GoSmart Stylus Duo: a Technical Leap Forward

| In-Depth Review

GoSmart has introduced a pair of styluses that advance the stylus technology by using a Teflon impregnated stainless steel nib. It looks like a miniature radio antenna, but has very specific design elements that assist the stylus user. Plus, they look good and feel good in the hand.

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If you’ve been following this series on styluses, you know that my primary interests are the length of the stylus, the feel as one holds it, and the nib. How does the nib glide, and is it replaceable?

The Technology

This new pair of styluses advances the state of the art in stylus tips (nibs) by using a stainless steel filament as the tip assembly. The steel is impregnated with Teflon all the way through, so it’s not a surface treatment that will eventually wear away. Plus, in terms of hardness, the steel that’s used is not as hard as the Gorilla glass, so it wouldn’t scratch it anyway, according to the developer.

GoSmart-1

No, it’s not a TV antenna! This is your new nib.

The advantages of this kind of tip are, according to GoSmart:

  • Easy to see through for accuracy
  • It glides smoothly for writing or drawing
  • It’s quiet
  • It’s strong but flexible

The outer ring makes the touch screen think that it’s a finger-like object. Without that outer ring, the stylus wouldn’t work.

In my experience with the stylus, I have to agree with those claims. While the steel tip looks ominous, the Teflon makes all the difference and completely changes the nature of the experience.

Look and Feel

One of my major gripes about styluses is their length. If a stylus is less than five inches (127 mm), I feel like I’m holding a stubby pencil or a crayon. The right kind of feel and balance just isn’t there. Plus, unlike some styluses, the caps that protect the nib fit back on in a pleasing way that remains functional.

GoSmart-2

Model 200 (above), model 300 (below) Caps on.

As you can see from the photo below, when the cap is removed and placed on the back, the length of the 200 is over 6.25-inches and the 300 is still a very respectable 5.5 inches. I really liked the feel, in my hand, of both of these styluses. May I say it? Size matters. I should also note that I had an odd sensation using this kind of tip for the first time, perhaps because I’m so accustomed to the soft nibs. Or I was afraid I’d break it. However, after some extensive use, I now actually like it better. I very much appreciate the very smooth glide of Teflon on glass.

GoSmart-3

With caps on the tail, the stylus is easy to handle and the cap isn’t lost.

The 300 model can be stood on its tail, if desired, just like a 1950’s Buck Rogers spaceship, for effect, but I wouldn’t recommend it. It would be all too easy to injure yourself with a wayward hand movement. Better, lay it on the desk and the fins will keep it from rolling.

GoSmart-4

Image Credit: GoSmart

When the cap is placed on the tail, the stylus transforms its appearance from a stiletto V-2 rocket to a more stubby air-to-air missile. You gotta love it. A stylus after my heart. For the less adventurous, the 200 is the standard cylindrical design with a plastic cap and pocket clip.

Both have rare-earth magnets imbedded in the sides so that they can be attached to an iPad. Or a metal part of your desk so it doesn’t get lost. And I think, with modern technology, there isn’t any real concern anymore about having magnets laying around.

GoSmart-5

Utilizes magnets in the iPad edge.

Packaging

The plastic case, with notes on the back, and a paper seal are all first class. The plastic is thick, and it it’s the best stylus packaging I’ve seen to date. It’s almost painful to throw it away, but that doesn’t mean I want the developer to cut back here. As I’ve said before, pride in the product is reflected via pride in the packaging — which creates the new customer experience. Just ask Apple about that.

Both models come with red, silver, blue or black caps. The pen itself is a grayish-silver.

GoSmart-6

Tip Replacement

The stainless steel tips are replaceable. You can purchase two replacement tips when you order for US$7. According to the developer, “the process is to gently grab the tip with your fingers and start rotating the body as you pull gently to remove the tip. Reverse the process for inserting the (new)tip. Of course, if there is an obvious failure in workmanship or the stylus is defective, GoSmart will replace it.

Availability

Both the 200 and 300 will be available on August 8, 2012 and are available now for pre-order.

Go Smart 300 & 300

Model 300 (top, cap off), model 200 (bottom, cap on)

Summary

There are lots of things to like about these styluses. The length is terrific. The tip technology is a leap ahead of soft, rubbery nibs that can tear or wear out. The magnets keep the stylus attached to your iPad. They look great and feel nicely balanced, with good heft and a very technical satin metal feel.

One could buy an everyday stylus that’s designed to look like a fountain pen, but for the technically minded, these styluses stand out. The nib technology looks to be improved, and they’ll appeal to someone who wants more geek-factor than an plain jane pen. Best of all, the price is terrific, on par with or better than the best styluses I’ve previously reviewed.

You will want one of these. Consider it a personal, technical exploration.

Previously Reviewed

Targus Stylus: Inexpensive, No-frills & Colorful

Bamboo Stylus Solo for iPad: Almost Perfect

Rocketfish Stylus for iPad: The Long and Short

Kuel H10 Stylus for iPad: Not so Cool as a Pen

Kuel H12 Stylus for iPad: Almost Perfect

For The Multitasker: Griffin’s Stylus + Pen + Laser Pointer

Product: GoSmart 200 and 300

Company: GoSmart

List Price: US$24.95 (each)

Pros:

Advanced tip technology, replaceable tips, great looks, long enough to feel good in the hand, magnets to keep them in place, excellent price considering all the features.

Cons:

Likely to magically disappear from your office desk. Otherwise, none noted.

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