Nomad Brush Compose: Dual Long Tip
Nomad Brush, www.software-only.com.au
High-quality design; multi-function nibs
Best-suited for users with an interest in art-based activities
Not so long ago Nomad Brush released its self-titled paintbrush for touchscreens, allowing artists to ‘paint’ freely on digital canvases – one of the first of its kind on the market. The instrument – an elegantly designed tool – performs intuitively and closer to an actual paintbrush than any other digital offering we’ve come across so far.
But there was just one problem at the time of its release; it was a device that catered only to a very niche market. Unless you had a level of skill to begin with, picking up an iPad-compatible paintbrush seemed a daunting, almost impossible, task. There was also the issue of trying to use the Nomad Brush as a stylus to write on touch-capacitive screens – due to its soft-textured, long bristles, trying to perform detailed line work was hazardous, at best.
Since then, Nomad Brush has revised its design with the Nomad Brush Compose series. Now, instead of just a brush end, the handle is completely interchangeable and can be fitted with a stylus component, enabling users to fit and switch different nibs depending on the task at hand.
We got hold of the Nomad Brush Compose: Dual Long Tip to see how well both nibs performed in a series of tests. After much writing, scribbling and scrawling, we were pleased to discover its dual capabilities offer the best of both worlds.
Starting at the base, the Nomad Brush Compose handle is a welcome departure from stubby, crayon-like styluses, constructed to feel and move like a slimline pencil. Made from aluminium casing, the design is lightweight, but solid in build. There are two interchangeable ports on the handle, so you can fit the brush and stylus to either end and switch between both without fuss. Also included in the pack is a top cap to protect either end, when not in use.
The brush head is the same nib featured in the original Nomad Brush design. While we worked primarily with the Long Tip brush, there is also a Short Tip model in the Compose series, which you can opt to use if you prefer.
The Long Tip is made from a blend of natural and synthetic fibres, and you’d be forgiven for mistaking its appearance for the real deal. The bristles are soft and flexible, and glide easily on the screen, which is ideal for more freeform sketching and painting. And, more importantly, you don’t have to be a Renoir to operate this machinery – the brush is intuitive enough to work at your own pace and ability.
From paintbrush to stylus, the new Glide Bevel Tip is made of the same fibres as the brush, but at a fraction of the length at 1mm and with a denser composition of bristles. Looking like an angled buzz cut, the Bevel tip works exceedingly well as a stylus, unencumbered by the rubberised tips of most other designs. Because of its finer nib, you get enough detail and accuracy to use it on an iPhone, too.
Macworld Australia‘s buying advice.
There’s very little we can fault with the Nomad Brush Compose; the new design has addressed the major issues of its predecessor, offering multi-function nib attachments for a range of uses. For those who do not have an interest in iPad art, the brush may not serve much purpose except to add extra cost. But, if you want optimal function to be able to draw, paint, sketch and write on your iPad, this is one device to rule them all.