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What's the Best iPad Stylus for Touch Screen Tablets?

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10 of 18

XStylus Touch Transforming Stylus
XStylus Touch Transforming Stylus

XStylus Touch is a stylish transforming stylus with some heft. By rotating the inner metal core, you get a wider grip, extra length, and optimal weight distribution.

© GreenBulb Trading Limited

XStylus Touch Transforming Stylus

XStylus Touch is a heavy, wide-grip, transforming stylus with a rubber tip which was brought to market through crowd-sourced funding. While most stylus manufacturers advertise a lightweight design as a selling point, XStylus Touch's promoters take the opposite approach. Being the heaviest stylus on the market is touted as an advantage, contributing to its ergonomic design and optimal weight distribution.

The XStylus Touch is made of a polycarbonate plastic outer body and a heavy inner core of hand-polished stainless steel. The silicone tip is attached to the plastic outer body, and the metal inner core is hinged so that it can be pivoted in the pen body, causing the plastic body to expand for a better grip and improved balance.

The XStylus Touch is available in glossy black or white for the pen body, to match your iPad frame. It also comes with a small clip that attaches to the charging port of the iPad to hold the Stylus pen with a magnet.

The size of the stylus is about 4 1/2 inches (119mm) in length folded, and expands out to 5 1/4 inches (136mm) when the metal core is rotated. The grip area expands from 8.5mm to 14mm wide when the inner core is rotated. The silicone pen tip is 6mm wide, one of the smallest diameters for a rubber-nub tip stylus. It weighs in at 35 grams.

I found the tip performance of the XStylus Touch about the same as other rubber-tipped stylus pens like the Wacom Bamboo, but the pivoting design of the stylus caused some problems for me. The weighted end of the shiny metal core is supposed to lodge into a ridge inside the plastic outer body; however, in my use, it did not stay firmly in place. The fat, weighted part of the metal core was constantly popping out of place, which was quite distracting and annoying in use. Because of that, I preferred to use the stylus in the un-extended position, but in this configuration, the weight does not feel properly balanced, making it awkward to hold.

Without the wider grip and proper balance, this stylus does not offer any benefits over other rubber-tipped styli, but it is much more costly due to the wax-molded, polished stainless core. I also found the pen tip had more drag than I like, and as is typical with round-tip stylus pens, the tip blocks a large portion of the screen. I loaned the XStylus Touch to my niece who wanted a stylus for taking notes in her college classes and she reported back to me that this stylus would often leave black streaks on her screen protector. She said after wiping the stylus tip on a piece of paper, it happened less often, but still left marks occasionally. I did not personally experience this issue, but felt I should mention it.

I also had problems with the magnetic clip for the XStylus Touch. Initially, my husband and I both had difficulty inserting the clip into the charging port. We tested two different clips on two different iPads and it was a problem with both. It turned out to be a small amount of extra plastic that needed to be carved away. Once we corrected that, we had no problems getting the clip in place. Later, I noticed the clip is designed to be squeezed on the sides for easier insertion, but I don’t think this was our original problem.

Once inserted, the clip attachment held well on the iPad, and the stylus seemed to hold firmly to the magnet in the clip. But because magnets are the only thing holding the heavy stylus in the clip, in day-to-day use the stylus would often slide right off the clip and go flying across the floor. Moving the iPad suddenly or bumping the stylus on something would knock it out of the clip several times a day. Out in public or in a classroom, there is no way I would trust the expensive stylus to this clip. It was more reliable to stick the stylus to the magnetic surface of my Smart Cover and forget about using the clip. The clip also has the disadvantage of being in the way when it's time to charge the iPad.

The US$39 XStylus Touch is the most expensive stylus I have reviewed to date. When you factor the cost in with the problematic design issues I had with this stylus, it makes it hard to recommend.

XStylus Touch Pros:

  • Looks beautiful and appears to be well-made.
  • Comfortable wider grip and ergonomically balanced weight when extended.

XStylus Touch Cons:

  • Weighted pen core doesn't stay locked in to its extended position, causing annoying distractions during use.
  • Clip does not hold the stylus securely in day-to-day use.
  • Expensive.

Overall Rating: 4/10

greenbulb.com/xstylustouch [Check Prices on XStylus Touch]

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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