There are two products in the Wacom Bamboo Stylus family, the solo and the duo. The duo comes apart to also function as a ballpoint pen. This review is of the solo model that serves only as a stylus.
The solo comes in six colors: charcoal, white and pastel colors of blue, green, pink and orange. The tip is 6 mm in diameter and the pen is 121 mm long, about 4-3/4 -inches. I like the pens with the smaller tip, although I’ve found that the software seems to control the width of pen strokes. I surmise that a smaller tip is capable of finer lines in principle, but I don’t have technical proof yet.
The Bamboo solo is about 4-3/4 inches long.
The Bamboo is the best constructed stylus I’ve looked at, and it has the best feel. It’s longer than the Rocketfish stylus (by 0.25 in) and the Kuel H10 (by 0.75 in), and that made a big difference for me. I just don’t like short styluses, and I would actually prefer that the Bamboo were a little longer to balance better in my hand, much like a hefty and well balanced metal fountain pen.
I asked Wacom about that, and my technical representative mentioned that in one sense, it’s a concession to mobility. But there may certainly be people like me who use the stylus around the office and would gladly trade travel economy for the feel of a finely crafted pen, perhaps 130 mm long.
My favorite so far, in terms length is the Griffin Stylus + Laser, which I received for Christmas, based on Nancy Gravely’s recommendation. However, because it has a laser, battery, and a ballpoint pen, it’s also a bit on the heavy side (1.65 oz. 46 grams). Plus it has the larger 8 mm tip. So I’ve found myself using the Bamboo almost exclusively which weighs in at just under 0.66 oz., 19 grams. Important to note is that the nib is replaceable — a 3-pack is about US$5. Because of the craftmanship, this stylus virtually invites me to enjoy using it, much more so than other styluses which, while fine products, left me feeling cold to them.
This stylus comes in very handsome packaging, designed to protect and present in the store. I like the thinking that if the product is well made and exhibits quality, the packaging should make the same statement. Inside is a small booklet written in many languages. The information provided is sparse, but it does give the developer a chance to point out issues related to the feel on protective screens as well as provide some specifications.
The packaging befits the product.
The booklet also reminds the user that the clip is removable. Note that there is a small notch that keeps the clip from falling off after the cap is removed. That’s a nice touch, so be aware of that, and make sure the notch is aligned before you try to remove the clip. I think the mechanics and threading there are superb.
Clip disassembly. Note the notch mentioned in the text.
What distinguishes this stylus from others is the length and feel, the two-tone design, the beautiful, multiple pastel colors, the industrial focus (no fussing with lanyards), the removable clip, the quality of the machining and the packaging.
I spent a lot of time with this stylus as I reviewed Noteshelf for iPad, and it always felt natural. In fact, I hate to say this, and Steve Jobs, if he were with us, would roll his eyes, but once you start using a finely crafted stylus as a tool with the iPad, it’s rather addictive.
Of course, if I were on travel, I’d probably take a less expensive stylus or none at all. But around my office or sitting in my recliner, without concern over losing it*, I tend to gravitate towards using this stylus in preference to my finger. And it keeps the display cleaner.
Do I Recommend it?
I do and whole-heartedly. The higher cost compared to the other styluses I reviewed seems justified. So when a stylus feels this good and is this well made, it has the effect of inviting you to use it more often. That’s exactly what I plan to do. But if it were 25 mm longer, I personally wouldn’t mind.
* It’s too big for our cats to steal.