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BoxWave iPad Stylus Takes the Lead in My Inking Testing

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As I’ve been continuing my reporting on Inking with a stylus on the iPad, I’ve been anxious to check out some newer styli (at least newer to me.) Today I received the BoxWave Apple iPad Capacitive Stylus and I have to say this is the best stylus I’ve tried so far in terms of laying down some Digital Ink.

I checked it out in both Penultimate and Noterize. Using Penultimate and its Wrist Protection this is the closest Tablet PC-like Inking experience I’ve found so far on the iPad. It is not perfect by any means, but this feels very, very familiar to me. Using Noterize, (which also has Wrist Protection or Palm Rejection) it is also a very good experience, although there were some stray marks caused by my hand that I don’t see when I use the Pogo Sketch, and the experience is not as effortless.

This is purely subjective here, but I think the material used for the tip on the Box Wave stylus and the tighter construction of it is what is yielding a better experience for me.

As I’m hearing from others on this topic, I’m beginning to think that the choice of stylus and App and Inking styles all play in to what works best for any given individual. I think the nature of our bodies and hands also plays a role. There should be no surprise for any Tableteer as we’ve always said that Tablets put the personal back into personal computing, and that what works for one may not work for another.

But for now, I’ve found a much better stylus solution (Steve Jobs eat your heart out) for me. The BoxWave Stylus is a little on the pricey side at $20.95, but it is a price I’m glad I paid. You may see it differently. (In the gallery below The Boxwave stylus is the blue stylus in the picture. Noterize is the App with they yellow lined page.)

Warner Crocker is a professional theatre director, producer and playwright and also a Tablet PC enthusiast. He is also a Microsoft MVP for Tablet PCs. Send email to Warner. You can follow him on Twitter or Google+

20 Comments

  1. Tuur

    07/30/2010 at 1:09 pm

    Warner, can those apps open pdf’s and let them fully annotate them like PDF Annotator?

    OMG, when will there be slate with full inking mode?! I think a lot of people are waiting for that

    • Warner Crocker

      07/30/2010 at 7:15 pm

      Noterize is the best I’ve used for annotating PDFs. It’s not PDF Annotator, but it does what I need it to.

  2. dstrauss

    07/30/2010 at 6:16 pm

    I prefer the Boxwave as well – it is a more “solid” rubber and not a soft spongy material that just seems to lay down ink closer to a regular stylus.

  3. JoeC

    07/30/2010 at 11:05 pm

    Warner – Another great post. The Boxwave rubber tip glides on the iPad – I agree it’s the best.

    • Fskhalsa

      10/13/2010 at 1:25 am

      I use the Boxwave stylus with a Zagg InvisibleShield, and I’ve been fine with it. Just thought someone should put an alternate opinion out there. I love Invisible shields, and seriously wouldn’t own a device without one, especially one with a screen as large as the iPad. I would also be afraid that when I occasionally drop the stylus on the screen, it would make scratches.
      That said, yes, there is an occasional squeaking noise with the Boxwave, but not that often. I use the stylus and iPad daily to take notes in my classes (using Note Taker HD most of the time, and Penultimate occasionally; both are great) and I really don’t have much of a problem. If it squeaked as often as other commenters here are saying, everyone in my class would be staring at me. It Does occasionally squeak, and it does feel like the screen grabs the tip a bit at certain writing speeds and angles, but on a whole, it is a really great experience, and I don’t think I’d choose a different product for either category (screen protectors or styli).
      I also use the stylus for drawing comic book characters in Sketchbook Pro, and I haven’t had a problem yet. The stylus and screen protector are just great.
      Just my opinion.

      • Fskhalsa

        10/13/2010 at 1:27 am

        oops, meant to reply to the post below this one. (@Cami)

  4. Cami

    07/31/2010 at 6:13 am

    Warner, do you know if the responsiveness of the stylus is diminished with a screen protector?

    • Drnkusv

      08/01/2010 at 12:52 pm

      I have a screen protector on my iPad. In my limited experience, it has no impact on the Pogo stylus, but it has a significant impact on the Boxwave. Because of the rubbery material of the Boxwave, it appears not to work well with screen protectors (or at least the one I am using from Clear Coat.)

      • Fernando

        08/07/2010 at 6:40 am

        Yeap, I have a Zagg screen protector on my iPad, and although I can write well with the Boxwave, the squeaking sound it makes when inking is too loud and too annoying. However, it works really well, much better than the Pogo in my opinion.

        So I am debating now, Pogo + Zagg, or Boxwave and no Zagg?

        • Traci

          08/07/2010 at 7:40 pm

          I just got my boxwave today and was so excited to use it with smartnote (free…I’m still deciding on the just right note taking app) and I also have the zagg invisishield. The response was horrible and the squealing will drive me and everybody else nuts in meetings. Granted the shield is coming off and being returned since I don’t really care for it and smartnote may not be very responsive to a stylus, however, I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to see that zagg and box wave don’t work well together. BTW…I also ordered a pogo and am curious to see if that will make a difference. If only I can figure out which note taking app is really the best and has the most features!

          • Fernando

            08/08/2010 at 7:05 am

            Yeap, the Zagg came off this morning, and the performance of the Boxwave on the plain screen of the iPad is GREAT ! It slides smoothly, no squeaking sound. Fantastic, and much better feel and accuracy that with the Pogo Sketch. This is really a workable solution for inking. I use Penultimate and Noterize as inking apps.

  5. Warner Crocker

    07/31/2010 at 6:56 am

    I do not know if it works well or not with a screen protector as I don’t use one.

  6. Tuur

    07/31/2010 at 11:59 am

    Warner, any vid-demo coming up of the inking experience?

    • Warner Crocker

      08/01/2010 at 6:58 am

      I hope to do that this week. Life has just been really hectic here.

  7. zeuxidamas

    07/31/2010 at 2:49 pm

    I am using a pogo on an iPad with a screen protector and see no significant impact to stylus performance due to the covering. I’ve been using TabletPCs and active digitizers for 7 years and with the iPad with a screen protector on, the comparative experience is good-to-go.

    • Cami

      07/31/2010 at 4:00 pm

      Thanks! Good to know. A post on Amazon re: BoxWave stylus did not see any problems either with the screen saver.

  8. April

    08/02/2010 at 5:46 pm

    I know you just got this, but what are your predictions for the durability of this stylus versus the pogo? I had the pogo for two months and liked it, but after two months of daily use with fairly heavy journalling and note taking, the sponge wore down to a pinched little nub that barely registered. the metal edges of the end were literally scraping on the screen. If the boxwave lasted just four months, the cost would be even.

    Also, I was constantly losing my beloved pogo. The plastic clip broke off, which made keeping track of it a nightmare, and I think I finally lost it for good today when it fell out of my pocket while grocery shopping. Seems like the tether on the Boxwave would be a godsend.

  9. Ivo Beckers

    10/17/2010 at 7:20 pm

    Do you wanna give the Stylus Socks a try? See: http://bit.ly/shapeshop

  10. andykeating

    01/18/2011 at 10:58 am

    This is a great stylus for the Ipad. It has a semi firm tip and doesn’t feel like it will wear out any time soon. It is a bit short (5-6 inches) but it’s not short enough to really effect anything. I’d highly recommend this to anyone looking for a stylus.

  11. Chris L.

    01/22/2011 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for this post. I bought a Pogo and am totally let down by the flimsy tip. Your pictures and the other comments have sold me on the Boxwave.

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