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GoSmart 300 Series Stylus review

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Reviews

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Provides: Stylus input for capacitive touchscreens
Developer: GoSmart
Minimum Requirements: iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch
Price: $24.95
Availability: August 8

Appletell covered the launch of the GoSmart stylus line earlier this year, and finally got a chance to get hands on with a review unit. This is a stylus that is at once delightfully retro and genuinely useful, while also providing an experience not unlike that of a well-crafted fountain pen.

iPad Stylus in the 21st (and a half) Century

The GoSmart 300 series stylus features an unconventional design that contributes heavily to an awesome stylus experience. The retro rocket fin cap (which doubles as a stand/soft grip) and streamlined aerodynamic shape hearken back to a mid-20th century vision of the future.

GoSmart 300 Series Stylus

This smooth shape and the optional silicon grip offer up great comfort during extended use, while the nib is angled so you hold the stylus like a fountain pen (at an angle), rather than straight-on like a ballpoint.  This may prove awkward to some users, but for fountain pen aficionados, calligraphers, and artists, this new angle will be a revelation.

If you prefer not to use the cap as a desk stand, two magnets on the side of the GoSmart will happily hold your stylus on the righthand bezel of your iPad. The magnets are strong enough to keep the stylus in place even when the iPad is propped vertically, and they protrude slightly to provide a handy grip when writing. The iPad’s built-in magnets hold the stylus firmly in place, but will not trigger the iPad’s sleep function.

X Marks the Spot

Although not the first stylus to feature a crosshair nib, the GoSmart’s open metal design makes it exceptionally easy to hit onscreen targets, because you can see exactly what you are doing. Some of GoSmart’s competitors put a plastic disc at the end; while an improvement over a solid rubber nib, the disc still interferes with seeing the screen. Accuracy is especially improved on the iPhone, where onscreen touch targets are smaller; delicate tasks like painting or photo retouching benefit greatly.

Sprung

Unlike a traditional stylus, the GoSmart’s nib is spring mounted, and pushes back when pressed against the iPad’s screen. This lends a feel much more analogous to pen and paper, and unlike other non impact-absorbing styli, the GoSmart is both pleasant and comfortable to use for taking notes, scribbling, or doodling. The spring design also has the advantage of making the GoSmart much quieter, while a Teflon coating ensures you glide over the surface of your iPad, even if there are fingerprints or smudges. The combined effect makes the 300 series much more pleasant for your neighbors when taking notes in a meeting or classroom.

The GoSmart Stylus line also includes a more traditionally-styled model called the 200 series. [Note: Appletell did not get a hands-on review of the 200 series, but in conversation with a GoSmart representative, the design details were confirmed.] Rather than the aerodynamic teardrop shape of the 300, the 200 has a cylindrical shape and features a standard pen cap with clip. The styli are identical in other aspects, so if you want the great stylus experience with a less retro sci-fi design, check out the 200 series.

The GoSmart 300 series is available for preorder now, and will begin shipping August 8. Preorders for the 200 series can be placed now, with an expected delivery in October.  You can follow GoSmart on Facebook or Twitter to get updates.

Appletell Rating:
GoSmart 300 Series Rating
Buy the GoSmart 300 Series Stylus

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