After several hours of research and analysis of around thirty models, we have come to the conclusion that the best tactile stylus for tablets is, in our eyes, the Ciscle . It takes advantage of its active operation to offer good accuracy while being compatible with the vast majority of devices on the market. It also displays a double-ended system, which allows a certain flexibility, and presents a well-supplied packaging.
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How did we choose?
To find the ideal solution, you have to ask yourself the right questions. In the case of a stylus, your choice should essentially be influenced by your use.
First, be aware that there are 3 types of styli:
- Passives: they have no specific functionality and simply replace the finger when interacting with the touch screen, being a little more precise. They offer an unnatural feeling because they require more pressure to function.
- Active ingredients: They take advantage of an internal power source to signal their location on the screen and therefore enjoy a much more natural feeling. They are generally more precise than their passive counterparts and the best ones may also be suitable for drawing. However, their functionality is generally limited because they do not connect to the device used.
- The owners: the top of the range is essentially composed of this type, which is the most optimized on the market. They are designed to be used with a specific range of devices and connect to them to offer specific features such as pressure and tilt detection. Alternatives exist but they often sacrifice certain functionalities linked to the specificity of each operating system, which makes them less interesting.
Then, once you have defined what is best for you, you need to analyze the following criteria:
- Ergonomics: It influences the grip of your stylus and determines if it is possible to use it for long periods without being inconvenienced. Thus, it is based on weight, materials and shape. Of course, robustness also comes into play, but at a secondary level. Aiming for a balanced and comfortable model is essential if you plan to use it regularly or for several hours.
- The type of tip : there are 2 kinds: the eraser, thicker and used mainly for navigation or imprecise tasks, and the tip, closer to a pen or pencil, which can be used for handwriting and drawing, as long as it is precise enough. The best models even incorporate a pressure sensitivity that allows you to influence the thickness of the line thanks to a moving tip or equipped with a sensor.
- Compatibility : as with any device, make sure your pen is usable with your hardware. In this sense, it can sometimes be useful to focus on proprietary models which increase the number of possibilities. In addition, the quality of the transcription is influenced by the program you use and the quality of your screen: an excellent model can offer deplorable results with your device whereas it is very precise with the majority of the models available.
- Features : for advanced use, you must dwell on this criterion. Thus, drawing enthusiasts must bet on a model sensitive to pressure and tilt to be able to vary the type of line where users of large screens must think of “Palm Rejection”, to isolate the screen from the contact of their hand when using a stylus. The proprietary models also integrate solutions linked to the system and a dedicated button (s).
On the basis of these various elements and after having gone through many user reviews, both English-speaking and French-speaking, we were able to reduce our original list of around thirty models to the 5 presented to you in this article.
Our Choice: Ciscle
This model is the most affordable active stylus on the market. It is quite flexible thanks to the presence of two tips and compatibility guaranteed with devices with capacities screen (even if Windows is finicky). It does not take over the Palm Rejection function, but the brand provides a half glove to counter this problem. However, be sure to use a screen protector to minimize the risk of micro scratches.
Light and practical, the Ciscle is pleasant to use in many circumstances. Its shape recalls that of a pen and, combined with its active function, it allows natural and intuitive use. It can be used for approximately 16 hours continuously and takes approximately 1.5 hours to fully recharge.
It is equipped with two types of tips which allows you to vary the pleasures. Thus, you are entitled to the traditional eraser, here covered with a fiber coating for a better glide, or with a point, based on copper. The latter is very thin (1.5 mm) which makes it precise enough for handwriting and drawing. However, a shift in use can be felt with certain less reactive screens.
Compatibility is ensured with the majority of current devices (capacitive screen) but Windows devices are still as reluctant. No connection is required, which guarantees flexibility.
As a bonus, the brand provides a fairly attractive package for purchase that includes storage that can be linked to your device, a USB cable for charging, an additional tip for the eraser and a half-glove. The latter is used to prevent your hand from influencing the screen when you use the stylus.
In the end, even if it is quite simple, this stylus is effective. Be sure to protect your screen with a protective film to minimize the risk of micro scratches. A white version is also available.
The best tablet stylus: Adonit Dash 3
Like the majority of styli of this type, the Dash 3 benefits from a very wide compatibility which allows any user to use it with his favorite device. The precision tip is intended to be effective, but you must make sure to use it as vertically as possible so as not to create a gap between the line on the screen and the tip of the stylus.
