Clicky

A Second Look at the Adonit Jot Script Stylus: Sometimes You Do Get a Lemon

By  |  16 Comments

Last week I reviewed the Adonit Jot Script Stylus (the Evernote edition) designed for Digital Inkers to do some Inking on their iPads. It is designed specifically to work with the Evernote App, Penultimate, but will work with other iOS note taking and drawing Apps. I had no luck with the product whatsoever and demonstrated that in the video accompanying the review. The Adonit Jot Stylus is unique as it has a smaller tip to allow you better control over your Digital Inking than many of the styli that work with the iPad’s capacitive touch screen.

The folks at Evernote and Adonit saw the video and reached out to me. As I mentioned in that review it was possible I got a lemon. They thought so too and sent another stylus along for a second look. I took that second look, and it does indeed look like the original Adonit Jot Script I purchased was faulty.

A second look at the Adonit Jot Script Stylus

A second look at the Adonit Jot Script Stylus

This second stylus lays down Digital Ink in the way that the promoters of the product tell us it does. It’s not perfect. The wrist protection built into the software still does fail now and then causing an occasional skip, but it is a far better experience than it was before. Is it perfect? No. Is it the best Digital Inking experience on an iPad? It might be depending on your needs and your style of Inking.

Inking with the second Adonit Jot Script Stylus is improved

Inking with the second Adonit Jot Script Stylus is improved

IMG_0051

Inking with the first Adonit Jot Script Stylus was a mess

The Adonit Jot Script Stylus has several advantages. First, it feels like a real pen in your hand and is comfortably balanced. Second, the fine tip does allow for better accuracy, combined with the engineering behind the scenes. There is still work to be done, however. You’ll notice in the video below that I do get an occasional stutter or skip. Though this second stylus is far better than the first, this tells me that the issue most likely lies within the coding used for palm rejection or wrist protection. One of the reasons Penultimate is my favorite Digital note taking App is that the wrist protection is better than most other similar Apps. Given that there is an SDK available for developers to add the Jot Script to their Apps, I’m hoping we see improvement here in the future, both with Penultimate, and from other App developers.

Video of Digital Inking with the second Adonit Jot Script Stylus

Video of Digital Inking with the first Adonit Jot Script Stylus

I’m also concerned given the user responses to that initial review. I heard from users who had similar experiences to mine and users who had better experiences. The contrast was stark.

Read: Review: Adonit Jot Script Stylus for Digital Inking on the iPad

That tells me I wasn’t the only one to receive a lemon. Curiously, when the second pen arrived the little plastic cover that keeps the battery from making contact had been removed from the barrel. That tells me someone checked out this stylus to make sure it was working before sending it along. If there is a quality control issue, than that needs to be addressed. No one needs to make a $75 purchase and have it not live up to expectations. If users out there who had similar experiences still have their Jot Script Stylus, I’d suggest contacting the Evernote Market or Adonit and asking for a replacement if you’re still interested in trying it out.

A bit of context here. I occasionally receive review units of new products. If I do I’ll mention it in the review. Normally, I purchase a product that I’m reviewing with my own dough. I purchased the original Adonit Jot Stylus through normal channels. That puts me in the same position as any consumer. This especially true when it comes to reviewing the many styli I have taken a look at in the past. With, I believe one exception, I purchased them all.

Also, there is no perfect Digital Inking solution for the iPad. The quest for one continues and I’ll support any developer who works towards a better solution. Some have made great strides so far and we should all encourage their efforts.

Read: GBM Archives on Digital Inking

If you’re into Tablets and looking for a better solution you have two real alternatives. Microsoft still has the best Digital Inking solution. Although I don’t own a Surface Pro 2, I was impressed with the testing I did with one at a Microsoft Store. And Samsung’s Galaxy Note line of Tablets and smartphones have very good, and improving, solutions as well. These Digital Inking solutions usually come at a steeper price for the hardware because of the many moving parts to make Digital Inking come close to that natural feeling of writing with a pen on paper.  That will probably always be the reality.

To conclude this second look at the Adonit Jot Script Stylus, let me say that the folks behind this solution have done hard work and I give them kudos for reaching out and trying to correct negative criticism due to a faulty version of their product. They have an iOS solution that is different than other developers, and, for some, probably an excellent choice for Digital Inking. I’m now going to keep the Adonit Jot Stylus in my bag of tricks and watch for improvement in the software to see how things progress.

 

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+

16 Comments

  1. dennisvjames

    11/15/2013 at 12:22 pm

    I have a Galaxy Note 10.1 and I love it. I use it with Lecturenotes and while the software is a little too nerdy, it does put notes on Dropbox, create PDFs and allow me to index certain inks. I have never cared about turning digital ink into text, I just want to be easily find my notes. I would have strongly considered the original Surface RT but the capacitive ink was horrible and buying the original Surface was just to expensive and didn’t offer long enough battery life. I get about 10 hours on the Samsung and have never run out of juice at a critical time. Had an iPad which I liked a lot, but I just needed something a little stronger and less restrictive so I’ve opted for Android. My main machine is a Lenovo x220 with Windows which I pull out for most things…Thanks for keeping inking alive, Warner!

