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

| Quick Look Review

This Stylus continues the unfortunate tradition of not being like a well balanced pen. When the extension is deployed, it’s even shorter than the Rocketfish Stylus previously reviewed.

With the cap off, it’s just a fraction over 4 inches (102 mm) long and 5/16 inch (8 mm in diameter). When the telescoping section is closed, but the cap on, it’s about 3-1/8 inches (79 mm) long.

H10-1

Cap on. Tip on lanyard snaps into 3.5 mm headphone jack

One of the features of this Stylus is a small piece of plastic attached to the end of the lanyard. That’s designed to snap into a 3.5 mm headphone jack and keep the stylus from getting misplaced during transport. Another is that a metal section telescopes in and out to make the stylus more compact when stored.

This stylus, unlike the Rocktfish and Griffin styluses I’ve used, has a nib that’s only 6 mm in diameter instead of 8 mm. That may or may not help with fine detail, depending on how the iPad drawing app is designed to respond to the tip. I experimented with Paper by 53, and with that app I didn’t see any difference when using the default app pen icon. Other virtual pens and apps might affect fine detail, but I was able to draw some fairly fine lines with the Griffin stylus and an 8 mm tip with Paper.

I’m not an expert artist, and others have delved into that aspect. What I am interested in is the ergonomics of various styluses, as a writing instrument, and in that regard, I did find this pen a bit awkward in several areas.

H10-2

Even with metal section telescoped out, it’s only 4 inches long.

Using the H10

First, I was a bit annoyed with the fact that even when it’s telescoped out, it’s too short for my hands. Second, I didn’t like the concept of having the cap and lanyard design. I’ve almost lost that cap once. It’s very small. Finally, I didn’t like the concept of having the H10 dangle from the iPad because the metal cap could swing around and strike the iPad’s display.  Or worse, if you forget to telescope the metal extension back in, that could strike the display with even more swing and force. I think the whole concept is suspect. 

H10-3

“Plugged” into my iPad 3

In terms of being a finely crafted, pen-like device, it’s not exactly pleasing to me. Plus, when handling a pen, we tend to fidget with it when not touching it to the screen. So it has to work well when not working, pleasing as we fiddle with it in our hand.  I think that factor is being oberlooked by some developers.

One thing I did like about the H10 is the grip and the available colors: Dante red, Reventon yellow, Sherbet pink, black and white. I bought a “Dante red” one, and it looks great next to my iLuv case on the iPad. The grip is a textured and feels just right, not too grippy and not too smooth. Finally, this is not a very expensive stylus, as things go, so one might very well use this stylus on travel to conserve space or minimize the worry-factor if it’s lost. I paid $12.99 at Amazon.

Do I Recommend it?

I cannot — as a pen for iPad users. My take on this stylus is that it departs so far from being a pen, which is my special slant in these reviews, that it affronts the senses. However, I think the small, 6 mm tip and ultra small design may be just what some people want, perhaps kids. Or perhaps iPhone users only. In that regard, given the sturdy design, good grip, color selection and fine tip, it still gets a Solid rating.

In the end, there’s the length, feel and aesthetics. I was reading a book last night and wanting to highlight some text. I immediately reached for the Rocketfish Stylus, of course, because I don’t yet have anything better — even though the Rocketfish stylus is too short as well. It felt better in my hand and had a more pleasing fidget factor if you will.

The search continues.

Product: SPIGEN SGP Stylus Pen Kuel H10 Series

Company: SPIGEN SGP

List Price: US$12.99

Pros:

Sturdy design, good grip, nice color selection and fine tip.

Cons:

Cap easy to lose, lanward design suspect, to short.

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Comments

Lee Dronick

As with the telescoping stylus I have, the only redeeming feature is that it fits comfortable in my pants pocket. It is handy when I am eating nachos and don’t want to grease up the touchscreen or when it is cold and I am wearing gloves.

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