BoxWave’s Styra line of stylus replacements offer users additional features beyond what they can get in the standard one, including a ballpoint pen, in a stylus that still fits in the device.
|The Styra comes in simple,
no frills packaging.
BoxWave advertises the stylus as "3 in 1," but most users will only need two of the functions: the touchscreen stylus and ballpoint pen. The third function is a holdover from the classic Palm days–a reset pin revealed by unscrewing the lower tip. Even so, since some people still need it, BoxWave certainly delivers.
Conversely, the biggest value-added feature, the ballpoint pen, is to be found under the other end of the stylus, under the blunt end’s plastic cap.
Writing with it was surprisingly smooth–while it sometimes has the usual sort of troubles you get from an infrequently used pen, it’s largely reliable, and its writing is indistinguishable from a more conventional instrument.
Possibly the greatest compliment I can offer to the BoxWave stylus pen’s quality is this–I barely ever notice that I’m using it. In conventional use, it doesn’t feel different than the standard Dell Axim stylus, it performs every bit as well, and it’s never done anything untoward like pop its cap off while I’m yanking it out of the silo. It’s an almost invisible upgrade, right up until the moment you need to find a pen.
|Example of the stylus/pen for the
Dell Axim X50/X51 series.
It’s also pretty cheap. BoxWave sells the thing for anywhere from $5 to $20, depending on the device model and current discounts, but most of the time it’s around $10-$12, which is about what you’re likely to pay for a standard replacement stylus.
If you find that you use the pen extensively, you can also get ink refills: a package of three for around $10 to $14, yet another good deal. Because of the slim, single-piece design of the barrel, the refills are actually just like the original stylus, just minus the plastic ends.
I would have a hard time finding anything bad to say about the BoxWave stylus pen. It might not be comfortable for long-term writing, sure, but if you want to eliminate that panicked search for a writing tool, it’s hard to beat.
The Styra 3-in-1 stylus/pen is available from BoxWave.com.