  2. Fernando

    11/16/2013 at 4:09 am

    Thanks Warner for this update. I too have the Adonit Jot Script. Mine works “fine” per what you are describing here, but to me it is still a disappointing product compared to the Adonit Jot Touch, which offers better accuracy even if you have to live with the little plastic round disk at the end to make that happen.

    My sense is though that the Script will get better. I think Adonit has not had the time to get the software up to par, and this will probably get better. I have tested it with Good Notes and Penultimate and there is definitely room for improvement. I’ll stick with my Touch for now while hopefully the Script improves.

    I do say though that the folks at Adonit should hear (and know) that the Script is a product that was not ready for prime time. It is disappointing to find that companies think it is OK to releae products that are not quite ready.

  3. MarkC

    11/17/2013 at 8:07 pm

    You say the software will improve. Can it be updated if I buy the pen now?

    • Nesq

      11/20/2013 at 3:41 pm

      I was wondering the same thing. Anyone???

  4. Christopher

    11/18/2013 at 8:11 am

    I think I have a lemon too…hoping that Adonit/Evernote Market will come through an offer a replacement before too long.

  5. Gérard Iglesias

    11/18/2013 at 8:15 am

    The way you write on the iPad with the stylus… You don’t need at all a so expensive stuff, a simple excellent Bambou stylus will make the trick

    If you buy a stylus like the JotScript it is because you want to write precise stuff, a lot of writing in a single page…

    I use GoodNotes, and I am waiting for my Jotscript.

    The Dev of GoodNotes posted 2 short video on the simple tests it did with it :

    http://youtu.be/M-uw_u5Rz58

    Regards

    Gerard

  6. Tave

    11/27/2013 at 4:43 pm

    I purchased one too and am disappointed. It’s the best stylus I’ve had but not three times better as the price suggests.

  7. JC

    11/28/2013 at 4:06 am

    I just purchased two one for home and one for the office and love this peen. I do a lot of note taking, and am much faster with pen than keyboard. I wanted a digital solution for meetings, and the Jot Script works well. A couple of observations. First, with regards to palm rejection I have noticed that it seems to work 100% of the time if the tip makes contact with the screen first! and then you rest your wrist. It takes a bit of practice and requires a bit lighter touch, but it was able to learn this technique quickly.

    Second, the app makes a big difference in the writing experience. Wacom Bamboo Paperfelt the best to me from a scripting standpoint, but it has some unrelated issues. Penultimate, ironically, was the worst. Besides, I am not a big fan of having to log in to Evernote and to send all my notes to a server. The best compromise app is Noteshekf. I only obtained it to test the Script and have been very pleasantly surprised. I recommend trying the fountain point setting, which gives a really nice almost calligraphic feel to my awful handwriting.

  8. Randy Noland

    12/07/2013 at 3:49 am

    Thanks for the review. I am not sure of the mfg costs but am sure the R&D has been an investment. If Evernote can delay release or offer early adopters a lower price to get more info and testing, I would jump in. I have bought 4 stylist over the years and its just not there yet for me. Looking better though.

  9. ADang

    12/08/2013 at 9:54 am

    Unfortunately, I did not have much luck with Evernote. Perhaps a review on my own website will help. Tech support has been terrible and I can find no info on the site that says I can’t return or exchanged it, yet neither option is available. Evernote takes the hit here IMHO. They have been a trusted app for years and it seems the Evernote Market is an after thought on all fronts. Glad you got yours working. Mine sits in the original box collecting dust and my anger.

  10. bozlogjam

    12/25/2013 at 8:45 am

    I bought this stylus and it just doesn’t work as advertised, it’s not that accurate, in fact, the Estylo stylus that I now use is a lot better in terms of accuracy and works better with Penultimate. I really didn’t like the feel of the stylus, the mental tip makes a tapping sound with every character that you write, which is disturbing. For the price, I expected big things from the Jot Script Evernote Edition — the fact that the $20 Estylus outperforms the Jot Script both in terms of feel and accuracy is ridiculous given the differences in price. I was very disappointed to be suckered by this product. I ended up selling my Jot Script Evernote Edition on Ebay at a loss as I couldn’t get any response from Evernote Market when I wrote to them. I even wrote to Adonis, who did respond, but basically said that it wasn’t their problem. Don’t waste your time with this, it’s just marketing hype.

