Finding the best stylus can be a semi-subjective quest, as detailed drawing on any tablet (iPad or otherwise) can be touch-and-go depending on the model you own. The typical rubber stylus has limited use due to a tip that is too wide, and accidentally tapping the screen with your wrist can be annoying when you’re in the zone. As an infographics artist, I appreciate all these details.
Sure, the iPad Pro has the excellent Apple Pencil, but since you can’t pair that particular peripheral with iPads like the Air and mini — or any other non-Apple device, for that matter — we evaluated the current crop of competing styluses to to see which are the most tablet-friendly.
A rubber-tipped capacitive stylus interacts with the touchscreen in the same way as your fingertip, making for an instantly useful accessory. An active stylus, on the other hand, must be turned on to unleash its true potential. Active styluses often have smaller, hard plastic tips instead of the rubber tip, making this style of stylus more accurate.
When it comes to having a professional active stylus, you can’t do much better than the Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus, which has a fine tip for marking up documents and natural tilt support for an authentic feel when sketching or drawing. The ergonomics are excellent and the accompanying app is great for visual artists of all kinds. It charges via USB-C and is compatible with a wide range of non-iPad devices. So if you’ve ever been jealous of the Apple Pencil, now’s your time.
This is certainly a stylus, but it also doubles as a ruler and spirit level. It also has a ballpoint pen built into one end so you can slide seamlessly from one task to another in your home office (or tool shed). You get pretty good precision for a capacitive stylus, and while the sketching experience is nothing to write *ahem* home about, the BoxWave EverTouch Builder Stylus is a fantastic tool for carpenters, contractors, painters, and anyone who appreciates multitasking to the fullest.
This inexpensive stylus won’t break the bank, and you can use it to take advantage of the 3D touch features you’ll find on newer iPads and iPhones. (It also works damn well on any other tablet or trackpad.) It’s a dead simple tool that you can just take anywhere, and thanks to the adjustable metal clip on top, that’s no problem. It may have a softer tip than other styluses on this list, but it may also be the best value.
The Adonit Pixel is so smart it knows when you picked it up – and that’s when it boots up. It’s the company’s most advanced stylus to date, and it works with the iPad as well as other tablets. The active stylus has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, hotkeys, palm rejection, and offset corrections; it connects to the tablet via Bluetooth. The 1.9 mm tip ensures that you get super-accurate drawings no matter what.