I’m not a fan of capacitive touch screens as they are the user interface of a 5 year old, which is great for finger-painting but useless if you want to do anything precise, such as write normally or position a cursor between two letters. And multitouch is over-rated: I’d rather be able to place one point exactly than five blurry ones.
With this in mind I’m reviewing the Cosmonaut Capacitive Stylus for Touch Screens by Studio Neat. Originally a Kickstarter project, it’s now available for general sale direct from Studio Neat and Amazon for $25.
The stylus is presented in small cardboard box and there’s no need to attack the packaging with scissors which is a welcome relief. On sliding open the box, the cardboard inner has rocket fins printed on it, giving the Cosmonaut a spaceship look. A nice touch.
The Cosmonaut is a fat rubber covered pen, about the same thickness as a whiteboard marker. However, unlike a whiteboard marker, it’s got a little bit of weight to it. Feels good in the hand, though I have largish hands.
In use, the Cosmonaut takes a little bit of getting used to; the tip is a slightly squidgy and you have to press down for the Cosmonaut to register the button press or the stroke. You can’t simply flick the stylus across the screen as you might with your finger. In some ways, this is a good thing as it prevents unwanted touches.
The Cosmonaut makes drawing apps much easier to use as the stylus mimics a pen or brush quite well. It’s also pretty handy for apps that have lots of closely spaced buttons. However writing like an adult is still out of the question, but the limitation is with the capacitative screen and the necessary fatness of the tip.
Overall, the Cosmonaut is well-designed and well-built. It’s easy to hold and works as it’s supposed to. If you want a stylus for your tablet, this should be on your short-list but just don’t expect to return to the precision days of the PDA.