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The iFaraday Stylus---A Review

jc0045

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I shouldnt have checked this thread again. I just ordered a jotpro last night, but on the plus side it shipped this morning. I have 3 iFarady RX models, and two stylus-r-s, both have their limitations, but for me the iFarady far surpasses the stylus-r-us for everything but simple pointing and clikcing. The STylus-r-us has amazing sensitivity, which is also its downfall from a personal standpoint. Since I use my styli exclusively for writing, its too difficult to maintain and even and extremely light (no) pressure on the stylus-r-us without having to renew the tip constantly, which is a pain. It also doesnt have enough resistance to mimic the feel of a real pen on real paper for me. The iFarady comes much closer to the feel of a real pen, although it also lacks resistance. Yes, the caps have all cracked and the pocket clips suck, but I dont use the pocket clip and I would be willing to trade cracking tops for the personalized service Russell provides any day of the week. Besides, the caps still work to keep dust and other crud off of the tip and still screw on, they are just uglier now.

The shortcomings of the iFarady IMO is the movement of the tip under pressure causing lack of accuracy in writing notes that need to be presentable to others, without looking like you have doctors handwriting. I can do it with the iFarady, but its a very SLOW process, the in ability to see what your your writing because of those big tips is something I've gotten used too, but still effects my accuracy. I decided to try the jotpro to see if it could overcome these issues, plus I really miss the weight of a real pen, so hopefully this is closer to that. My reservations are the issues with angular writing, as I have no issues with the iFarady in that respect. I also have concerns about writing with a hard plastic/metalic tip. I'd much rather have smudging that scratching small dirt particles into the screen that seemingly start to accumulate the second after I finish cleaning the screen.

Lately I've started relying heavily on writepad due to its excellent ability to convert writing into text that can be emailed as status reports, if the jotpro helps with accuracy on that, I'll be thrilled, but for the price and the issues with angular writing and dead spots mentioned, I did expect more than it sounds like it provides...we shall see.
 

jsh1120

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I shouldnt have checked this thread again. I just ordered a jotpro last night, but on the plus side it shipped this morning. I have 3 iFarady RX models, and two stylus-r-s, both have their limitations, but for me the iFarady far surpasses the stylus-r-us for everything but simple pointing and clikcing. The STylus-r-us has amazing sensitivity, which is also its downfall from a personal standpoint. Since I use my styli exclusively for writing, its too difficult to maintain and even and extremely light (no) pressure on the stylus-r-us without having to renew the tip constantly, which is a pain. It also doesnt have enough resistance to mimic the feel of a real pen on real paper for me. The iFarady comes much closer to the feel of a real pen, although it also lacks resistance. Yes, the caps have all cracked and the pocket clips suck, but I dont use the pocket clip and I would be willing to trade cracking tops for the personalized service Russell provides any day of the week. Besides, the caps still work to keep dust and other crud off of the tip and still screw on, they are just uglier now.

The shortcomings of the iFarady IMO is the movement of the tip under pressure causing lack of accuracy in writing notes that need to be presentable to others, without looking like you have doctors handwriting. I can do it with the iFarady, but its a very SLOW process, the in ability to see what your your writing because of those big tips is something I've gotten used too, but still effects my accuracy. I decided to try the jotpro to see if it could overcome these issues, plus I really miss the weight of a real pen, so hopefully this is closer to that. My reservations are the issues with angular writing, as I have no issues with the iFarady in that respect. I also have concerns about writing with a hard plastic/metalic tip. I'd much rather have smudging that scratching small dirt particles into the screen that seemingly start to accumulate the second after I finish cleaning the screen.

Lately I've started relying heavily on writepad due to its excellent ability to convert writing into text that can be emailed as status reports, if the jotpro helps with accuracy on that, I'll be thrilled, but for the price and the issues with angular writing and dead spots mentioned, I did expect more than it sounds like it provides...we shall see.


Your experience with the iFaraday and the Jot Pro is almost identical to mine. Haven't had problems with the cap (on the RX model) or the clips (on the artist and RX) but I've been careful not to stress either having been aware of the potential issues. Otherwise, our experiences are virtually the same. And I love your reference to "doctor's handwriting." So true if you're not watching what you write.

