Review: Ten One Design Pogo Stylus
When Steve Jobs previewed the iPhone back in January 2007, the idea of a portable device with a touchscreen not including a stylus was new, scary, and unheard of. A glass screen meant that it was durable and easily-cleaned. Not having to worry about a stylus meant that you could just use it whenever and get quite fast at text input. However sometimes people want precision or have larger fingers, long fingernails, or some other reason that they can’t touch the iPhone’s (or iPod touch’s) screen. That’s where Ten One Design’s Pogo Stylus comes in.
The Pogo Stylus, introduced recently, sell for just under $20 and is available in four colors: black, gunmetal, silver, and cranberry. All are made out of aluminum, about the size and shape of a golf pencil, and unlike many other PDA styli, feature a soft tip designed to glide easily across the screen, clean it in some cases, and not scratch. Since the iPhone and iPod touch use capacitance to know when a finger is touching the screen versus some other object, the Pogo Stylus emulates this. This means that the Pogo Stylus also works with all laptop trackpads. Also included with the Pogo Stylus are two clips to attach the stylus to an iPod touch, iPhone, or iPhone 3G. These can be used with some cases and those are listed on the Ten One web site.
Many may wonder what the point is of a stylus for a device that doesn’t need one. The two main aspects are precision and improved accessibility. iPhones and iPod touches can be used while wearing gloves. You also can see what you’re typing on the small on-screen keyboard. Unfortunately, many may argue that $20 for just one stylus is a bit overpriced, considering that just a few years ago, replacement styli for Palm handhelds could be purchased in packs of three for about that price. Also, apart from tapping and drawing, the Pogo Stylus can’t be used to recreate most Multi-Touch gestures. However, the Pogo Stylus does fill a niche and the build quality is quite nice.
Overall, the Pogo Stylus is not something that everyone needs, but for people who want to use their iPhone or iPod touch like a traditional PDA, this just may be the product.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
The Pogo Stylus is a good—and the only—choice for people who want a stylus for an iPhone or iPod touch.
Pros: Good build quality, unique use, includes clips, can be used with laptop trackpads
Cons: Not necessary for everyone, a bit pricey