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The AluPen didn’t make the cut for my best iPad styli post, but it definitely merits its own review. Unlike the AluPen Pro, a combination pen and stylus that I found disappointing, the regular AluPen is an outstanding iPad stylus, even if it didn’t quite squeak into my top 5.
What I like about the AluPen
The AluPen is milled from a chunk of aluminum. It’s nice and chunky, without being too fat. It still feels like a pen — or a pencil, really, with its flat sides. Unlike the sharp edges on the AluPen Pro, the edges of the regular AluPen are nicely rounded so they don’t cut into your fingers, and the hexagonal shape makes for a comfortable grip.
The rubber tip slides nicely over the surface of my iPad. It’s not quite as smooth as the Pogo+, which has the best tip I’ve yet tested, but it’s still a very good feel when writing and drawing.
It’s a small thing, but the AluPen comes with a leather sheath to protect it when you aren’t using it. Nobody else seems to think stylus tips need protection, but it makes me feel better knowing it’s not getting scraped up in my pocket with my keys — or banging up against my phone’s screen.
What I don’t like about the AluPen
Really, just one thing: the tip is too big (image from The Gadgeteer). Even the much-chunkier Cosmonaut, which feels like holding sidewalk chalk, has a smaller tip. The size of the tip on the AluPen makes it more of a substitute for your finger (if you are wearing gloves or your finger feels inelegant, for some reason) than an ideal stylus for writing and drawing.
Reviewed by Sam Glover on .
Summary: The AluPen is a beautiful iPad stylus that feels great to use, but it’s better for pointing than it is for writing and drawing.
Score: 4 (out of 5)