If you want to do anything other than basic note taking or finger painting on the iPad the. You're going to need a stylus of some sort. Having already discovered that Adonit's Jot Touch with PixelPoint, Bluetooth LE stylus seriously over promised and under delivered in accuracy, Palm rejection and speed it will be interesting to see how it's capacitive stylus fairs up against Wacom's Bamboo Stylus.
The latter has been available for a couple of years now and doesn't vary greatly in technology from the standard, rubber tipped stylii that you can pick up for next to nothing just about anywhere. However it does have some features which make it worth the extra money over those giveaway stylii.
Firstly the Bamboo has a thinner tip - around 25% narrower than that of a standard rubber tipped stylus. The rubber of the tip is of a different material than its direct competition, being a little stiffer and running across the iPad screen in a way that evokes the feel of pen and paper quite well.
The Jot Pro is a completely different experience from the get go. Its tip is a flat, transparent, rubber disc, through which you can see a metallic circle which forms the writing surface of the stylus. The metal part of the tip is no different to a ball point pen in size and tied together with the transparent disc it means you can judge much better where your lines will appear when written. To protect the tip a screw on lid is provided which can be screwed onto the end of the stylus when in use.
For carrying purposes the two stylii are about the same size and length, although the Jot Pro is a longer pen when the lid has been moved to its 'in-use' position.
|Jot Pro pattern demonstrates how inconsistent its input is.|
Once you start using it the differences in performance become apparent. The Jot Pro seems to randomly skip input, lines have random gaps and words are missing letters or groups of letters. In place the input is completely useless. Adding more pressure when writing minimises this effect but doesn't stop it entirely.
|Bamboo is clearly better, unlike the Jot, text is clearly legible.|
The Bamboo on the other hand is perfectly consistent with its input, lines are full and words complete. It is far superior to a cheap rubber tipped stylus thanks to its clever tip. It's also far superior to the Jot Pro.
For note taking purposes the Jot Pro just doesn't work for me. It's input is far too unreliable and despite its better precision losing large chunks of input certainly won't be appreciated when trying to capture information quickly.
The Bamboo Stylus is the clear winner here. It outperforms the Jot Pro, other rubber tipped stylii and even the Jot Touch - impressive for such an old product. In terms of value for money this is the right stylus to be using.
Update: Shortly after completing this review the Jot Pro stopped registering touches completely. It may be that the poor performance of the stylus was as a result of a component failure. I have subsequently used the Jot Pro 2.0, which appears to be much better.