Apple has never shown much interest in styluses, even as companies like Samsung and Microsoft have embraced them as major selling points for smartphones and tablets. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs even went as far as saying "If you see a stylus, they blew it," on one occasion, and at Macworld in 2007, he asked "Who wants a stylus? Nobody wants a stylus."
Apple's focus on the fingertip as the best input method doesn't mean styluses are entirely pointless -- they can be useful for taking notes, making sketches, creating artwork, and in dozens of other situations. Luckily, Apple's disinterest in the stylus hasn't stopped third-party accessory makers from developing them, and eight years after the iPhone first debuted, there are a range of stylus options on the market.
Adonit is a company that got into the stylus game early, debuting its first stylus on Kickstarter in 2011. The Adonit Jot was one of the first styluses to incorporate a thin plastic precision disc, doing away with a rubber tip to let users see more of the screen while writing. Since then, Adonit has gone on to make a range of styluses, some that even connect via Bluetooth to incorporate pressure sensitivity.
The company's newest styluses, the Jot Pro and the Jot Mini, are standard non-connected styluses, but they're the culmination of years of work perfecting the stylus based on customer feedback and they're some of the nicest writing utensils that Adonit has produced yet. Get a quick look at the Jot Pro or Jot Mini in the video below, or keep reading to see our full thoughts on the two styluses.
What's in the Box
The Jot Pro and the Jot Mini come nicely packaged in an outer cardboard box and a plastic insert with an adhesive strap that holds them in place during shipping. They arrive with caps in place to keep the tip from being damaged and are ready to use once the cap is removed and affixed to the bottom of the stylus.
Design and Features
Both the Jot Pro and the Jot Mini are made from a lightweight aluminum in black or silver that matches the aluminum backing of the silver/space gray iPad and iPhone. Each comes with a screw-off cap that connects to both ends of the stylus and serves two purposes -- keeping the stylus safe during transport in a bag or pocket and extending the size of the stylus when in use.
Each version comes with a built-in clip at the end that allows the stylus to clip onto a shirt pocket or bag and they both have the same plastic tip.
The larger Jot Pro has a few features not found in the miniature version. In addition to being both larger and heavier (123mm and 20 grams vs 98.7mm and 13 grams), it comes with a textured grip to make it easier to hold and a cushion at the tip that gives it a bit more flexibility against the screen for quieter writing.
When it comes to styluses, some of the most important elements to consider are the tip of the device, the weight, and how it feels in the hand, as all of these can impact the writing or sketching experience.
The major benefit of the plastic tip of the Jot Pro and Jot Mini is the ability to see the entire screen when you're writing or sketching. With a larger rubber-tipped stylus, the screen is obscured so you can't see the point where the stylus connects to the screen. The plastic tip of the Jot isn't inherently more accurate than a rubber tip, but it can feel more precise because you can see what you're doing.
Writing with a rubber-tipped stylus can sometimes cause overcompensation resulting in distortion because it's difficult to see the letters being formed, but the Jot Pro alleviates that problem for writing that's clearer, especially when writing small letters.
The downside is that there's more resistance against the screen with the Jot Pro, which means that the writing experience is not quite as smooth. This is more evident when attempting to sketch, but it's definitely noticeable when writing too. This extra drag isn't a deal breaker by any means due to the fact that it's fairly subtle, but it's something to be aware of when choosing a stylus.
Earlier Jot styluses had some issues with pivoting and the plastic tip popping off, but those problems seem to been resolved. The tip of both the Jot Mini and the Jot Pro pivoted smoothly and allowed for uninterrupted writing at any angle.
One major con of both styluses and of the plastic tip in general is the noise. When writing or drawing, there's a distinctive click that's similar to the tap of a fingernail against the screen. The larger Jot Pro has a cushioned tip that provides a somewhat smoother writing experience and a slight dampening of the sound, but the click is still very much audible with either stylus.
Weight and hand feel may not seem like important factors when picking a stylus, but these elements can have an impact on the fluidity of writing and the feel of your hand after writing for a long period of time.
The Jot Pro is slightly thicker than your standard pen, and about as heavy as a nice quality pen you might buy for $40 or $50. It has a textured grip and overall, it feels nice in the hand. The extra weight helps make writing somewhat smoother, and its pen-like feel makes it comfortable to use for long note taking or drawing sessions.
The Jot Mini is smaller, lighter, and thinner than the Jot Pro. The build quality is great, but its small size means that it is slightly less comfortable to hold. Its compact size and light weight make it a great travel stylus for occasional use.
Who's it For?
With the Jot Pro and the Jot Mini, you're getting precision at the cost of a bit of drag on the screen and a clicking sound that might be annoying to some. It's an excellent all around stylus and it really shines in precision writing and drawing situations due to its ability to allow its user to see the entire screen.
Unless you need something portable and low cost, the Jot Pro is the better pick over the Jot Mini. It's larger size means it's more comfortable to use for long periods of time, and its cushioned tip offers a smoother, quieter writing experience.
- Full field of view
- Very precise feel
- Excellent form factor
- Pricer than most rubber-tipped styluses
- Clicking sound on screen
- Slight drag compared to rubber tip