Want: Wacom Creative Stylus 2

Wacom is a trusted name in digitization devices. Ask any creative who spends time working in front of a computer, and they’ll tell you about their experience with Wacom’s products.

As the tablet market grew, Wacom decided to lend its expertise in product design by introducing a line of styli. Wacom took its time in doing so:

By late 2012, we had the Pogo Connect, Adonit Jot Touch, and Hex3 Jaja. Wacom, the undisputed king of pressure-sensitive devices, could not be left out of the mix, but they took their time and came out with the Intuos Creative Stylus for iPad about a year after these competitors.

Source: iPad Smart Stylus Roundup – About.com (http://graphicssoft.about.com/od/mobilegraphics/ss/Smart-Stylus-Roundup.htm)

Wacom’s first iteration of the Creative Stylus (~$99 MSRP, discontinued but may be available at clearance prices on Amazon.com) was well-received. It featured 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, the standard that Wacom users have come to expect since the Intuos 4 made its debut in Q1 2009. Wireless communication with the iPad was established through Bluetooth 4.0, and the stylus was powered by a single AAAA battery.

Unfortunately, users knocked it for having too large a nib at the end.

The activation pressure was too high, resulting in greater wear on the nib, and making it awkward to use.

And the AAAA battery was not something that most people kept around at home.

To make matters worse, Apple’s new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display moved to a thinner display stack, which brought up a crop of new problems. Some styli, like the Pogo Connect, no longer worked as designed (Statement from TenOneDesign, ). The Intuos Creative Stylus suffered as well (Wacom EU Forum), and designers were forced to go back to the drawing board.

Enter the new Wacom Creative Stylus 2 ($79.99 MSRP, Wacom, Amazon.com)

The new Wacom Creative Stylus 2

Wacom iterated on the design of the original Creative Stylus, responding to customer needs.

The new Creative Stylus 2 features a fine tip

The fine tip on the Wacom Creative Stylus 2

The tip of the Wacom Creative Stylus 2 vs. the Original Creative Sylus
The tip of the Wacom Creative Stylus 2 vs. the Original Creative Sylus

It does away with the AAAA battery and moves to a Lithium Ion cell that recharges through the Micro-USB standard.

The battery is recharged through a standard Micro-USB port

I’m confident that this is going to be the tool of choice for creatives who have integrated iPad into their workflow. The Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 drops in mid-October, but is available to pre-order now.

If anyone at Wacom is reading this, feel free to send me a review unit.

  • Have you played with the Adonit Jot Touch? I wonder how these two compare, they both feat this new type of nib, they have rechargeable battery and 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity. So far it seems that Jot Touch has better support and as it uses a different technology it doesn’t seem to share the same type of problems as stylus like the original Creative Stylus from Wacom.

    • Negative: I have not yet used any pressure-sensitive styli designed for the iPad. Have you experienced either? Thank you for bringing the Adonit Jot Touch to my attention 🙂

      • I thought that the Jot still used the same tech as before, but no, now, both the Jot Touch and the Creative Stylus use basically the same tech. Jot Touch use the tech Adonit helped Adobe develop for their Ink & Slide, they call it pixel point but Wacom seems to use something very similar.

        Capacitive screens are calibrated to detect a minimum area of electrical conductor, therefore that’s why the nib are usually quite large – and inappropriate for drawing. There were those that used those transparent nibs to try to deal with the vision obstruction but I was never a big fan either. Now they are generating electrical conditivity in the nib and that’s why they are able to make the nib smaller, it creates a larger area than the actual physical area.

        The Ink & Slide from Adone is too expensive and I don’t really need that “ruler”, but there is also a price difference between the Jot Touch and Wacom Creative Stylus – despite the fact that they provide the same things basically.

        I just bought the Wacom because although there is not as much app support as the Jot Touch, I believe that the support should come sooner or later but it’s a gamble, I know. It will arrive in a couple of weeks and then I will be able to test it by myself. My friend has an old Adonit Jot I will give him for testing and ask what he think of the Wacom. The bugs that most Wacom users are complaining seem to be all app support related, be it for lack of support or because the app doesn’t work properly with the pen but I’m inclined to think that this is not hard to solve and Wacom has a name, I believe they will use all the power they have to increase app support. If that happens, Adonit may have to rethink their pricing.

        At least they both eliminated the two things I didn’t like, the weird and big nibs and the use of the weird AAAA batteries.