Steve Jobs famously wanted to make the iPad without a stylus and show what a good design really means and he succeeded. All the tapping, dragging, typing, swiping and pinching is done with your finger on the iPad. But the unprecedented power and popularity of the iPad means that artists are now using the iPad to create beautiful work of art.
And a stylus enhances this experience of creating beautiful designs, pictures, sketches and detailed works of art so much that it's an inevitable part of the artists' kitty. A good stylus is a must-have for most artists. And today, we're looking at a pretty good stylus – the Zen Stylus for the iPad.
ZEN is a three-in-one stylus: it works as a precision stylus, a normal stylus with a flat base and a ballpoint pen. It looks just like the accessory that any designed would need. Coupled with powerful apps like Paper by 53 or Adobe's Ideas, ZEN stylus brings the experience an artist needs and craves for on the iPad.
We're obsessed with technology and are looking for ways to replicate the experience of sketching, writing and drawing on paper/canvas on the iPad. Given the differences between the two forms, there's going to be a lot of things to get used to. But a stylus is something you can't miss out of the equation. And when we're talking stylus, it's important to use a stylus that enhances and adds to the flow… not something that would cause friction and be an obstruction to the flow of creativity.
The ZEN stylus for iPad is a curious amalgamation of ideas. Most iPad stylus that I've seen/used are thick and some of them are abnormally so. The ZEN cuts down and makes it ergonomic. The stylus is thin as a regular, high-quality ballpoint pen. It's perfect because it works great for both writing and drawing.
The three parts of the ZEN stylus are:
- A ballpoint pen
- Fine-point precision stylus
- Silicone tip stylus
One of the first things I noticed about the stylus is that it's truly user-friendly in the sense that you can use it precisely the way you intend to. It's great for scribbling things on the iPad as in notes. It's great for sketching ideas with the precision stylus. And above all, quite obviously, it's great for painting out your ideas and refining them. The design suits every purpose and there's really a sense of ease holding and using the stylus.
The precision point lets you tilt the stylus in any angle and use the stylus as effortlessly as possible. You might have to put some pressure though and I find that a little disconcerting. Make sure you have the iPad's display covered with a good screen protector.
Depending on the dust and environment, the silicone rubber might pick up a lot of dust but it works just perfectly over time. There are no lags (depends on the app and the iPad) and using the stylus for routine usage – like tapping and selecting – are also easy.
Unlike a few styluses out there, the ZEN stylus doesn't look odd or out of place amidst a bunch of pens. It looks as much like a pen but works just great as an iPad stylus. Also, knowing that the market for multiple-purpose styluses isn't actually big, the ZEN should have a great start. In fact, it just did with its Kickstarter campaign raising more than two times the goal.
Given the right app, the ZEN stylus can be the best one you could get.
Check out their Kickstarter page for more details.