Stylus Showdown – The Best Styluses to Use with Pigment
In Pixite’s continued development of Pigment we have purchased and tested a variety of styluses, ranging from a BIC Tech 2 in 1 to the Apple Pencil. In this post we will go over the different ones we’ve tried and which were our favorites. This will be less of a comprehensive review and more of a simplified buyer’s guide. We set a few standard categories in which these styluses were rated.
Besides those categories we have also set one basic rule that the styluses needed to follow to be included in this review. Since Pigment will be available on Android in the near future the styluses had to be either universal or compatible with both operating systems. As you can see this eliminates the Apple Pencil. It is one of the best styluses out there but since it only works with the iPad Pro it had to be removed from this review. You may also notice that some other keys players are missing, such as the Pencil by 53. They have been left out for now since their key feature, the ability to adjust the stroke width by varying the pressure applied, is not currently supported by Pigment. There will be another review for those types of stylus when that the feature has been added to the app. To be clear this review is about how the styluses work within Pigment and may not be applicable to other apps and uses.
BIC Tech 2 in 1
$4.99 Purchase on Amazon
We will start this review of with our cheapest stylus. The BIC Tech 2 in 1 is an easily affordable entry level stylus. The fact that it has a pen attached is even better. The rubber nib (tip) is flexible so it doesn’t give you the most responsive control or accuracy in Pigment. The nib does have the potential to tear with over use. Overall it is very lightweight and easy to throw in your pocket, bag or purse. We did notice that if you did want to store it using the clip you will lose it. At $4.99 it is a good tool for the casual tablet user that also finds it necessary to make notes. If you’re new to the stylus world this is a good introduction.
Wacom Bamboo Stylus
$14.99 Purchase on Amazon
When we purchased the Wacom Bamboo Stylus we had high hopes since it was rated MacWorld’s favorite stylus. Initial observations was that it had a nice weight but felt a little too small in our hands. The nib is rubber and similar to the BIC nib in terms of flexibility. The Bamboo nib is a smaller diameter, which improved accuracy over the BIC. The rubber and aluminum body give it a quality feel and the replaceable nibs make this already affordable stylus a cost effective tool. The Bamboo Stylus is another great option for the beginning colorist.
Dimples Excel 2 in 1
$14.99 Purchase on Amazon
Two for the price of one, you can’t beat that. Not only does it have two different kinds of nibs it also come with a second stylus. Its unique disk nib stylus allows you to see exactly where you are coloring. It is great for the small details when you have your stroke thickness reduced. The disk easily glides over the screen for an easy coloring experience. Flip the stylus over and you have a woven fiber nib. It works similarly to the flexible rubber nibs but the woven feature adds a nice textured feedback while you’re coloring. We liked this side of the stylus for filling in large areas quickly or when layering colors. Its aluminum body and rubber grip are comfortable in your hand. To top it off the set comes with four replacement disk nibs and two woven fiber nibs. For $14.99 and the coloring experience it provided it easily became our favorite stylus in the office.
Studio Neat Cosmonaut
$25.00 Purchase on Amazon
Next up we have the Studio Neat Cosmonaut. This fun stylus reminds us more of sidewalk chalk than a tool for a tablet. As you can see it is the thickest of the bunch which brings with it an interesting experience. Its size is great for those that find most standard styluses too thin to easily hold. Studio Neat has designed a gap between the outer rubber skin and the nib inside to protect against errant lines when drawing or making notes. Because of that gap, it took noticeably more pressure than the other styluses for it to register on the screen. Even just using it to punch in the code to get into my iPad took several attempts before the number was selected. When coloring, this issue creates a frustrating and exhausting experience. The Cosmonaut is a fine tool for taking notes but for coloring you will want something with better accuracy.
Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo
$13.99 Purchase on Amazon
The Wacom Bamboo Stylus and Stylus Solo have a similar design and shape but they differ in the material used for their nibs. While the Bamboo Stylus used a rubber nib the Solo features a woven carbon fiber nib. This brings added durability to the nib in addition to a unique texture while coloring. The Solo glides effortlessly over the screen and in incredibly responsive. The body is lighter than the Bamboo Stylus but it is longer allowing for a more comfortable fit in your hand. The brushed metal finish is also very attractive. The pen style cap gives protection to the nib when not in use thus extending its life. The coloring experience with the Solo is very rewarding. The Solo will tackle most coloring duties with ease whether its details or filling large areas. Due to the fact it is still a flexible nib it will never be as accurate as the Dimples Excel disk nib, but it does come close. Overall it’s our second favorite stylus and this author’s personal stylus.
$24.99 Purchase on Amazon
Next up we have the Sensu Solo. It is a paint brush built from anodized aluminum and designed with hairs that are responsive to tablets. The sensation of “painting” in a tablet is very soothing. In other apps it may work more like a paint brush but in Pigment it’s not much different than a stylus with a flexible rub nib. The novelty of it is fun in the beginning but when it comes to detailed work in Pigment a conventional stylus would be preferred.
Adonit Jot Dash
$49.99 Purchase on Amazon
I’ll start off by saying that the Adonit Jot Dash is the best stylus for fine detail among all the styluses that were tested in this review. It’s also the only powered one. Having it powered is what brings its high level of accuracy. The Dash is also incredibly easy to use. There is no Bluetooth connection needed or pairing. Just press the button on the top and start coloring. You have 14 hours of coloring before you need to recharge. Luckily that only takes 45 minutes, but you’ll need a USB outlet to do that. Now the issue we had at the office was the fact that the tip is hard plastic. It felt like we were going to scratch the glass. It didn’t but that feeling was not natural for coloring. We stopped using it pretty quickly after. If you can get past the mechanical feeling, The Adonit Jot Dash is great for the advanced colorer looking to bring a high level of detail to their pieces.
Who Won the Showdown?
Pixite wanted our users to be informed when it came to the types of styluses available on the market. Just because one is more expensive than another or is electronic doesn’t always mean it works for every application. In the end we liked the simplicity of the Wacom Bamboo Solo and the versatility in the Dimples Excel. We hope this was informative for you made your buying experience easier. If you have a favorite stylus that we haven’t covered, send us a quick email at firstname.lastname@example.org.