Review of TrueTip styli
TrueTip makes a range of replacement styli in the form of pen caps and finger styli. The point of either accessory can also be fitted with SVT caps designed to be used with Point-Of-Sale (POS) systems and touchscreens. There are a surprising number of “replacement styli” designs available but these from TrueTip are well made and smartly presented. ADVERTISEMENT
The picture below shows our review kit; you can see six pen caps (two of which are pre-installed onto Bic disposable pens) seven SVT caps and three finger styli. The off-white finger stylus is actually a glow-in-the-dark stylus.
A range of accessories from TrueTip
The design of the finger styli is broadly similar to the Stinger, which was reviewed here on BargainPDA recently. A band goes around your finger near the first joint; this holds the stylus in place and is molded together with the pointy part, which extends from the end of your finger. The TrueTip version feels and looks slightly better made than the Stinger, but is not adjustable in the way that the Stinger is; it’s a “one size fits all” design. The finger stylus was too tight for my thumb, and too loose for the last two fingers of my hand – not that I would ever use those fingers but I think I have average-sized hands, and I expect there are users out there with index finger sizes in that range.
One of the finger styli I tested is luminous, or “glow in the dark” if you prefer. It worked fairly well and might be useful if you use your PDA to navigate the night sky. It didn’t glow much but it retained its glow for a few minutes.
The main advantage of the finger sylus over the “regular” stylus is that you don’t need to keep putting it on and taking it off. You might get some funny looks but you could wear the finger stylus all day if you needed to tap your screen that much. There isn’t much it wll prevent you from doing, including typing on a mini keyboard if your PDA has one and you type with your thumbs. I have been testing this with a Zaurus SL-5600 and the new YOPY YP-3700 (which requires a pretty strong screen tap) and performance was good across the board.
The pen tops are really ridiculously simple, I mean, a pen top with a plastic point on it… But the thing is, these just work so well. It’s like having a very long, comfortably wide stylus, and guess what – it’s also a pen! Amazing. It also feels more comfortable for handwriting on the screen or graffiti-style input. The pen tops are intended to fit generic “disposable pens” and do a pretty good job, although the plastic is hard and there’s not much range; if the pen is only a little larger than a Bic disposable ballpoint, the cap gets stuck and you’re back to having a stylus which is not also a pen.
As a left handed user, I prefer the pen tops to the finger styli. They do not obscure so much of the screen when (e.g.) reaching for that close icon. Right handed users will get the same benefit when they need to tap on the left of the screen, even if it’s less common.
SVTs? Soft Vinyl Tips. These are little hats which fit onto the pen tops and finger styli, for use with types of touch screen requiring this type of point. I have not had the opportunity to test these, but the fit is good, they won’t fall off, and you could also use them as protective covers for the otherwise potentially dangerous pointed styli. Which brings us to the final test…
To provide a fair test versus the Stinger, I tried both the finger styli and pen tops in a mildly scientific self-defense test against a fierce wild animal. Luckily just such a creature was lurking under my desk earlier this evening. The finger stylus received about as much consideration as the Stinger did – that is to say that is is not effective. The pen top, however, was a different story as you can see below.
A visibily intimidated wild animal
Let’s face it, and I’ve said it before: You can tap your PDA Screen with just about anything. If you think a finger stylus is what you’re after, the TrueTip version is well made and fairly rugged. The pen top stylus is also a versatile solution although it may not be better than the built-in stylus on your PDA. I’ve been using these a lot on the subway where I don’t want to risk losing my real stylus and I think I’ll continue to carry the pens around for some time.
- Finger styli are not adjustable
- Pen tops don’t actually fit that wide a range of pens
- Slightly more expensive than the Stinger
- The pen cap styli are a good implementation of a simple design
- Very well made, these feel like they’ll last a long time
- Compatible with just about everything
- Glow-in-the-dark version of finger stylus available
- Can be fitted with Soft Vinyl Tips, if that’s what you need
- Losing one of these is less heart-breaking than losing your real stylus
The finger styli or pen caps are currently available in packs of four for $9.99. See TrueTip’s web site for more details.
Note: No animals OR BargainPDA editors were hurt during the making of this review.