Got an older iPad? Check out this stylus!
Before the iPad Pro and the incredible Apple Pencil, the iPad Air 2 was the top of the line iPad in Apple’s lineup. It was and still is a great iPad, even after more than a year on the market. For creatives however, the iPad Air 2 presented somewhat of a problem. A new manufacturing technique of the screen enabled the iPad Air 2 to be just a bit thinner than the original iPad Air. At the same time, this new technique and screen technology essentially made existing pressure sensitive styli incompatible with the iPad Air 2. Even nearly a year after the launch of the iPad Air 2, in September 2015 there were very few compatible pressure sensitive styli options available that worked with the iPad Air 2. Manufacturers like Adonit worked really hard to update firmware and software to make their styli compatible, but the results weren’t all that great. Near the end of 2015, Wacom quietly introduced a new stylus, the Wacom Bamboo Fineline 2, which it claimed was compatible with the iPad Air 2. Based on previous experience with other styli, we were a bit skeptical. In addition, after getting used to the amazing Apple Pencil, the question was, could the new Wacom stylus deliver a comparable experience? While uMake doesn’t support pressure sensitivity or tilt at this time, many other apps such as Procreate, Pixelmator, and Concepts do. As we feel uMake is part of a creative eco-system, we know that uMakers might use uMake to create a sketch in 3D and then paint over it in Procreate for example, and thus having a pressure sensitive stylus could help users take their ideas even further. After spending nearly 2 weeks with the Wacom Bamboo Fineline 2 and an iPad Air 2, it’s safe to say that this is indeed a very nice stylus that is compatible with the iPad Air 2. The pressure sensitivity is very nice, and the lag is nearly imperceptible. The ‘glide’ feel is similar to the offerings from Adonit, and a tad bit slipperier than the Apple Pencil, but it’s easy to get used to. The fit and finish is what you would come to expect from Wacom— nice use of materials, and built to be durable. The battery seems to last quite a while and easily charges with the included USB cable. The body girth is a bit thicker than that of the pencil, but similar to other powered styli offerings. While the experience is not as smooth as that of an Apple Pencil, this is definitely among the best styli for a any iPad that preceded the iPad Pro (iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad 4, iPad 3, and iPad Mini 1,2, and 3). If you have an older iPad and have been seeking a great active pressure sensitive stylus, The Wacom Bamboo Fineline 2 is a great option. And at about $40, the price is hard to beat!
July 27, 2016