Review: Pogo Connect – A Smart, Sensitive Stylus for iPad

Review: Pogo Connect – A Smart, Sensitive Stylus for iPad

When Steve Jobs took the stage in January of 2010 to announce the start of the Post-PC era and introduce the iPad, a shift began to take place in wide range or markets.  Text books became interactive iPad applications and iBooks, mobile computing shifted from cumbersome laptop to a sleek portable tablet, and art moved from paint on canvas to a finger on the screen.

Since then, several third-party tools have come on the market to help bridge the gap between the old and the new.  One of the most common tools to make the iPad more like it’s analog partner (pen and paper) is the stylus, and the folks over at Ten One Design have a series of styluses (or is it styli?) that can truly transform the iPad into a realistic canvas. I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to check out their most advanced stylus, the Pogo Connect, which offers unparalleled sensitivity and pressure response.

PogoConnect-iPad

Overview:

The Pogo Connect ($79.99 at tenonedesign.com) is a pressure sensitive stylus, specifically designed with iPad in mind.  Using Bluetooth 4.0 technology, the Pogo Connect pairs with your iPad through specific apps (full list at tenonedesign.com), and acts as a realistic paint brush, marker, or etc.  Unlike using your finger or a traditional stylus, the Pogo Connect uses it’s patent-pending “Crescendo Sensor” to translate your pressure into a widening stroke on the screen, regardless of the angle.

In my testing, I chose one of the most popular drawing apps in the App Store – Paper by FiftyThree.  Pairing the Pogo Connect was as simple as flipping a switch.  In Paper, simply activate “Pogo Connect” under settings, and it will enable Bluetooth and pair with the stylus.  The Pogo Connect doesn’t require any extra calibration, simply start drawing and be amazed (unless you’re an awful artist, like me).

PogoDrawing

As you draw, applying more or less pressure widens and narrows the stroke weight smoothly from a thin, subtle line to a thick, bold streak.  To make the Pogo Connect even better, if you decide you’re not a fan of the stroke you just added to your work of art, simple click the small button on the side of the stylus, and it will undo the previous move.  This makes “erasing” your mistakes very easy, without the need to reach for the undo button with the stylus or your finger.

When using the Pogo Connect outside of your drawing apps, it functions just as well as any other stylus (which I would expect).  The tip of the Pogo Connect is small enough to be accurate, but large enough to be consistent (many styluses tend to stray one way or the other).  The big drawback I found when using the Pogo Connect was the weight.  To power the Pogo Connect’s Bluetooth connectivity, a single AAA battery is housed in the barrel of the stylus, which adds roughly 10 grams to the overall weight.  To compensate, TenOneDesign has used a very lightweight aluminum for the body of the stylus, but with extended use, the Pogo Connect can begin to feel a bit heavy.  This isn’t a huge issue, considering I’ve used metal ink pen/stylus combo devices that are heavier still, but for long term use, this could prove to be an issue.

Verdict: [rating: 4]

The Pogo Connect is truly a stylus for artists looking to make their digital works more like a traditional medium piece of art.  The pressure sensitive tip and no-fuss setup makes it a great tool for turning your iPad into a beautiful canvas, whether you’re a beginning or a professional.  The ability to easily change tips (various firmness options coming), the convenience of a AAA-battery (instead of expensive watch batteries), and always-on design help to justify the price tag.  The additional “radar” function of the Pogo Connect (and associated Pogo Connect App) make finding your misplaced stylus  a breeze, as well.

PogoApp

Pros:

  • Simple pairing, without calibration
  • Wide range of compatible apps
  • Ability to use the stylus from any angle
  • Replaceable tips (true artists wear through the nubs pretty quickly)
  • Convenience and affordability of AAA batteries

Cons:

  • Weight (due to the AAA battery)
  • A bit pricey for a stylus

If you’re an artist, looking for a way to improve the experience of drawing/painting/etc on the iPad, check out the Pogo Connect, and the rest of the TenOneDesign’s Pogo styluses.

From now until August 31, 2013, TenOneDesign is encouraging all who wish to enter to submit their iPad drawn works of art for a chance to win tons of great prizes.  Check out the official contest rules and regulations, prizes, or submit your drawing at http://tenonedesign.com/contest

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