This iPhone and iPad stylus will drive your co-workers mad with envy [Review]

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Stand out in the boardroom with Adonit Prime iPhone/iPad stylus [Review]
The Adonit Prime looks like a top-tier writing instrument. But it’s a high-quality stylus for either iPhone or iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Adonit Prime is a stylus for iPhone or iPad that combines a premium form with top-quality function. It’s for anyone not satisfied with everyday styli — anybody who wants one that stands out from the crowd.

I tried both the Prime – Dash (the version for iPhone) and the Prime – Note (for iPad). Here’s why they would be at home on any executive’s desk.

With Father’s Day coming up, the Adonit Prime might be just right for the dad who has everything.

Adonit Prime review

Luxury pen buyers are probably frustrated with styli because most of them look so … functional. The Adonit Prime is functional but it’s also beautiful. And comfortable to hold.

It could be easily mistaken for a top-quality pen. That’s because the stylus was made with the same craftsmanship as those writing instruments. It boasts a rich lacquer finish in silver and black.

The barrel measures 4.95 inches long. It’s 1.5 inches around at its widest point, but tapers smoothly at both ends. The weight is 1.6 ounces.

The cap screws securely into place, both when covering the writing tip and when moved out of the way to the opposite end of the stylus.

The Adonit Prime is very comfortable to hold and use. The lacquer finish is a joy to feel, and the device is well-balanced.

When using a pen, you unscrew the tip to change the cartridge. Adonit Prime has swappable cartridges, too, but these let you easily change between an iPhone stylus and an iPad stylus. These are called the Prime – Dash and the Prime – Note, and the only difference is the cartridge inside. The body of the stylus is the same.

Adonit Prime is as beautiful as it is functional. It looks right at home with an iPad Pro.
Adonit Prime looks right at home with an iPad Pro.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Adonit Prime – Dash

The Prime – Dash cartridge makes the Adonit Prime into a capacitive stylus. That’s a high-tech way of saying it can do anything a fingertip can do. When flipping through lengthy documents or web pages, many people prefer to use a stylus rather than a finger. And a stylus is absolutely preferable when signing digital documents.

Many capacitive styli have a squishy tip. Not the Prime – Dash. It has a small one that makes writing far easier and neater because you can more accurately place the tip.

This type of stylus is the only option for iPhone. And it works well for scrolling through documents, digital signatures and even playing casual games. In my testing, this Adonit product lived up to my high expectations.

While the Prime – Dash cartridge can be used with iPad, too, it isn’t the best option for tablet users. There’s no palm rejection with a capacitive stylus, greatly limiting its usefulness for taking notes.

Adonit Prime review: The stylus comes with either the Prime - Dash or the Prime - Note cartridge. And you can swap them
Adonit Prime comes with either the Prime – Dash or the Prime – Note cartridge. And you can swap them.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Adonit Prime – Note

Adonit made the Prime – Note cartridge for iPad users. This is well-suited for taking handwritten notes because this version does support palm rejection. Plus, Apple’s great Scribble feature allows for entering text anywhere just by writing.

The stylus also proves convenient for sketching out ideas. And your tablet helps this process with Shape Recognition. But this is not the best option for artists, because there’s no pressure sensitivity or tilt detection.

I have years of experience with iPad styli, and I’m pleased with Adonit Prime using the Prime – Note cartridge. I had no problems with skipping lines, no matter how slowly or quickly I wrote.

The product works with all recent Apple models. I tested it with a 2021 iPad Pro, but it’s compatible with the latest iPad Air, iPad mini and basic iPad, too.

Charging

Both the Prime – Dash and the Prime – Note cartridges need to be charged. But they do not include an inelegant charging port.

Instead, the Adonit Prime comes with a charger just as beautiful as the stylus. It’s a chrome cylinder that both holds the accessory and charges it. Place the stylus tip down in the charging well and the cartridge will be replenished via inductive power. The charger gets its power through a USB-C cable — you’ll need to supply a wall adapter.

Adonit says 1.5 hours of charging supply 12 hours of use. I’ve done plenty of testing and I’m still on my first charge.

You turn the Adonit Prime on or off simply by removing and replacing the cap. The tip will glow green to show you it’s ready to use. The stylus turns itself off if left unused for a few minutes.

Adonit Prime final thoughts

Place the Adonit Prime in its stylish holder for a recharge
Place the Adonit Prime in its stylish holder for a recharge.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You have a top-of-the-line iPad and a gorgeous case for it. It’s time for a stylus to match. Adonit Prime looks at home in a boardroom or executive suite.

And there’s no compromise in functionality. The Prime – Dash and Prime – Note cartridges work as as well as any basic styli I’ve ever tested, though they lack features artists need.

Pricing

The stylus rivals the look and quality of fine writing instruments, and is priced to match. The Adonit Prime with the Prime – Dash cartridge costs $249.99 on the Adonit website.

The version with the Prime – Note cartridge is listed as “coming soon.” It also costs $249.99. Adonit plans to sell the cartridges separately so you can easily switch the Adonit Prime from an iPhone to an iPad stylus and vice-versa.

Adonit provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out other in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.