The steel-wool-like nibs of the TruGlide styli (the manufacturer calls it conductive microfiber) glide across a tablet’s screen with almost no resistance, and the manufacturer claims they will last 10 times as long as a rubber nib.

There are three styles, the basic, mini, and Duo, a combo pen and stylus.

What I like about the TruGlide styli

The microfiber tips of the TruGlide styli are attached in a way that makes them sort of bubble out from the barrel just a bit. This seems like it would make writing feel awkward, as if you were dragging a small ball across the screen. Fortunately, it doesn’t — although it still bugs me. The microfiber tip is fairly rigid, and mostly holds its shape as you write. If they last as long as they are supposed to, you will get a lot more mileage out of a TruGlide, too. (Although none of my rubber-tipped styli have worn out, yet, and I’ve been using most of them for a couple of years.)

The TruGlide tip is also extremely conductive. With some styli, I have felt like I have to press hard in order to engage the screen. With the TruGlide, I barely have to touch the screen. Any contact, no matter how light, will work.

The pen-and-stylus combo, the Duo is pretty much the perfect size and weight for writing. Only the Bamboo comes close, of the styli I have reviewed thus far. It’s unfortunate it doesn’t come in a stylus-only version.

What I don’t like about the TruGlide styli

The basic and mini are just ugly, and the pocket clip on the basic stylus is more likely to shred your pocket than hold your stylus there. (I don’t know about you, but I usually tuck a stylus into the inner pocket on my suit jacket, since I often use my iPad for taking notes.)

Friction isn’t always a bad thing. Think of using a pen, pencil, or marker on paper, for example. There is always friction, and it helps you draw lines and corners and curves. Take away the friction, and you have to adjust in order to translate your intent to the screen. But worse, the lack of friction takes away any “feel” that remains when drawing or writing on a smooth pane of glass. I love writing with fountain pens because I can feel the texture of the paper as I write, which connects me to the page and the words I am putting on it.

A stylus should have some friction, but the question is how much. Most of the cheap, rubber-tipped styli have too much. The Pogo Sketch+, the Wacom Bamboo, and the Cosmonaut are just about right. The TruGlide has far too little. Writing with one feels more like gesturing than writing. I’m sure it’s good for playing slashy games like Fruit Ninja, but it’s not great for drawing or writing.


TruGlide Stylus

Reviewed by Sam Glover on .

Summary: The TruGlide styli have a durable, nearly frictionless microfiber tip that, unfortunately, robs them of feel.

Score: 3 (out of 5)

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