As far as the Jot Pro is concerned, I'm still skeptical that it can scratch the iPad screen, especially since I've seen demonstrations of keys being used to try to scratch the screen with no effect. If someone has personal experience with that problem, I'd like to hear about it. And at least as far as I know, that problem hasn't been noted on this board by anyone who actually has Jot. But as you note, the problem with writing from an acute angle remains a major issue for me. Again, no problem with the iFaraday on that score. (I have the "extra firm" tip on both iFaraday styluses so that may contribute to the success I've had with it.) And though I don't have one, I notice that Rustle has a model designed specifically for users who need a stylus that works at an extreme acute angle.

Your reference to WritePad is especially interesting. Hope you'll contribute a review of that app when you have an opportunity. I've considered it, but truth be told I usually type text and "draw" diagrams. I can type much faster, even with the on screen keyboard and much faster with a bluetooth keyboard, than I can write. So my interest in WritePad is largely because I'm intrigued by handwriting recognition software.
Unfortunately, I haven't found an app that has equally powerful software for diagrammatic sketching and typed text entry. But that's another topic.

Finally, in view of the recent discussions on this thread, your reference to the maintenance requirements for the other stylus you mention is appreciated.
 

Glenn

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Just got 2 artist models today from Russel - he included 5 shirt clips that cover and make the clip work for my std faradays. No smudges and I like the length. Perfect for my Keynote presentations.
 

jc0045

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Your experience with the iFaraday and the Jot Pro is almost identical to mine. Haven't had problems with the cap (on the RX model) or the clips (on the artist and RX) but I've been careful not to stress either having been aware of the potential issues. Otherwise, our experiences are virtually the same. And I love your reference to "doctor's handwriting." So true if you're not watching what you write.

As far as the Jot Pro is concerned, I'm still skeptical that it can scratch the iPad screen, especially since I've seen demonstrations of keys being used to try to scratch the screen with no effect. If someone has personal experience with that problem, I'd like to hear about it. And at least as far as I know, that problem hasn't been noted on this board by anyone who actually has Jot. But as you note, the problem with writing from an acute angle remains a major issue for me. Again, no problem with the iFaraday on that score. (I have the "extra firm" tip on both iFaraday styluses so that may contribute to the success I've had with it.) And though I don't have one, I notice that Rustle has a model designed specifically for users who need a stylus that works at an extreme acute angle.

Your reference to WritePad is especially interesting. Hope you'll contribute a review of that app when you have an opportunity. I've considered it, but truth be told I usually type text and "draw" diagrams. I can type much faster, even with the on screen keyboard and much faster with a bluetooth keyboard, than I can write. So my interest in WritePad is largely because I'm intrigued by handwriting recognition software.
Unfortunately, I haven't found an app that has equally powerful software for diagrammatic sketching and typed text entry. But that's another topic.

Finally, in view of the recent discussions on this thread, your reference to the maintenance requirements for the other stylus you mention is appreciated.


Ok, so I got the JotPro today and its definitely got its pluses, but also its minuses. For me, it is pretty much the polar opposite of the iFarady. First off, the pinpoint accuracy of the tip is amazing and even though I had my doubts, the IPAD definitely is able to register the thinner lines vs. the thicker lines of most styli. The drag is much more pen-like than any stylus I have used. Additionally, as far as aesthetics, it is far superior to any stylus Ive seen, including the stylus-r-us. I do really appreciate the screw on cap that is able to screw onto the post, or the writing end. Clearly a lot of thought was put into the design. As far as the writing issues, I have played around a bit with it writing a few paragraphs in different places and there is clearly a limitation, but its not what I had expected.

If you usually write on a flat surface like a desk, or the arm of a couch or lazy chair, etc. the JotPro stylus is truly stellar, but if you like to curl up in an over sized chair and write on an obscure angle, such as on your lap, this stylus may be more hassle than its worth. The issue isnt actually an extreme angle, although it might seem it. The issue is actually, that the IPAD is at an angle and the stylus is at an opposing angle, which results in too few degrees of angle between the tip and the screen. In other words, its too close to perpendicular, when the IPAD is placed on a surface that is not flat and the writer naturally tries to correct for this. I think you would be hard pressed to find an angle that is to extreme when writing, which is what I was worried about, since I tend to do this when I reach the opposite side of the screen and finishing a large word.

