Having a touchscreen tablet opens up a bunch of possibilities, however using only your fingers to create a masterpiece is like a toddler painting a Rembrandt piece – an unlikely feat unless you’re sporting some serious artistic gifts. The majority of people out there may not need the finer touch of a writing utensil, but with programs like ArtRage and Photoshop Touch out in the wild a stylus like Wacom’s dual purpose Bamboo Stylus Duo theoretically makes sense, if you’re serious about continuing your work away from the studio desktop and still do some traditional on-paper writing.
First thing to take of (aside from the ‘other’ thing that I’ll eventually cover) is a design which unmistakably exudes a premium but straight-laced look where the metallic textured body is flanked at the ends with equally fine-looking accents for flair. At one end there’s the spongy 6mm rubber nib that works through conductive recognition on most (if not all) capacitive displays, and at the other end the metal cap hides a ballpoint ink pen with replaceable cartridge. Beyond that though only the “Bamboo” logo further distinguishes this stylus from anything else with the entire package being understated and thankfully tasteful to the eyes.
If form over function is your preference then the Duo is pretty tame compared to other choices out there, which are usually more narrow. The 5.15″ length and weight (24.1g) was comfortable (if noticeably heavier) to hold even after a few hours of rigorous use, and it goes without saying that the stylus performed exactly like we expected it to without too much of a fuss. performance was responsive when we tried the Bamboo on a number of devices such the iPad, iPhone, Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1, and even a Galaxy S II smartphone; it’s certainly a lot more accurate and precise than using your finger for handwriting and doodles as long the apps (we used Bamboo Paper, Galaxy Note App, and Photoshop Touch) themselves are up to the task.
Performance lag during our time was an occasional issue no matter the method of input and can probably be faulted more to the apps and devices themselves, but sporadic delays simply felt more evident with the Bamboo and made drawing finer details more of a challenge. If you ever have the need to write something on normal paper then the Duo can easily do that, too, though we found ourselves not using that end nearly as much as expected.
For those who were curious the Stylus Duo (or any current styli for that matter) isn’t capable of pressure sensitivity, but this is more of a obvious reality than an unexpected disappointment.
Remember that ‘other’ thing I mentioned earlier? The Bamboo Stylus Duo is a great answer for the serious user who feels the need to be artistic away from their regular computer but the price of enjoying this privilege starts at a relatively steep $40, This digitizer/pen tops the range Bamboo styli family and it’ll make you think twice, especially when you realize its double the price than its closest rival – the Pogo Sketch Stylus. However, if you can justify the purchase and are a heavy user of the various art or note-taking apps then Wacom’s multifunction stylus could end up becoming a valuable everyday tool.
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