“Neo… Do you think that is a finger you are using?”
The Stinger is an alternative stylus, which fits onto the end of your finger and is held in place using a little plastic belt. It is apparently compatible with any touch-screen PDA; I have been testing it on the Sharp Zaurus SL-5600 and an older Compaq iPaq 3670.
The Stinger comes in a three-pack priced at $5, but I think you’re only supposed to use one at a time, unless you’re one of “those” people.
Installation on your chosen finger is easy enough Adjust the belt, clip the little studs into place and you’re ready to go. You can trim the excess with a pair of scissors if you want to look really tidy.
Two of the three Stingers in our review pack installed without incident; the third one needed some serious squeezing before it would lock. Below you can see the three Stingers from this package. I cut the black one (top left) to size.
It felt a bit odd to tap the PDA Screen with a finger rather than a stylus, but after a few minutes it became more natural. The Stinger is accurate enough, but for a left-handed user your finger will obscure even more of the screen each time you reach for that scroll bar or close icon.
Also, the little plastic belt on the Stinger is located right on the first joint, which makes it a bit painful to bend the finger. This is just my finger though. Depending on the length of your digits, you may or may not experience this problem.
Would I use it, and if so, where?
With my Zaurus which is my real PDA, I usually carry a few iPaq styli in my pocket because I find them the most comfortable to hold. Of the three options (Zaurus stylus, iPaq stylus and Stinger) I would probably choose the Stinger last unless I was in a high-stress environment and was worried about dropping my stylus. I might need something like the Stinger on the NY Subway, where I am usually typing on my Zaurus keyboard but occasionally need to tap the screen. The advantage of the Stinger there is that it can stay installed and doesn t stop you typing with your thumbs.
If you were using your PDA on the deck of a boat, or maybe while riding a roller-coaster, where you might suddenly need to grab a hand rail, the Stinger would really come into its own. Short of gluing a stylus to your finger, this is definitely the best option for those, or other high activity environments.
It that weren t enough, it also looks like it could at a pinch be used for self-defense. So I tried using the Stinger to poke our dog but unfortunately she saw me coming and the device was of little use:
Let s face it You can tap your PDA Screen with just about anything. If you really want to use your finger, but don t want to leave greasy marks, or if you re too busy (or lazy) to keep taking a stylus out and putting it back, then maybe this is the device for you. If not, well, you can wear all three of them to X-Men 2 and pretend to be Wolverine.
Obscures the screen more than a stylus when used
Strap around the finger joint can get painful
Takes longer to put on your finger than pulling out a stylus
Virtually useless against wild animals
Fits just about any finger
Easy to install
No learning curve
Can be left in place after installation, even while typing or scratching head.
The Stinger Stylus is affordably priced at $4.99 for a three pack. They also have a special going where you buy three packs and get a fourth for free. Purchase from their web site.
Note: No dogs, and only one BargainPDA editor, were hurt during the production of this review.