped styluses, like this one from Targus, provide a pretty good compromise between the need for contact and the desire for accuracy. And if you'd rather not get all up-close-and-fingerprinty with your iPad, there's always the frozen hotdog option.

Aunt TUAW contacted Matt Geyster, the guy behind the Artistree kickstarter project, whose stylus looks pretty pointy. This is a pre-production project, and Auntie was not able to test the prototypes. Geyster said, "Yes it is true there is a certain size that works best," but added that "We have used our small tip with no problems."

Auntie is a bit concerned that the close-to-the-tip grip used in the demo video was less of a comfort issue than one of bringing larger quantities of salty water (i.e., the user's hand) closer to the screen. Geyster added, "If during testing I need to go a little wider with the fine tip to get better feel and response, then I will."

The people who are looking for fine stylus control because they want pinpoint accuracy when drawing on their iPads are met with a sad fact: the iPad really isn't the device for that kind of interaction. And it's not just about pinpoint. There are also control issues, like pressure, sensitivity and angle detection. Those features are just not iPad practical.


Auntie T.

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