Whether you want to create art on your iPad or Android tablet, or just do some quick sketches, what's the best way to commune with your touchscreen? Some go with a basic, bog-standard stylus; others prefer to just use their finger. But for some designers, the stylus is a crucial buying decision, reflecting their personal style as much as the clothes they wear - at the very least showing that they take the act of drawing very seriously.
It’s at the latter group that the Jot Flip is aimed. The $40 stylus is a piece of honed engineering, with a pleasing robustness and style to spare. The mix of steel and rubber is exquisite; the fine-point ink pen that appears from the barrel when you twist it is a touch of class. It’s not just a stylus: it’s a statement. But for artists who use their iPad or Android tablet as a daily sketchpad, what counts is the drawing.
The nib is one of the most curious examples that you’re likely to see on a stylus. The brushed steel converges into a small pivot point, then ends in a tiny flat steel disc. Encasing the steel disc is a larger clear plastic disc.
This delivers an area of pressure about the size of your fingertip on the touchscreen, while giving you the visual appearance of a finer tip as you either draw or write. The pivot design means that you can hold the pen at whatever angle you find comfortable, all the while keeping the disc flat against the screen.
It feels quite disconcerting at first when you place the nib on the screen, almost like the plastic disc isn’t quite touching the screen, but you soon get used to it. Indeed, the Jot Flip certainly feels more precise in use than a typical broad-nibbed stylus.
Adonit states the feeling of precision is enhanced further in selected apps that adopt its Jot Software Development Kit. This is software within an app that recognises the presence of Jot styluses.
Compatible apps, which include SketchBook Pro, ArtRage and Sketch Club, are able to recognise the smaller contact area of the Jot range’s Precision Disc. In theory, this means a more refined drawing and writing experience; in practice, we didn’t notice a whole lot of difference between supported apps and non-supported apps.
The real beneficiary of the Jot SDK is its sister product, the Jot Touch, which uses Bluetooth to link with a supported app and its host device to deliver pressure-sensitive drawing.
That’s not to say that the Jot Flip isn’t a pleasure to use. It’s beautifully built and carefully weighted to feel totally comfortable in your hand: a well-designed, quality stylus.
- Price: $40
- Manufacturer: Adonit
- System requirements: Device with capacitive touch screen, including iPad and Android tablets