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 Bamboo Stylus Solo just makes sense, especially if you’re serious about continuing your work away from that studio desktop.
First thing to take of (aside from the ‘other’ thing that I’ll eventually cover) is a design which unmistakably exudes a premium, yet straight-laced look where the metallic textured body is flanked at the ends with equally fine-looking accents for flair. At the writing/drawing tip of the stylus a spongy 6mm rubber nib that works using your device’s conductive recognition on compatible capacitive displays. Beyond that only the “Bamboo” logo further distinguishes this stylus from anything else. Overall, the package is understated and thankfully tasteful to the eyes.
If form over function is your preference then the Solo is pretty tame compared to other choices out there, which are usually more narrow. The 4.72″ length and weight (20g) was comfortable to hold even after several hours of dedicated use, 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 are up for the task (we used Bamboo Paper, Galaxy Note App, and Photoshop Touch). Performance lag during our time was an occasional issue no matter the method of input and can faulted 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.
For those who were curious the Stylus Solo (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 Solo is a great answer for the serious user who feels the need to be artistic away from their regular computer but the admission price for this privilege starts at a relatively pricey $30 – enough to make you think twice before jumping right in, despite being the cheapest model, especially when you consider its more expensive by $10 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 colorful stylus is certainly worth taking a look.
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