• Aponyo styluses - It's time for a new stylus leader

    This is my fourth stylus review having been through a number of stylus reviews already in my search of the ultimate writing tool for iPads. First it was the Pogo Sketch, then it was the Griffin Sketch, then finally the Kensington Virtuoso. Each better than before but now it seems there is a new ruler of the stylus podium.

    As someone who regularly takes notes in meetings (most of which can't be typed), a stylus is an important part of my day. Some may argue whether its better to type or write, in my case, its just not feasible. The types of notes I take make it near impossible. You either need a stylus or you don't and in my case I do.

    The Aponyo is a new stylus from Kosella, a manufacturer I've never heard of prior to seeing the recommendation on the NotesPlus website and its not surprising really because its their first product from what I see on their website.

    Important Notes on availability

    Before i started, lets just clear up some issues with availability in Aus or some people are going to be genuinely disappointed. Unfortunately, Aponyo is only available from Amazon and won't ship this particular product to Australia at the time of writing. This limits access to the product at this point. If writing with a stylus is your life and you desperately want to get hold of one, your only option is creating a shipto address and taking on the additional handling cost plus shipping to Aus. Amazon does currently have free shipping on them and they're already being offered at a discount price so you should be able to land them at about $25/stylus if you share the shipping with someone which is not a completely unreasonable. I was forced down this path in acquiring my stylus and it seems the effort was worthwhile.



    Shipping times will vary depending on the shipping method selected and what you pay.

    Models

    There are 3 models in the range. I picked up two of their styluses from Amazon, the Click and the Flip as the compact model didn't appeal to me. The click is a stylus which allows you to click the back of the pen to retract the nib like you would with a ballpoint pen. The flip allows you to flip the pen around and use the pen part so it functions as both a pen and a stylus. I have a preference towards the latter but I thought getting both would allow me to evaluate both options to see which I preferred.



    Construction

    Construction of the stylus is what you'd expect for the price range. The nib is made of a metallic like fiber material instead of the rubber used on the standard pens. This helps the pen slide across the iPad surface and is a similar to the approach of the Pogo Sketch although the Aponyo requires very little pressure on the screen for writing and doesn't suffer from the same level of distortion in the nib that the Pogo suffered from. The Click is surprisingly light while the Flip is a little heavier due to the added size and pen function.

    How well does it work?

    Of all the pens I've tried to date, this requires the least amount of pressure and is the easiest and most natural to write with. Almost no pressure is required to write with this stylus and I'd put the level of pressure on par with most pens you'd be accustomed to using. The nib is far smaller than the Griffin Sketch and doesn't deform as badly as the Pogo Sketch although there still is some deformation (similar to what you experience on the rubber nibbed pens. Part of the problem with the Pogo was the pressure required which was partially responsible for the nib deforming issues and in some cases, I found the metal shaft touching the screen - this isnt and issue with the Aponyo models at all. The size of the stylus is different depending on which one you use. The Click is slightly smaller but I find the extra size of the Flip a little easier to work with and feels more natural in the hand.



    The fact that the nib is material rather than rubber definitely helps the writing process. The Griffin Sketch was great initially but the smoothness of the writing declined over a period of time as the outer rubber of the nib wore and became more sticky to write with. The stickiness of the screen could also be exacerbated by using a glossy screen cover. The Pogo on the other hand was material but required too much pressure to write which made it difficult to use comfortably for writing. aponyo seems to have bypassed this issue in two ways - Firstly, they've created a nib which is more solid and less likely to deform. The second way is to use a metallic based material in the nib which I assume activates the capacitive touch screen in the same way that skin would.

    One of the major items which has frustrated me with the current range of rubber nibbed pens is the large diameter of the rubber nib which look feels like you're writing with a crayon. The Aponyo is substantially smaller and I'm guessing its about 50-60% of the size.



    The result of this is a pen which slides smoothly across the screen, requires minimal pressure and now provides a new leader in the stylus race.



    Conclusion

    I'm personally hoping that Kosella find a local distributor soon. This stylus is actually quite far ahead of the opposition at the moment and worth buying if you use your iPad for handwritten note taking on a regular basis. I guess it's the type of thing you have to try to really understand how much better it is, but unfortunately with availability being limited in Australia, you may have to wait a little while for some hands on testing.
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