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Why in the world would anyone combine a stylus and pen? Why in the world would anyone put the stylus nib where the eraser ought to be? Why in the world would you put a cheap ballpoint cartridge in a $35+ pen?
The Alupen Pro iPad stylus poses all of these questions, but it doesn’t provide any good answers.
What I like about the Alupen Pro
The best thing about the Alupen is the all-aluminum construction. It feels solid in the hand. Unfortunately, that’s also the only good thing about it.
What I don’t like about the Alupen Pro
Let’s start with the design. First, the Alupen Pro is shaped like a pencil, with the pen at the pointy end and the stylus at the end that ought to have an eraser. That means when you use the stylus, you feel like you are holding the thing upside-down, or else like you ought to be erasing something. On paper. It’s a bit jarring.
Either way, using the stylus isn’t a great experience. It feels like it is intended for a finger substitute — something you use for a moment to poke at an icon, not something you would spend time writing or drawing with.
To use the pen, you have to twist the tip, which does not have anything grippy on it to make the job easier. It’s doable, but not optimal. The pen itself is nothing special. It is a ballpoint, and it writes.
Writing with the Alupen Pro — using either end — is fine for short notes. If you try to use it for any length of time, you will discover why pencils are not made out of aluminum with sharp edges. (In other words, it isn’t very comfortable.)
Who should buy the Alupen Pro
If you own one of those iPad cases that hold your iPad and a legal pad side by side, then you’ll probably love a combination pen and stylus. Although if that describes you and you are willing to spend $35+ on a pen, you will be happier with the Bamboo Stylus Duo, which doesn’t feel like an eraser when you use the stylus, at least, and doesn’t have sharp edges to dig into your fingers.
Or, if you just want a nice, chunky iPad stylus, try the regular Alupen, which is what I had hoped to review in the first place. Because the stylus nib isn’t masquerading as a pencil eraser, it might actually be nice to write with.
In other words, nobody should buy this.
Reviewed by Sam Glover on .
Summary: Why in the world would anyone combine a stylus and pen? If you think you want such a combo, get the Bamboo Stylus Duo, not the Alupen Pro.
Score: 2 (out of 5)