There are times when the iPad or iPhone user needs a stylus. And because stylus technology has come a long way in terms of the design, craftsmanship and the nib material, they're even more fun to use. The LYNKtec TruGlide Pro, with a 5 mm microfiber tip, is the best pure stylus I have ever used. Here's why.
If you have seen my previous reviews of styluses, you know that I am particularly fussy about that product in special ways. While not a skilled artist like TMO's Jeff Gamet, I still want my stylus to feel like a fine instrument in my hand.
Notably, I have little patience for plastic, dollar styluses that are bought in three-packs and have a rubber tip that tears away in the first few weeks. I want my stylus to feel like a well-crafted fountain pen, a precision instrument, when used with my well-crafted iPad. It should have some heft and be well balanced. The pocket clip should be intelligently engineered and not just be an afterthought, crimped on. The surface should feel just right, and the nib should be replaceable if need be. The LYNKtec TruGlide Pro has all that.
Comes in two color styles. (Mild distortion due to photographic effects.)
The most important thing to know about this stylus is that it has a 5 mm microfiber tip. That's slightly smaller in diameter than its big brother, the LYNKtec TruGlide Duo Stylus Pen that I favorably reviewed in August, 2012. That stylus has a 6 mm nib.
In the course of these reviews, I have found the microfiber tip to be more satisfactory than rubber. It glides across the surface of the iDevice nicely, tends to eliminate dragging and skipping, and has a long life.
I've been told that some of the smaller nibs, in the 4 mm range, cause some problems, and so this size seems to hit the sweet spot. However, I didn't do any extensive testing with drawing programs because, except for pressure sensitive styluses and apps that can detect pressure, the app itself will determine the size of painted lines, not the nib size.
Along those lines, LYNKtec explained the principle advantage of a smaller nib: "Even though a 1 millimeter size difference sounds small, when you look at it in terms of how much surface area it's covering, the 5 mm tip is actually taking up about 40 percent less space than the 6 mm tip. The advantage to this is that you have a smaller writing tool and therefore you can see a lot more clearly when using the TruGlide Pro for writing, note-taking, drawing, etc."
5 mm microfiber tip. (Photo taken with iPhone 5 + olloclip Macro lens)
- Barrel length: 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) exclusive of nib
- Weight: 0.55 oz. 15.5 grams
- Nib: Microfiber, 5 mm
- Colors: Matte Black with Slate Silver Tip, Slate Silver with Matte Black Tip
- Design: Aluminum anodized finish, glossy chrome accents, fully functioning spring-loaded clip.
My current favorite stylus is the LYNKtec TruGlide Duo mentioned/linked above because it has, thanks to the length and the included ballpoint pen, a great weighted feel in my hand. Personally, I prefer a stylus in the 5 to 5.5 inch range so that it rests in the nook of my thumb and forefinger nicely. But I also recognize that that is personal taste and also a function of my hand size.
I asked LYNKtec about the choice of a 4.5 inch length for this stylus, and they said, "Our best-selling TruGlide model remains to be the TruGlide w/Pocket Clip which is also 4.5 inches (4.7 including the tip). We had a lot of feedback from customers that they would like to see a weighted version of the clip model, so that’s where the inspiration for the Pro design comes from."
Perhaps the most similar stylus is the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo, a stylus that I have highly recommended, and it too is almost perfect. While it has the conventional runner rubber nib, it also has a removable pocket clip that is well engineered. The Wacom Bamboo is only slightly heftier at 18.5 grams. While I can feel that additional heft, I still prefer the LYNKtec Pro stylus because of its microfiber tip. It's the key advantage of this product. Here they are side by side.
TruGlide Pro (top), Wacom Bamboo Stylus Solo (bottom)
One of the things I dislike about styluses is when the pocket clip is cheap, folded along the edge, then crimped onto the barrel. The TruGlide Pro has a precision, color-coordinated clip, much like the Wacom Bamboo, but with a machined flat area that adds a nice look and some functionality. Here's a close-up. (Photos taken with the olloclip lens system for iPhone.)
While the pocket clip looks like the Wacom Bamboo, the cap doesn't unscrew and allow the clip to be removed. Were it not for this limitation compared to the Bamboo, this stylus would have received a perfect 5/5 rating.
Clip looks removable but isn't. Still, a good design.
Where the TruGlide Pro changes color, you can unscrew the tip. That will allow future enhancements: either a paint brush tip or a replacement microfiber tip if necessary. LYNKtec wrote me: "As with all of our TruGlide Styluses, we stand by the fact that our patented conductive microfiber tip is more durable than rubber and will not need to be replaced anytime soon. We will, however, offer additional tips in many colors and styles in the near future so that our customers can customize their TruGlide Pro. The pricing for the various tip models will range from US$7.95 to $15.95, depending on the style (e.g., gold or chrome plated, artist paintbrush tip, anodized aluminum, longer length, etc.)."
Obviously, if you buy two styluses, one of each color, you can swap the tips and have two solid color styluses if that suits you.
The larger, more expensive LYNKtec TruGlide Duo comes in a gift-grade black box, but the TruGlide Pro comes in a regular stiff paper box. But the packaging is handsome, and the fold out cover reveals the options for the replaceable tip. Icons at the bottom (outside the flap) affirm the usages for Apple's iDevices, but, of course, the stylus will work with any device that uses the capacitive tip technology. Features are listed on the back.
The packaging sends a good message: this is a product made with pride and care.
As I've mentioned before, in the review of the TruGlide w Pocket Clip, for some mystical reason, a sub 5-inch stylus seems more appropriate for use with an iPad mini, even for me. It just seems right. It's also a bit more appropriate when working with an iPhone. On the other hand, a hefty 5.5-inch stylus seems better for use with a full-size iPad, especially in a fixed location like an office. But then YMMV.
I spent the weekend with this TruGlide Pro, and I've come to like it a lot. It has more heft than the TruGlide w/Pocket Clip, and as LYNKtec said above, customers lobbied for a weighted version and got it with this Pro version.
Here's a photo of the LYNKtec Duo (with ballpoint under the cap) and Pro side by side. After this review is done, and I clear my desk, these will be the two that remain for every day use. As I said above, if the pocket clip were removable, the TruGlide Pro would have received my first 5/5 stylus rating. Even so, it's great, and I give it my highest recommendation.
My two favorite styluses.
I've been using styluses for a long time now, and I have a pretty good collection, well over a dozen. Most every stylus seems to have some drawback. Either it's too short, doesn't feel weighted properly, has a cheap looking pocket clip, or doesn't have the advantage of a microfiber tip. This LYNKTec Pro, while just a half-inch too short for my own hands, is likely the practically perfect stylus for most people.
The removable tip means that even if the long-lasting microfiber tip does wear out or fail out of warranty (1 year), you can replace it easily by just screwing on a reasonably priced replacement -- when they become available. (I've been using the LYNKtec Duo since August of 2012, and the nib remains as good as new.)
The TruGlide Pro is not inexpensive -- priced the same as the Wacom Bamboo Solo. However, if you want a quality instrument to pair with your prized iPad or iPad mini, and you don't need lasers and ballpoints, this stylus is a great choice. It is now my number one recommended pure stylus. It exudes quality.
Note: I was provided these two paired styluses prior to the formal release date of May 1, 2013.