The iOS stylus market is ever-growing: To figure out which one is right for you, check out Macworld’s comprehensive iPhone and iPad stylus charts. Here, we’ve rated every stylus we’ve reviewed in the following seven categories from 1 (worst) to 5 (best): resistance, ergonomics, precision, navigation, writing, linework, and painting. In addition, there’s an overall mouse rating.
As all styluses are not alike, we’ve organized them into several categories, to make the charts easier to read. We have nib, multifunction, and unconventional stylus charts: Nib styluses refer to rubber- and fabric-tipped pens; multifunction styluses usually include a pen or some secondary function; and unconventional styluses may resemble paintbrushes or have unique nibs. You can click on the name of any stylus to see Macworld’s full review.
Styluses were rated from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) with the best result in bold, along with an overall mouse rating. Resistances are rated from 1 (slipperiest) to 5 (stickiest). Pogo Sketch Pro was evaluated using foam nib.
Ren’s favorite nib stylus:The Wacom Bamboo Stylus. It gets the balance just right for both writing and sketching, and it’s beautifully manufactured, to boot.
Styluses were rated from 1 (worst) to 5 (best) with the best result in bold, along with an overall mouse rating. Resistances are rated from 1 (slipperiest) to 5 (stickiest).
Ren’s favorite unconventional stylus: Two win the prize here: The Nomad Compose and the Cosmonaut. The Nomad Compose is great for painting and detail-work; the Cosmonaut is my favorite big sketch stylus. Very comfortable and nice to have around.
Frequently asked questions
How do you test these? Each stylus undergoes the same test in each of the categories listed in the charts above. Additionally, styluses are tested while wearing gloves and through a screen protector, to ensure that they can still be used. Unlike the other categories, Resistance is not rated from worst to best; instead, it is rated from slipperiest (1) to stickiest (5).
Some of these styluses don’t work with screen protectors. What gives? While each of the styluses in the above charts has been successfully tested with an Agent 18 screen protector, certain companies (like Zagg) have materials in their screen protectors that may prevent you from using a non-rubber nib on your device. If you do have a protector on your phone, it’s something to consider.
Why isn’t my favorite stylus listed in these charts? We’ve either A) not yet heard about it or B) its design too closely copies one of the already-reviewed styluses. Whatever the case, you can alert us by leaving a comment on this thread.
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