AppleReview

Jot Touch: precision stylus for iPad

Adonit’s precision stylus adds all-important pressure-sensitivity to the iPad, via Bluetooth. But is it worth buying? We try it out for size.

Jot Touch manufacturer Adonit will be rubbing its hands with glee at Apple’s decision not to fit the iPad Mini with pressure sensitivity. The Jot Touch’s stylus has been expressly designed to offer the variable strokes that Apple has failed to include in its iPads, and in a way it feels like a pair of fingers thrust in the air at the fruity tech company.

At £75 a pop, this may sound like a lot for a stylus, especially compared to the 10-a-penny touchpens that you can pick up on eBay. In its favour though, the Jot Touch - necessarily - packs an impressive dollop of tech into a small form-factor.

It connects to your device via Bluetooth, and thus includes a (non-accessible) battery to charge the device. It’s about the same length as a ball-point pen, but chunkier and heavier.

Pressure-sensitivity works well, especially with ArtRage custom brushes

A small USB charging base is integrated, which the Jot Touch magnetically clamps on to, to fill the battery with tasty electro-juice. It’s a clever piece of design, but because the stylus connects at a right angle to the USB port it can look a little ungainly. Connecting the Jot Touch via Bluetooth is a doddle. however.

From here, you’ll need to install specific apps to work with the Jot Touch. At the time of writing, this list includes digital artist favourites such as SketchBook, Procreate and ArtRage. All these apps include Adonit-endorsed pressure-sensitivity, but the Jot Touch will work as a normal ‘dumb’ stylus with apps that don’t, such as Photoshop Express.

The short cut buttons are a touch shallow, but a nice feature

The pressure-sensitivity works well, especially if you’ve set up custom brushes in ArtRage. You don’t have to press too hard to achieve a better flow on your virtual ink, but there’s a slight amount of give as you touch the Jot Touch to the screen. The tip itself features a small transparent plastic disc with a metal centre, which allows for accurate drawing because the iPad screen essentially thinks you’re working with a really weird finger.

Design issues

There are a couple of problems in its design, though. If you hold it at too shallow an angle the nib loses contact with the screen, resulting in line breaks. We’ve also heard anecdotal evidence that it can scratch the iPad’s screen, so it may be worth investing in a screen protector as a precautionary measure.

The Jot Touch is never going to match a Wacom tablet’s levels of sensitivity – the iPad is too much of a one-size-fits-all device, and there’s a little lag in all the compatible apps.

However, it solves the iPad’s biggest problem for digital artists, and feels natural and smooth to hold and use. We think that it’ll become an essential part of most toolkits.

Key info

  • Price £75 
  • Company Adonit
  • Features: Pressure-sensitivity, Bluetooth connection, USB charger, In-built battery, Precision disc, Replaceable tips (two included), Dampening tip, Shortcut buttons, Replaceable cap, One-year warranty
  • This review was originally published in our sister title ImagineFX, the world's leading magazine for fantasy and sci-fi digital artists. You can get a free sample issue here!

Our Verdict 8/10

A great buy for digital artists looking to create precision work on the iPad.
  • Pressure-sensitivity
  • Sturdiness
  • Battery life
  • Function buttons too shallow
  • Doesn't work at some angles

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