With pens, there are really only a few designs — fountain pens with nibs, ballpoints and felt-tipped markers. Anything else is pretty much just a variation on those. But with iPad styluses, pen designers seem to be going crazy with brand new ideas. One of these is the GoSmart Stylus, and at first look it seems like a terrible idea. Pick it up and use it, though, and you’ll be hooked.
The GoSmart comes in two shapes: the Republic Serial rocketship-shaped 300 which I’m writing up here, and a more conventional pen-shaped 200. These will be available in June and August respectively.
The pen is made from solid aluminum, has a Teflon-coated metal tip and embedded magnets for sticking to Smart Covers or even the iPad itself.
When I first used the GoSmart I was scared that I’d scratch my new iPad’s screen (which has against all the odds survived scratch-free since I bought it, unlike all my previous iPads). But I needn’t have worried: the metal tip is Teflon coated to let it glide over the screen, and even over screen protectors.
And the tip is the best part of the whole pen. Resembling a rifle’s crosshairs, the tip consists of a ring with a cross in the center. This is mounted on a spring. The idea is that it is big enough to register on the iPad’s screen, but the cross makes it easy to line up the tip for pixel-perfect work. It actually feels surprisingly good.
The barrel of the pen is good to hold, too. The slightly textured finish of my prototype test unit will be smoother in production models, but even so the weighting of the pen is well balanced, thanks to its weird shape.
The magnets are also handy, but far from essential.
The cap of the GoSmart is shaped like a rocketship’s fins, which is a little hokey. It does let you stand it up, but what’s the point? It also serves to protect that tip, which is a good thing as that tip worries me a little.
It is connected by a coil of wire. This is very flexible in use but I have the feeling that if I dropped the pen and it landed tip-first, the fun might be over. Then again, I have trashed plenty of fountain pens the same way.
This really is an odd stylus, but it is also very functional. Once you get over the initial trepidation of metal-on-screen action, you’ll love the accuracy that this achieves, and when you go back to your rubber-tipped stylus it’ll feel like a fat kid’s crayon. Recommended, as long as you’re not too rough with it.
- Source GoSmart!
- Thanks Jae!