Bamboo Stylus + Bamboo Paper
Stylus design is sleek and comfortable to use; good sharing capabilities
Higher price point for stylus
$30 (stylus); Free (app)
While the Bamboo stylus resembles many of the other rubber-nib tools on the market, once you pick it up, it’s obvious how much care and craftsmanship the company has put
into the device. The pen is perfectly balanced in your hand, with just the right amount of weight distributed along the metal-framed body. And unlike other well-balanced styluses we’ve tried, Wacom has managed to give the Bamboo the necessary heft while keeping it as slim as a ballpoint pen.
Drawing with this stylus is lovely, as it employs a fine (6mm) silicone-rubber tip. But writing takes the prize here, without a doubt. We were able to jot down notes at several angles without ever needing to rest our hand on the iPad’s bezel for support or comfort.
In addition, while this procedure isn’t sanctioned by Wacom, you can get even better angles by unscrewing the metal shaft around the tip of the stylus to expose more of the sides of the nib. If you’re drawing, this trick is invaluable for shading. But what is pen without paper? Try using the Bamboo stylus with the company’s new Paper app for iPad (and share or print your notes or sketches directly from your device).
Bamboo Paper provides you with a single Moleskine-esque sketchbook with three virtual paper types – lined, graphed, or plain – on which to jot down your thoughts. You can change these – or the colour of the notebook – at any time, though you’re restricted to one type of paper for all your pages, and just one notebook.
Inside the book itself, you can sketch using one of six ink colours and three line widths, erase lines with a single-width eraser, or wipe the page clean. If you make a mistake, you can undo or redo up to 20 times.
The canvas, by default, fills your iPad’s screen in portrait orientation, but you can zoom in using a reverse pinch and use a two-finger scroll to pan around, if you’d rather.
Draw something you want to share?
You can email the page as an image, save the page to your Camera Roll, or print it directly from the app. You can
also bookmark a specific page you’re working on so that when you re-open your Bamboo Paper book, it will open directly to that page. You can even tap the page count on the bottom of the screen to see an overview of the pages contained within your book.
In our testing of the app, we observed that it has one of the fastest rendering engines for drawing that we’ve seen in a quick note-taking app. Writing is smooth and speedy, and while you’ll still get occasional interference when using a stylus and resting your hand on the iPad’s screen, once your hand is on the screen, the app ignores it and allows you to write onward with no miscommunication.
Overall, we found the Bamboo stylus and Paper app a pleasure to use, and would recommend them highly for those interested in drawing or writing.