It's important to note, that when I say write, I mean write, not print. If you print, I wouldnt even bother with the JotPro, stick with the iFarady, but if you write and don't typically do it on a surface that far from flat, it really does leave every other stylus in the dust that I have tried (I've tried quite a few). I must also mention that once I was cognizant of the issue with too little angle, I was able to correct for it and reduce the occurrence by about 50% after approximately an hour of writing some notes on write pad. I did enjoy the lack of smudges and dirt on the screen, but not enough to deal with the limitations of the stylus if I was using it solely for printing and as a pointing/clicking device. If I was just scrolling around a book, or using my keyboard to type notes into my daily planner, etc, I think Id stick with the iFarady as a pointing device. Additionally, if I printed the clicking sound of this would be absolutely unacceptable at a meeting or conference call. I actually like the sound for some odd reason, but it would definitely distract everyone around you and be amplified over a video or phone conference. Again, since I write and don't print this is not an issue for me.

As far as writepad, I was a bit surprised by the affect, but I cant give a completely accurate review yet. I expected that the thinner lines would allow writepad's OCR to function better, but that wasnt completely true. However, there is a learning curve with writepad and now, it has to unlearn some letters and relearn due to the increased accuracy. After playing around a bit, I determined that writepad really needs larger letters (writing not print) to accurately determine most words (the longer the word, the less accuracy is needed if the inline dictionary is used). So in that respect the stylus didnt really help much, but because it allowed me to write much thinner strokes, I am able to fit more words on each line, which is much more important than fitting more words in a vertical space. I was also able to better control my accuracy in each letter. Definitely no more doctors hand writing, so annotating notes, PDFs, books, etc will be great. However, until writepad has quite a bit of time to learn the handwriting for the best accuracy, I will still have to write slow and keep the OCR correction option on, which has a limited number of words (5-7 it seems) before I have to stop. Still, this is no slower than with any other stylus. So OCR is debatable, but purely for annotation, or any task requiring fine detail that does not include many small strokes, such as printing, or sketching (which I dont do), the JotPro is the clear choice. Again, if you write its a winner, if your print, I would stay away, as your really going to be paying for the aesthetics and not the functionality...in fact, you will be substituting aesthetics in place of functionality.

Oh and while I have a leather case on my IPAD and the magnetic properties arent of any use to me (although again, a very well thought out design), rubberized grip, is excellent at keeping the stylus held tight inside the leather straps that are used to close the case. I wouldnt walk around with it like that, but on a desk I'll always know where it is and I dont have to worry about a clipless stylus rolling over the edge of conference table that isnt quite even.

Hope that helps you in your decision.
 
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jsh1120

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Very good and thoughtful review, jc0045. I have a question.

I'm confused about what determines the width of the mark for the various styluses. Using Art Studio or Note Taker HD, for example, the width of the line made by the two styluses is identical. The width is set by the app, not by the stylus, itself. It's true that it's easier to see the precise "contact point" with the Jot, but I don't see any difference in the width of the line of each stylus. Am I misunderstanding what you're saying?

I think you're absolutely correct about the relative satisfaction one gets from the Jot depending on whether one's handwriting is cursive or printing. (Mine is a hodgepodge developed over many decades.) And apart from the "clicking noise" issue, I think it also impacts the "missed stroke" problem that I've experienced with the Jot. If you habitually pick up the stylus when you "print," the missed stroke problem will be considerably more annoying. If you "write" cursively, the Jot works fine since once it detects a touch it continues to track it correctly.
 

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Very good and thoughtful review, jc0045. I have a question.

I'm confused about what determines the width of the mark for the various styluses. Using Art Studio or Note Taker HD, for example, the width of the line made by the two styluses is identical. The width is set by the app, not by the stylus, itself. It's true that it's easier to see the precise "contact point" with the Jot, but I don't see any difference in the width of the line of each stylus. Am I misunderstanding what you're saying?

