Summary

Our Score

7/10

Pros

  • Great design
  • Superb build quality
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Cheaper rivals available

Review Price £24.99

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Key Features: Metal construction; User-replaceable tip; Optional belt clip; Compatible with all capacitive screens

Manufacturer: Wacom

Resistive touchscreens are seen as old hat nowadays thanks to the dominance of finger-friendly capacitive touchscreens. However, this has had the side effect of doing away with the good old stylus. If you miss days of writing on a screen with a pen-like prodder, the Wacom Bamboo Stylus for iPads could be £25 well spent.

Capacitive screens don't respond to standard styli, because they sense conduction rather than pressure. Our fingers conduct, but an inert piece of plastic doesn't, and so is effectively invisible to a capacitive touchscreen. This is the tricky task ahead of the Wacom Bamboo Stylus - to convince a capacitive touchscreen that it's a finger, not a stylus.

It does this with a springy rubber teat that sits at the end of a high-quality metal pen. Feeling like a cross between rubber and skin, this nipple is your writing and drawing tool, and the only part of the stylus that a capacitive touchscreen will repond to.

The pen dismantles like a high-quality fountain pen, with a screw-on nib to keep the rubber nipple in place and a screwn-in end cap to hold the belt clip. Other capacitive styli we've tested have had the air of a throwaway accessory - understandable when most people are perfectly happy using their fingers, a feature built into most humans - but this one doesn't. It's classy, extremely well-made and worthy to stand up next to Apple's iPad 2.

More importantly, it's also weighted properly.  There's a slight bias towards the front of the pen and it feels great in-hand - again, like a high-quality fountain pen. If you don't mind losing some of that traditional pen look, you can leave out the shirt clip as the end cap screws in further, turning the stylus into a near-seamless cylinder. In tech terms it's as simple as they come, but its two-tone design adds beauty to this simplicity.


The capacitive nubbin is replaceable, fitting over a little metal head at the end. Wacom doesn't currently seem to sell replacements from its own webstore, but we'll imagine they'll filter through in time. As the whole pen package costs just £24.99, they won't be able to charge too much either.

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