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Tech Note: The Cosmonaut Stylus

There have been quite a few reviews of styluses (stylii?) over the last few weeks.

Until the release of 53’s Paper, I hadn’t devoted more than fifteen seconds to the thought of a stylus for my iPad. Before that app, I would have rather wrestled a badger than go back to hauling a stylus around. I was scarred from using a Palm Treo for many years, and then a Windows phone; both of those had very stylus-centric interfaces. Adding to my antipathy was the fact that my kids are always arguing over a lost Nintendo DS stylus.

Despite my hatred of them, a stylus was inescapable in those dark days but thankfully, in 2007, Steve Jobs saved me from the indignity of poking electronics with a stick when he introduced the iPhone touch interface. I haven’t looked back at those times, except for the occasional mocking of Samsung Galaxy Note users, with their ridiculous, stylus-equipped, huge-ass phones.

But then Paper showed up on my iPad and a quiet voice in the back of my head whispered, “This might be better with a stylus.” Uh oh.

It took a few weeks of convincing myself but I finally decided to take the plunge and ordered the Cosmonaut from Studio Neat.

I wish I had waited a few more days until the Verge stylus overview came out because I might have stuck with my original choice of the Bamboo. The finer control offered by the Bamboo would be welcome at times.

That said, the Cosmonaut is sturdy and has a nice, tactile heaviness to it. It feels substantial and weighty. At first I felt like I had to press too hard on the iPad with it to get a mark to appear but that feeling passed after a few minutes of serious scribbling.

As it stands now, I’ve gotten thoroughly used to the Cosmonaut and really like it for drawing and diagramming, especially in Paper. To be honest, I haven’t tried it with any other apps because I much prefer typing for most tasks. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is my nearly-illegible handwriting (and if it’s not plain text you can’t search it, or cut and paste it into an email, or edit it in nvALT, etc. etc.).

So, that said, the Cosmonaut is a great drawing implement for the iPad. If you’re looking for a stylus that’s not fiddly, easily lost or broken, this is the one to buy.

(yes, that is a picture I drew of our corgi, Orbit, in Paper using a Cosmonaut)