Capacitative-fabric nibs; comfortable to hold; precise
Too long for iPhones; drawing dots and tiny lines
US$10 (Stylus); US$15 (Artist); US$26 (RXII)
As I’ve been exhausting myself reviewing all intriguing styluses on the market, I keep hearing about iFaraday’s offerings. Like the Aponyo Click, the iFaraday models have capacitative-fabric nibs, rather than traditional rubber or silicon ones. In addition, designer Rustle Laidman offers the styluses in a variety of barrel lengths and nib designs. iFaraday sent use three stylus models to test: the original $10 iFaraday Stylus, the $15 iFaraday Artist and the $26 iFaraday RXII.
The packaging for each iFaraday stylus is simple, but cute: In another nod to chemist Michael Faraday (whom Laidman acknowledges naming the company in honour of), each comes in a plastic, capped test tube, with the iFaraday logo emblazoned on the side.
Though their lengths vary, all three styluses have the same hollow-core aluminium body. Each is startlingly comfortable to hold, bypassing weighted cores for a more aerodynamic feel. When gripping either the original iFaraday or the Artist model, it’s like you’re barely using anything at all; only the 14cm RXII retains something like a traditional pen balance.
For navigating onscreen elements, this is quite nice, though all three models are just a little bit too long for my taste when it comes to using an iPhone. The 11.5cm iFaraday Stylus is probably the best here; the 15cm iFaraday Artist model, however, I found too unwieldy for basic tasks.
The nibs are the really intriguing part of iFaraday’s styluses. Not only are these nibs made up of conductive fabric, but each pen has a slightly different shape and hardness. The original iFaraday is bouncy and squishy; the Artist model I received has a hard nib, much like the composition of a ThinkPad TrackPoints; and the RXII has a combination tip – squishy, but semi-moldable.
Of the three, I prefer the RXII’s nib for writing and drawing. The hard-tip Artist model has no give – it reminds me of drawing on a whiteboard with a dry-erase marker – while the original stylus has far too much. All three nibs had issues with making dots and tiny lines, due in part to their surface area and screen response, although no stylus I’ve tested has truly managed to conquer this issue.
While the iFaraday models failed to stand out when it came to writing, painting or linework, they excel in precision. Even though the fabric nibs are the same size (or larger) than most rubber nibs I’ve used, I found it remarkably easy to continue drawing a line after I’d broken it or to retrace a sketch.
As inexpensive options for an everyday stylus, the iFaraday models fit the bill. In addition, Laidman offers several options for those who need extra assistance when operating their iOS device. While I didn’t get the chance to test any of these, I can imagine that the fabric nib and lightweight design might be easier to use than rubber or metallic options.
The iFaraday Stylus comes in a variety of colours with an optional clip, as does the Artist model. For the Artist, you can also choose nib firmness and iFaraday offers a random three-pack of varying firmnesses and colours for US$40. The RXII is available only in black.