  11. Arturo De Guzman

    01/27/2014 at 1:27 pm

    I have the Jot Script. The app makes all the difference. I’ve purchased Good Notes 4, NoteShelf, Notability, Notes Plus, and have the freebies of Paper 53, Bamboo Paper, INKCredible. Here is the best inking for mixed cursive and print:

    Notes Plus – Doesn’t support Jot Script as a direct connection but the inking engine is phenomenal. This has the zoom and auto advance and speed of Good Notes 4 but much better.

    NoteShelf – Supports Jot Script. Works pretty well but the UI is kinda hideous for me. It does have a good zoom feature as well. For some reason can’t work as fast in it.

    Bamboo Paper – Works pretty good, no wrist protection though

    Good Notes – Fairly good in zoom mode only.

    Notability – Okay.

    Paper 53…horrible.

    If you want to try the inking engine of Notes Plus without spending the $9.99 entry fee, try InkCredible, it’s the “lite” version of Note Shelf.

  12. hdinin

    01/29/2014 at 1:17 pm

    I bought the Jot Script stylus, which took a while to arrive, as soon as I heard about it. In terms of bleeding edge styli–I am putting under this rubric all those responsive under BT4 ( generally this means they are pressure sensitive, etc.)–I already had the slightly older Pogo Connect, which has proven to be reliable and free of the artifacts in these two reviews. I used the Script with a wide variety of apps, including Penultimate. The most satisfying experience during a month of trials was with the Adobe Touch product, which, on an iPad Air and a Retina mini, was quite astonishingly successful producing truly calligraphic results on one of the Touch “pen” settings. My burgeoning pleasure (and astonishment) were short-lived, however, as the Script abruptly began behaving like the “lemon” first described by Mr. Crocker in his original review. I contacted Evernote via their online customer support and was advised to send the stylus, along with the original packing, if I still had it (which I did) back by UPS prepaid Ground services, for which they supplied a label. It has taken nearly two weeks to hear back from them, and, in a strange (to me) sequence, the Evernote Market support person sent another email saying I would be credited with a refund for the original cost of the stylus plus expedited shipping. When he told me originally to send the clearly defective stylus back he said, “Once received I will process and send you either a replacement stylus or full refund and send you another email to confirm…” It was not, and still is not, clear what the “process” is in which he engaged himself, but obviously I was not a candidate for a replacement. Just as well. I have now read these two reviews (and comments) and it is clear that, indeed, the product (whether it is a result of inadequate software engineering, which, frankly, I doubt, or design of the hardware itself is not at all determinable by me) was and is not ready for prime time. In the meantime, I am now waiting for Ten One studio’s new stylus product with the trendy name “Pencil.” Given my generally very good experiences with the Pogo Connect, I have high hopes.

    As at least one person, not to mention Mr. Crocker, has suggested, we are a long way from art, but it’s a very young technology and no doubt the Apple of styli will at some time appear from an at present unpredictable source. It is perhaps the continuing spirit of the condemnation of Steven Jobs of styli as a tool that plagues this emerging niche market.

    Not so coincidentally, my best experiences with styli, handwriting recognition, and touch screen use prior to the emergence of multi-touch, were with the Newton, Apple’s doomed before its time (what is the iPad, after all, but what the Newton promised to be) and mainly because Jobs had no interest in it (not to mention his absence from the company) and John Sculley did, despite the immaturity of the technology at the time. I still wish there was an iPad note-taking app that has the recognition skills of the Newton (which evolved into the also still-born Inkwell in earlier releases of OS X) or of Palm’s Graffiti.

  13. Krista Gollihar

    02/23/2014 at 5:54 am

    hdinin (and to whomever else this might apply), I’m not sure you’ll see this, but I do hope so. A recommendation: contact Adonit support. Evernote support is egregious, but the people at Adonit are absolutely wonderful. Even if you purchased through the Evernote Market, email Adonit directly and explain your dissatisfaction and suspicion you might’ve gotten a “lemon.” I can’t speak on their behalf, but I suspect they’ll try to help. I *love* my Jot Script and use it everyday, but a couple weeks after getting it, I dropped the case down a storm drain, and then without protection, I inevitably dropped the pen on the sidewalk and smashed it to smithereens. Clearly entirely my fault, and clearly not covered by any sort of warranty. I originally purchased through the Evernote Market, but happened to send an email out to Adonit support explaining what I had done and inquiring about (a) repair options and (b) local retailer to avoid 3+ week wait for a replacement purchase. To my surprise, they not only offered but insisted on replacing the one I had demolished free of charge. As soon as I emailed the shipping label to verify the mangled one was en route to them, they overnighted me a brand new one. As if that weren’t amazing enough, they also tried to reimburse me for shipping of the broken one. I had to draw the line and refused. I felt a bit guilty about taking it at all, but I was up front about it being totally my fault, and they still wanted to replace it for me. Again, can’t & won’t speak on their behalf, and have no clue about the details of your situation nor how it might be handled, but I do think it’s worth at least sending a quick email over to them. I generally love Evernote products/services, but Evernote as a company kind of sucks. Much like some of their apps, too big & too bloated to fail, perhaps? But Adonit, on the other hand, is surprisingly small and VERY warm & receptive to customers. Might be worth a few minutes of your time to give that route a go.