I think you're absolutely correct about the relative satisfaction one gets from the Jot depending on whether one's handwriting is cursive or printing. (Mine is a hodgepodge developed over many decades.) And apart from the "clicking noise" issue, I think it also impacts the "missed stroke" problem that I've experienced with the Jot. If you habitually pick up the stylus when you "print," the missed stroke problem will be considerably more annoying. If you "write" cursively, the Jot works fine since once it detects a touch it continues to track it correctly.


Good catch. I was convinced that it wrote thinner, which really shocked me...but I just tried both side by side and what it is, is that with the Jot I write naturally where I can follow the line of a letter up and down along a single path, but since I cant see what Im doing with the iFarady (or any other stylus out there), much of my writing that requires any type of doubling back or thin loop, like a lower case h, l, m, n, etc., end up taking up much more space horizontally.

On the flip side, because I can be so much more precise with the Jot, I tend to write much smaller, as if it were a pen, and the OCR probably wasnt developed for that level of detail. So, I have to write in longer strokes, but I get more space from side to side, which might not seem like a big deal, but its amazing how much easier it is to squeeze in that that last word of a sentence that otherwise OCR wouldnt recognize.

Does that make more sense? and yes, if I printed I would have been really annoyed that I paid the $$$ for this. I did some more testing and as I believe was mentioned before, if you press much harder when you print or at angles that might otherwise cause the missed stroke, it does seem to fix it, but it does require substantially more pressure, which would make the clicking sound much, much worse, or the tip will likely break within a short period of time. Either way, like you said, once you make contact, as long as your not at a weird angle, its great. But when printing, I would find it hard to believe anyone would be satisfied with this stylus, unless it was free or at least very inexpensive. Drawing does work very well though, as long as its not many repeated strokes, but instead a lot of movement before picking up the stylus.
 
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Heaviside

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Though I agree with most of the observations just expressed, I don't think the "skipping" problem with the Jot is all that bad. I actually print almost everything and rarely use cursive, so I pick the stylus up and put it down a lot. It is certainly true that I get a skip when I get a bit careless, but I don't have much of a problem if I am trying not to "scrawl"---which causes me to have problems with a pencil too. And I have found that adding a screen protector has improved things considerably.

All that said, I certainly agree that neither the Jot nor the iFaraday are perfect. I think that any stylus must fight a very stringent limitation because of the touch screen mechanism. But the iFaraday and Jot are, in my mind, the clear front runners, with the Jot being my personal choice.
 

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Yeah, and I bet you were the professor that wrote legibly on the board, too.:D I, on the other hand, used to get evaluations every semester that complained my scrawls on the board were barely readable. My dynamic personality and the wisdom I imparted made up for it...but only barely.
 
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Heaviside

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Yeah, and I bet you were the professor that wrote legibly on the board, too.:D I, on the other hand, used to get evaluations every semester that complained my scrawls on the board were barely readable. My dynamic personality and the wisdom I imparted made up for it...but only barely.

Well, I did as long as I had chalk to work with, but that high tech marker board never worked very well for me! (Had to in order to compensate for zero personality and lack of wisdom, but tried to make do with handwriting and my handsome profile!)
 
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Heaviside

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Yeah, and I bet you were the professor that wrote legibly on the board, too.:D I, on the other hand, used to get evaluations every semester that complained my scrawls on the board were barely readable. My dynamic personality and the wisdom I imparted made up for it...but only barely.

Yeah, but only with chalk and a blackboard. As soon as I had to use one of those "high tech" markerboards, it went to pot. Then, due to lack of personality and wisdom, I had to make do with my handsome profile!

By the way, I'm just down I5 a piece from you---in Shady Cove, (southern) Oregon. I spent the major part of my battlefield years at San Jose State in the EE Department there.

Sorry for the double post, but my internet connection or computer balked!
 
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suzzie567 said:
Glen....please reread your above quote or let me sum it up for you. faraday doesn't register sometimes; it leaves smudges and the shirt clip breaks off. I mean seriously: how anyone can promote anything like th....

We'll, no. Re--re-read the quote

1. Maybe your confusion is that you don't realize that the Jots are not an iFaraday product. It was the Jots that had the registration problems for him at his writing angle. So he went back to iFaraday.

