GoSmart Crossover 400 Stylus is Beautiful and Still a Leap Ahead

| In-Depth Review

GoSmart is introducing a new member of its line of styluses, the Crossover 400. It's shorter than previous models, looks beautiful, and includes a replaceable ballpoint pen. It retains GoSmart's unique filament tip that glides over Gorilla Glass better than any other tip we've tested. Plus, it's not all that expensive while its inherent beauty would make it a great gift.

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The most important thing to know about the GoSmart Crossover 400 is the filament tip (nib) that's impregnated with Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, Teflon) all the way through, not just coated. The result is a terrific feel as the tip glides across the display of an iOS device. For more on this, see "GoSmart Stylus Duo: a Technical Leap Forward." This technology, however, is about two years old, and much has changed in the meantime. More on that below.

Here's a closeup, taken with an iPhone 5s and an olloclip Macro lens.

Close-up of the steel & Teflon nib. It works beautifully.

Features

  • Two-in-one body design featuring both a pen and stylus.
  • GoSmart Stylus precision tip for accurate and quiet use.
  • Black ink pen twists open and closed to prevent accidental ink marking.
  • Cap ensures that the stylus tip stays protected while a clip conveniently allows for portability.
  • High quality fountain-pen body style for a more sophisticated look. Includes a metal pocket clip.

Test Results

Unlike the previous models 200 and 300, this 400 has the handsome look of a quality fountain pen that includes bright metal highlights, a metal pocket clip and ultra-fine grooves for a secure grip and a secure hold of the cap.

Also unlike previous models, it does not have any magnets, so its can't be stuck in place on the edge of an iPad.

As my regular readers know, I like my styluses to have the length of a premium fountain pen, and this model, being only 4-5/8 inches (11.75 cm) long falls a little short of my personal preference. I suspect many customers won't agree with me, and so because it's a mater of personal preference, I won't critique the length. Too much. (It does look a bit stubby compared to the 200.) To be fair I did a "wife test," and she liked it.  It fit her hand perfectly.

Top: Crossover 400; bottom: Model 200

In terms of feel, balance and heft, this is a superb stylus. No doubt, the compactness and 1.24 oz. (35 grams) weight help in that regard. I did note that it requires very strong hands to twist and pull the ballpoint pen side off for a replacement. And I have fairly strong hands.

Even though a new generation of electronic styluses is coming on strong, like the LYNKtec Apex, this kind of Teflon treated tip, because it has more surface area than a fine 2 mm electronic tip, still feels better than the polymer tip of the Apex. The disadvantage is that the resolution is still restricted to the 4 mm circle that an iPad can recognize without special apps.

Packaging

Thanks to the nicely machined metal, the look of a classy conventional pen, the pocket clip the included ballpoint pen, and a handsome black box, I think this stylus is especially suited to being given as a gift.

Package is paper, but thick and handsome.

There is no included paper work. GoSmart explained. "The Crossover 400 packaging is an Eco friendly design for online sales since we are not offering this through retail channels at the moment and the website will have information such as how to contact us, pen refill cartridge information, instructions on how to change them and warranty information."

The warranty, like the other styluses is one year. The ballpoint pen part is standard Parker Ink Cartridge and is replaceable.  They cost approximately US$5.49 each at Amazon.com. Replacement nibs are two for $7.00 if you order them online with the stylus.

The cap fits snugly on either end, protecting the nib in transit.

The Write Stuff

While I would have wished for this quality instrument to be about an inch longer, I can also see how the compactness may be favored by some. I noted that the cap, when inserted on the nib side keeps it from being damaged in transit. Most of all, this stylus has the best feel on Gorilla Glass of any stylus I've tested — except of course for previous GoSmart models which have the same nib.

My only concern is that for finely detailed work, the future is in electronic styluses, and the market might tend to leave this exotic beauty behind.

Product: Crossover 400

Company: GoSmart

List Price: US$28.95

Pros:

Replaceable ballpoint and nib, handsome design, nice heft, superior to rubber nibs. On par with microfiber in feel, probably more durable. Fairly inexpensive, suitable for gift giving, eco friendly packaging.

Cons:

Filament nib subject to damage by improper handling. Hard to pull apart to replace ballpoint.
Can't compete with electronic styluses that have 2 mm tip when used with specialty drawing apps.

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