This active model is coated with brushed aluminum for a relatively premium feel. Its format and weight give the sensation of using a pencil. Its tip is also similar to a lead which makes it quite pleasant to use without compromising the precision, provided you hold your stylus as straight as possible to avoid any offset. The autonomy is approximately 14 hours and the full charge takes 45 minutes, via the dedicated magnetic support.
The tip itself is quite fine with a thickness of only 1.9 mm. This allows it to be used for both drawings and handwriting, provided it is loaded. In fact, no secondary end piece is integrated, which means monitoring the charge indicator.
In terms of compatibility, the stylus is intended to work with all capacitive screens on the market. However, users point out that curved screens and Windows devices can be a problem.
In the end, if you are looking for a qualitative solution, the Dash 3 is ideal. However, some consider it a bit expensive compared to some competitors … but it is the price of a brand recognized in the field.
The best tablet stylus: Apple Pencil (2nd generation)
True to the philosophy of the brand, the Pencil is intended only for Apple tablets. Depending on your device, you will have to choose one of the two versions available. The second generation is the most advanced and is reserved for the latest iPad Pro , but the first is just as effective while having compatibility extended to the majority of older devices.
Extremely simplistic in appearance, the Apple Pencil is not without interest. Its sober appearance, faithful to the style of the brand, hides a comfortable and balanced stylus. It is suitable for many uses but is a little too long for small hands. Its autonomy is about twelve hours and it can recharge wireless in 25 min.
It only has a single point tip that is precise and responsive. It is sensitive to pressure and tilt which allows you to instantly vary the line, just by modifying its grip. As a bonus, it includes a “double touch” function which allows you to switch between the active tool and a defined function among the following: eraser, previous tool, display of the color palette. It can also be used to turn off the stylus.
This device takes advantage of the Apple ecosystem by being fully integrated into it. Thus, it works instantly with all of the brand’s apps and most major apps. The Palm Rejection is also there.
Compatibility, on the other hand, is very limited. The Pencil (2nd generation) is only usable with the latest iPad Pro. If you have an older device, you must turn to the first version , just as effective even if some features are missing (the evolution is minimal).
In the end, it is the best stylus on the market and would have been our choice if its compatibility was not as reduced and its price as high.
A cheap alternative: Meko Disc Stylus
More affordable than the other products in our selection, it is also more basic. It uses a fairly useful double tip that is suitable for amateurs and professionals, with the exception of designers who will have to go their way. However, to take notes on the fly or sign a document, it is more than enough.
This passive stylus is a very good solution if you do not want to ruin yourself. It is dressed in a metallic body of the most beautiful effect which allows a good robustness and a balanced weight (neither too light nor too heavy). This is beneficial to the handling which is ultimately very pleasant.
The tips are composed of a rubber covered with fiber and a disc. The latter is a little atypical but allows a precise and pleasant route, even if it requires a certain time of adaptation. It consists of a transparent disc, the center of which acts as a point of precision. It is compatible with all capacities touch screen devices on the market with these two tips.
In the recommendations menu, we once again advise you to install a screen protector on your device to avoid damage (micro scratches) and to think of cleaning it regularly because the disc is sensitive to dirt which could result in a irregular line.
Finally, if you aim for a basic use, a stylus of this type can be very interesting while being affordable.
A high-end alternative: Microsoft Surface Pen
This very good stylus is however less effective than its competitor. However, it is the best solution for Microsoft devices and has great qualities such as an efficient and natural grip and sensitivity to both pressure and tilt. A Slim version is available and arises as a more premium revision, including an integrated battery.
Second major model in the world of proprietary products, the Surface Pen is also interesting. It offers a rendering worthy of its price range while being light and pleasant to take in hand. It still gives off a feeling of fragility which could put some people off. Power is supplied by a battery, the announced autonomy of which is 1 year.
On the end of the tips, it has a tip and an eraser. The whole is efficient and responsive while being precise. It takes into account the pressure (4,096 points) and the inclination which makes it interesting in drawing as in writing.
Compatibility is only ensured with the Surface range, via Bluetooth. In return, the integration with Windows Ink is complete, which allows many possibilities with all compatible programs. The integrated button can even be used as a right click, which eliminates the need for the mouse. The Palm Rejection, on the other hand, is directly integrated into the operating system and is therefore not linked to the stylus (even if its activation is automatic when it is used).
In the end, even if it is less effective than the Apple Pencil, the Surface Pen remains a very good stylus for supporters of the brand.
Amazon Basics Executive Stylus : This relatively basic stylus is useful for people who don’t want to use their finger to interact with their touch device. It is light and pleasant to take in hand. However, its use is quite limited because it has a “rubber” tip too thick to be used for writing or drawing.