Adonit Jot Dash stylus review

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by donka, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. donka

    donka
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    With the recent announcement of the Apple Pencil, now is a great time to discuss styli and the Jot Dash is the latest from Adonit. This forgoes some of the higher end features such as Bluetooth support for palm rejection and pressure sensitivity to bring a capable stylus at a respectable price point. Included in the package is the stylus and USB charge dock - there is no true documentation included but it really isn't required. For those who must read up on every last detail though, there is good information available on the Adonit support pages.

    The Jot Dash is a classy looking device, fashioned from Aluminium and coming in either a silver or black finish. It measures in at 141 x 8.5mm and weighs 12g. It features a simple click power button on top and a handy shirt clip on the side. Further down from this clip is the power indicator which briefly lights up in green when powered on, and red when powered down. Whilst charging, the indicator will pulse red and turn to solid green when fully charged. There is also power saving at work and the stylus will power down after 15 minutes of inactivity.

    Included in the package is the USB charger which is a small but clever design allowing the stylus to sit magnetically in place whilst charging. This magnetic hold benefits with the safety net of easily disengaging when the user needs or when knocked to ensure neither the stylus nor charger are damaged. The charger is small, only protruding 25mm and lightweight thanks to its plastic construction although I would be wary when carrying this around as it could easily be lost. Thankfully, Adonit do offer additional or replacement chargers on their site.

    The whole reason for this stylus requiring an internal power source is that it generates a small electrical charge around a very small tip that replicates a fingertip interacting with a capacitive touch screen. This composite polymer plastic tip measures just 1.9mm across which is the main benefit of this type of active stylus - it offers up a higher level of precision over a fingertip to the user because they can see exactly where they are interacting with the screen. The tip is smooth and very hard wearing, designed to glide effortlessly across the screen while being durable to last the course of ownership. This stylus should work with pretty much all capacitive touch screens including iOS and Android devices.

    The whole purpose of this stylus is to replicate what you would do with your finger without the need for an additional Bluetooth connection. This means that there is no additional requirements and this should work just as well with any touch based application. If it works with your finger, it will work with the Jot Dash.

    The Jot Dash takes around 45 minutes for a full charge and lasts for around 14 hours of continuous use. This is great battery life for such a small stylus and it's great that there have been no compromises in the design to achieve that battery life. It is sized just like a normal pen and feels great in use. If you are going to be taking a lot of notes with a stylus, you want it to be comfortable to hold and work with and this definitely ticks that box!

    Performance of the Jot Dash during my testing was every bit as good as using a finger. On the iPad, the screen responds the exact same way with perhaps the only small deviation being drawing slow, diagonal lines where a small stepping pattern appears in the line. This is down to the way a capacitive screen uses a matrix to detect contact and is essentially calibrated for a fingertip. This is a product of the screen technology employed and not a failing of the stylus itself. There is also some detectable lag which manifests itself in the line on screen being drawn behind the tip. Again, this is down to the screen technology and is exactly the same when a finger is used; it is just more apparent with a fine stylus tip because your fingertip largely obscures this on screen delay.

    The lack of official palm rejection and pressure sensitivity may be seen as a limiting factor in some usage scenarios but this can be a non-issue when used with the right application. I tested this with Notability, Notes Plus and One Note on the iPad and all of these apps do a very respectable job of automated palm rejection, to the point where I could relax my hand on the screen and take notes and only the stylus input was captured.

    When it comes to art applications, you are still limited to manually selecting different brush widths due to the lack of pressure sensitivity but the stylus still offers the precision a fine tip provides in place of a fingertip. This means the Jot Dash is still a viable option for such apps although perhaps not the optimum choice if you are serious with your creativity.

    The design and functionality of the Jot Dash combined with the sensible price point make this a very good active stylus indeed. Although it works fine with any application, used in conjunction with certain note taking apps makes the lack of palm rejection a non-issue. A stylus on a glass screen is never going to replicate the feel of pen on paper but if you take notes with your finger or a capacitive rubber tipped stylus and are looking for the next step up, it is really hard to fault this stylus from Adonit. Perhaps the only flaw with the design is the tapping sound of hard tip on glass. This may not be so much of an issue in a noisy environment or when you are on your own but may prove a little distracting in a quiet meeting room with others around you. That is a the trade off with a hard wearing, smooth flowing tip on a glass screen and one I'm sure, many will be willing to make.

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