The tool of the trade
Despite that, users crave more precise interaction with their phones and tablets, especially for writing, drawing, sketching and illustrating – it's not just about tapping in a phone number or selecting which email to view.
The stylus pulls together various technologies that make using your device easier, more flexible and universally functional. For businesses, speed and accuracy are essential, with a stylus as the tool of the trade.
What to look for in a stylus
Here are some features you'll want to consider as you choose which stylus to buy:
Natural feel: A stylus must feel good in the hand and be comfortable to use for as long as you want. Beware of styluses that cramp your fingers or hand or make your hand feel tired after only a short while.
Design: Consider how your protects the nib (if it does so at all), and whether it is retractable, has a cap or includes a clasp that lets you attach it to a case to avoid loss. The case should feel good – smooth but not too slick, grippy but not cramping.
Friction: Marking up your tablet or phone screen shouldn't feel like a chore. You should be able to form letters and draw lines easily, with the marks appearing immediately and without lag. You want just the right amount of friction between the stylus nib and the glass so that your stylus does not drag or move so slickly that it skips, causing you to lose control. You don't want to have to press too hard for it to register, or fail to work with your screen protector.
Balance and weight: Moderation is the key. A stylus should be of medium height so that it is easy to handle and doesn't wobble in your hand. Weight should be evenly distributed throughout the body. If a stylus is too heavy, your hand will tire quickly, and if it's too light, you might lose control.
Precision: Whether you're handwriting text or sketching on a note, you want to be able to write consistently, without overlapping letters or erratic spacing. When you create a document, you don't want the stylus to get creative with your content or force you to compensate for its poor performance.
Read on for some great styluses for businesspeople on the go. [See related story: Best Tablets With Stylus]
Wacom Bamboo Tip ($49.95)
At 1.9mm, the pen lets you see exactly where the tip hits the glass for use with any app on either iOS or Android devices – no pairing necessary. A small side switch, which you can move to an up or down position, optimizes the stylus' performance for your device – up for most tablets and down for the iPad Pro. You can always replace the tip if it starts to wear out.
Apple Pencil ($114)
Adonit Ink ($44.99)
Like the Pencil, Adonit Ink is pressure sensitive, allowing you to press harder for thicker strokes and lighter for wispy strokes. It also supports palm rejection, while two shortcut buttons provide erase and right click functionality. The slender, balanced metal body includes a handy clip that lets you fasten the stylus to your pocket or notepad so no worries about losing it. Charge up the Ink with any microUSB for 80 hours of continuous use.
Adonit Dash 3 ($49.99)
This new third generation Dash features an improved 1.9mm tip that ditches the drag for a faster, more fluid writing experience. You can use Dash on any touch screen, and you don't have to bother connecting: Just turn on the stylus and it works for up to 14 hours.