  14. Krista Gollihar

    02/23/2014 at 6:05 am

    Also, I have to wholeheartedly agree with a previous comment — I almost feel like this review is incredibly unfair to the JotScript since it might be argued that what the OP actually reviewed was *Penultimate* and NOT the stylus. I’m not a huge fan of Penultimate and use other apps for note taking, so my first experiences of the Jot Script were with Notability & Notes Plus. Instantaneously impressed. But because I like to explore and had to know what I was missing by not using the “official” app that actually pairs with the pen, I of course had to try it w/ Penultimate. Totally terrible. I’ve tried it w/ damn near every app in the app store, and it varies WILDLY between them. Maybe the author of the initial review would consider comparing the same stylus — any stylus would do, but since it’s the one relevant for my daily purposes, Jot Script would be my pick — with a variety of different apps. I’ve tried them all on the fly, and it’s super easy to tell right away which are great and which are not, but I would love to see screenshots laid out side by side.

  15. hdinin

    02/26/2014 at 3:20 pm

    Krista Gollihar, you are too kind for sending along this encomium (for the stylus) and the encouragement (to me) for the sake of persevering. For now, I’m content that Evernote have returned my money, though all I wanted as a replacement for what was obviously a defective device (and not at all my fault). I have no way of knowing if what you say about Evernote is true. Point is, they have all the earmarks of a company that has not caught up to its own growth. Very large companies do not behave this way, not the winners, that is. As you have indicated, it’s the small companies and the large established ones (too many of which receive the stigma of the mass perception of being some mutation of Satan: I’m speaking of course of Google, Apple, and Amazon… the philosophical and economic implications of their market dominance aside—I remember a company called Bell Telephone, another called IBM, and another called GM, all of them Satans in their day, and all brought low by reality and some adroit intervention from the Federal government, which despite all is, after all, us) who tend to give stellar customer service.

    In the meanwhile, I am learning the quirks of Pencil, another extraordinary product from a little company. Unfortunately (or fortunately), it’s designed and tuned to work best with Paper, the same company’s app… I use a variety of apps, for drawing and for free-form note taking, and this is innately a limiting factor for the utility to me of a relatively costly specialized, i.e., constrained in its usefulness, instrument (I’ll pay $500 for a fine fountain pen, but that’s hardly a specialized instrument). I have also learned that Pogo Connect has had a few hiccups… the various-sized styli tips for it, do or do not work with the iPad Air and the iPad Mini Retina (the current state-of-the-art incarnations), but are best used with the iPad 3 or 4, which are on the path of obsolescence. This was all explained to me by a very helpful and supportive support person at Pogo, which have been smart enough to send a new stylus (with renewable firmware, which the original Connect does not have) for the $20 cost of a couple of boxes of replacement styli—and no need to return the original device. Now that’s class. Though it is disappointing that I can’t use the smallest tip radius stylus (and also the firmest) with my tablets, as Apple elected to deploy a different multi-touch screen technology with these new models. It’s not clear (and not hopeful) that future firmware from Pogo will fix this. The short, brutish, and non-technical bottom line is this, too much pressure is required for the Air and the mini Retina to respond, rendering the pressure sensitivity of the stylus useless (while increasing the risk of damage to something or other). For all that, Pogo handled the problems more adroitly and with far greater speed and finesse than either Evernote or Ten One for that matter. What? You say… What about Ten One?

    Well, after I had not received anything at my door almost three weeks after the date they said they shipped a stylus (a lovely Walnut Pencil…) I did receive a mysterious email from Ten One apologizing for the addressing error, of which I was unaware. It took nearly ten more days to receive a stylus. In fact I received two. They had suffered a disastrous shipping malfunction at the hands of their logistics provider (it turns out dozens, or even a greater number, of styli had gone astray in the space of a month) and all hands on deck from Ten One, manually to straighten it out and send out new shipments to the hapless victims (that would be me, and countless others). A little slow on the uptake, but once they were aware of what must be a horribly embarrassing glitch, they performed like champs.

    Neither Pencil nor Pogo Connect is a panacea. Nor is any other stylus, I’m afraid, though I now see where the Adonit Script would fit in my armamentarium and so, perhaps it’s time to contact Adonit directly as Krista has suggested and order another one, and hope for the best. At this point, all I am looking for is a stylus with a little more precise control over the tip. I’m a calligrapher at bottom, and trying to write with these other, no other word for it but, blunt instruments is a little using a Q-Tip for doing Copperplate Script… Thanks again Krista.

Leave a Reply