2. Smudges? If you read the response before yours, or earlier in the thread, the smudges were only a temporary accident in the a manufacturing run, and iFaraday has been extremely quick to replace those for the people who got those in error.


I have StylusRUs and iFaraday stylii, and like them both.
But let's not jump off a cliff about 5-cent pocket clips you can replace at any office supply. They are both pretty darn good products.

.
 

jc0045

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Though I agree with most of the observations just expressed, I don't think the "skipping" problem with the Jot is all that bad. I actually print almost everything and rarely use cursive, so I pick the stylus up and put it down a lot. It is certainly true that I get a skip when I get a bit careless, but I don't have much of a problem if I am trying not to "scrawl"---which causes me to have problems with a pencil too. And I have found that adding a screen protector has improved things considerably.

All that said, I certainly agree that neither the Jot nor the iFaraday are perfect. I think that any stylus must fight a very stringent limitation because of the touch screen mechanism. But the iFaraday and Jot are, in my mind, the clear front runners, with the Jot being my personal choice.

It's not that they are THAT bad, but any skipped spot in a letter or word in the write pad OCR pretty much kills the word. If I was just annotating and printing, it wouldn't be unlegible to me. Just curious, for printing, do you prefer the jot or ifarady? Id be pretty shocked if anyone preferred the jot, but then again, I've only used it on OCR programs when printing.
 
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It's not that they are THAT bad, but any skipped spot in a letter or word in the write pad OCR pretty much kills the word. If I was just annotating and printing, it wouldn't be unlegible to me. Just curious, for printing, do you prefer the jot or ifarady? Id be pretty shocked if anyone preferred the jot, but then again, I've only used it on OCR programs when printing.

I understood that you are using ocr, but it hadn't occurred to me that skipping might have a disasterous effect on it. But I can certainly see now that it would.

As of now, I almost exclusively use the Jot, but after reading the recent postings made by you and jsh1120, I picked up my iFaraday again for another comparison. It does flow more smoothly across the virtual page, but I have an even greater problem with it than with the Jot if I hold it at a (more natural for me!) shallow angle. If I do, it skips even more than the Jot because of contact between barrel and screen. And it really can't provide the precision of the Jot.

I am thinking I might try the iFaraday "Low Writing Angle" model now. Has anyone else tried it?
 

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I understood that you are using ocr, but it hadn't occurred to me that skipping might have a disasterous effect on it. But I can certainly see now that it would.

As of now, I almost exclusively use the Jot, but after reading the recent postings made by you and jsh1120, I picked up my iFaraday again for another comparison. It does flow more smoothly across the virtual page, but I have an even greater problem with it than with the Jot if I hold it at a (more natural for me!) shallow angle. If I do, it skips even more than the Jot because of contact between barrel and screen. And it really can't provide the precision of the Jot.

I am thinking I might try the iFaraday "Low Writing Angle" model now. Has anyone else tried it?

I haven't tried that version. Mainly because I don't have the same problem you report. But the bulging tip appears as if it would solve your problem. Out of curiosity, do you have the "extra firm" tip on your iFaraday stylus? I do. If you don't perhaps that's the reason you have the problem and I don't. Otherwise, it might be your overwhelming super-strength that you have trouble controlling as you write. :D
 
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Heaviside

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I haven't tried that version. Mainly because I don't have the same problem you report. But the bulging tip appears as if it would solve your problem. Out of curiosity, do you have the "extra firm" tip on your iFaraday stylus? I do. If you don't perhaps that's the reason you have the problem and I don't. Otherwise, it might be your overwhelming super-strength that you have trouble controlling as you write. :D

I just looked over the iFaraday website again. I thought about what you said about firmness of the tip and decided that the shallow angle model isn't appropriate for me because it is also advertised as "light touch". So I kinda wiped out and ordered the "Rx," which is touted as a handwriting tool for medicos. There is a nonconductive end collar just above the tip which is supposed to prevent electrical contact with the screen at low angles. It also has a cap and a clip. I am anxious to see if it provides stiff competition with the Jot......?
 

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