The iFaraday Stylus---A Review

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by Heaviside, May 30, 2011.

  1. Heaviside

    Heaviside iPad Enthusiast

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    I recently bought an "artist's pack" of three iFaraday styli and thought I would report on my findings. First, I will say that I have previously purchased and tested the Targus, the Roger iWand from Stylus-R-Us, and the Alupen. I also manufactured my own from conductive foam and a metal mechanical pencil holder. Ignoring several "cheapos" that I picked up for a couple of bucks that were worthless, I think the iFaraday tops them all.

    I immediately will note that I am assessing a stylus for its comfort and useability in handwriting applications. I do a lot of mathematical work with hand notes, and prefer the Notetaker HD far and away for this work. I hold a stylus between my index finger and thumb, with my pointer finger lying along the top of the barrel. Thus, I need a stylus that will work from a somewhat slanted position. This has been a bit critical for most of the styli I have tested.

    Most are too short, the Roger iWand and the iFaraday being exceptions. I found the iWand to really be too long, though I think shorter lengths are available.

    The iWand has a tip that tends to compress and thus "run out of gas," requiring rejuvenation via a small piece of velcro that the mfr includes for the purpose. But to avoid having to rejuvenate too often requires such a light touch that it hampers my free writing style. That said, if you naturally have a light touch, the Stylus-R-Us wands will probably be good for you.

    For me, I have found the following ranking: Best is iFaraday, followed by either the Alupen or the Targus (virtually a tie with the nod going to the more expensive Alupen because it has a larger diameter and is heavier, though both are too short), and finally the iWand.

    Here is a picture of the iFaraday styli in the "Artist's Pack":
    [​IMG][/URL]

    The copper colored one has a larger barrel, which I like, though even a bit larger would be nice, and a fairly conventional rounded tip. The gold one has a somewhat flattened tip. Both of these wands have pretty soft tips. The gray one has a tip that is even more flattened and harder than the other two. It is my favorite. All glide across the screen easily and you don't have to be gentle with them. (I will find out eventually how they wear, but I don't see any degeneration of performance because of use.) Each of these three wands is about six inches long---just right for handwriting in my opinion.

    Now for some negatives: on the softer tipped versions, you occasionally get a click when you compress the tip and the metal barrel contacts the glass screen. (Probably wouldn't happen if you hold it more vertically or have a softer touch.) I have found the barrel finishes to be a bit to slick and the barrels somewhat too small for "grippability."

    I have communicated my feedback to the mfr, and he has kindly offered to make up a model for me that will seek to remedy these defects. I look forward to trying it out when it arrives and will post my reactions when it does.

    I have had no previous contact with iFaraday and have no connections with the mfr other than the aforementioned contact, so have no personal stake in this other than to make others aware of my findings in the hope that they will do the same with their experiences. I think specific reactions are always the best, as a simple "I like it" or "I hate it" doesn't tell me what my reactions will be.

    Of course, as usual, your mileage might be different from mine!

    Thanks for reading.

    Oh, by the way---my homemade stylus worked fine for a while, but gradually ran out of gas as the point foam compressed, just like the iWand!
     
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  2. sjleworthy

    sjleworthy Super Moderator Staff Member

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    How about a purchase link and cost analyses? ;)
     
  3. Heaviside

    Heaviside iPad Enthusiast

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    Well, I haven't kept detailed records, but you can dig up the links with a quick web search.

    As I recall, the Targus was twelve bucks or so and was perhaps the cheapest of the bunch, whereas the Alupen was most expensive at around thirty. The others were all somewhere in the vicinity of twenty, though the pack of three from iFaraday was fortu-five, I think, so about fifteen bucks each.

    I forgot to mention that I also tested the Dagi, which was completely forgettable for my purposes---though I know that some others have posted more positive reactions here. It has a clear, flattish but contoured plastic tip with a "targeting dot" in the center that seems like a good idea until you try it out. Then it proves to be unwieldy: too short, clicks against the screen, and has to be held at an awkward angle. About twenty bucks, you see.

    So, if you add them all up, I've spent quite a few bucks in my on-going quest for the perfect stylus! Hope it saves others some pain and expense.
     
  4. iLuvMyMac

    iLuvMyMac iPF Novice

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  5. Heaviside

    Heaviside iPad Enthusiast

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    The mfr took me to task via e-mail for saying that the small barrels and clicks caused by metal contacting the screen were "defects," because they were caused by my own writing proclivities and that I am "outside the bell curve."

    He could be correct about that, though I was careful to point out my writing style and suggested that they might not be true for everyone. So, they were not manufacturing defects, but negatives from my point of view.

    However, here is what is---for me---A FATAL FLAW---THE TIPS LEAVE GREASY-LOOKING SMUDGES ON THE SCREEN!

    Apparently there is some sort of substance impregnating the tip material to make it conductive. I only noticed it because all of a sudden I needed to constantly clean the screen. So I turned it off and used the stylus. It left pretty bad greasy looking streaks.

    Oh, well. Back to the drawing board. Sorry I didn't discover the problem before I started this thread.
     
  6. iFaraday

    iFaraday iPF Noob

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    Please return the styluses for correction.

    Please return the items. It's possible that one of the elements was not cleaned properly or you picked up oil somewhere and it's tracking around. This has nothing to do with the conducivity of the stylus. I will replace the set and examine the problem.

    I will pay for shipping both ways.

    If you prefer you can return all the items for a full refund.

    -Rustle Laidman
     
  7. Heaviside

    Heaviside iPad Enthusiast

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    Thanks for posting Rustle.

    The greasy smudges only happen with the soft tips. I will return those two and leave it to you to decide whether to replace, repair, or refund

    The hard tipped model does not have the problem of metal contact either, though---again, for me---the barrel is a bit too small.
     
  8. iLuvMyMac

    iLuvMyMac iPF Novice

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    Why was my post removed???

    As I mentioned in the removed post I have the same set and none of the stylus' leave greasy marks. There is no substance impregnated in them.
     
  9. iFaraday

    iFaraday iPF Noob

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    OK, I know what the problem is.

    OK, I know what the problem is, since you mentioned it only happens with the soft tips. That is my fault. The substrate material for the soft tips was not prepared properly. Send them back and I will replace them and reimburse you for shipping. Sorry about that.
     
  10. Heaviside

    Heaviside iPad Enthusiast

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    Will do. Thanks. I was going to try to clean them with alcohol and a microfiber cloth before returning them, but if it is a substrate issue, that clearly wouldn't work.

    I am enjoying my firm tip version, so am very glad to learn that the problem isn't inherent. And the softer tips have their uses.
     
  11. Meowzart

    Meowzart iPF Novice

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    I've just ordered the ifaraday. Looking forward to trying it. I am female with small hands so I think the size of the barrel is going to be perfect. I'm just hoping Canada post is not going on strike or it could be a while!
    susan
     
  12. Somerled

    Somerled iPad Junkie

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    I forwarded the info to a friend of mine who is looking for a stylus for working with certain apps.

    I do like seeing the vendor in here working to correct issues.
     
  13. info

    info iPad Junkie

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    Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed review.
     
  14. jnewell

    jnewell iPad Fan

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    Totally agree - very impressive.
     
  15. atalay

    atalay iPF Noob

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    Amazing review thanks! Just ordered the pack.
     

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