Wacom Bamboo Duo Gen 4 Stylus Review

Recently, Wacom updated almost all of it's stylus line for touch screen devices, so we thought we would take a look at the updated version of one of our favorite styli, the Wacom Bamboo Duo Gen 3. We loved the Bamboo Duo Gen 3 because of it's weight, long lasting tip, great feel of the anodized aluminum, and the bonus of the real pen at the other end that you could use to write notes or sketch with on paper. In addition to all of this, the Bamboo Duo Gen 3 presented great value, and durability for the mobile designer. For the fourth generation,  Wacom redesigned the Bamboo duo from the ground up. Only the nib and the pen remain the same, but every other aspect of the stylus has been rethought.

To start with, Wacom changed the shaft design from a simple familiar cylindrical design to a more 'ergonomic' rounded triangle design. While an interesting concept, we found it less familiar than that of the previous generation at first, and it took some getting used to. One of the problems this presented is if you have large hands, you need to be careful how you hold the stylus so that the clip on the cap of the pen won't bother the top of your hand. Due to the triangular design, the cap can only go on in one of 3 orientations. In addition to changing the geometry of the main shaft, Wacom also went for an update to the 'color and trim' palate. The've updated from anodized aluminum to a silky smooth soft touch material that looks and feels great when new. In addition, the color palette is more 'earthy' compared to the bright anodized colors of the Gen 3 stylus. While it looks and feels great when new, we've noticed that soft touch materials don't travel as well and tend to break down over the years. In traveling with ours in a soft pouch with the standard iPad charging cable, small scratches and friction marks are already visible after just 2 weeks. The new pen cap is now magnetic and easily slips on to either end of the stylus. The clip has been redesigned to work well with iPad covers, a welcome feature making it a bit easier to carry the stylus with an iPad between meetings. That said, the clip won't 'pinch' a shirt pocket like previous generations... but do users really carry styli in their shirt pockets these days?

Weight and size are about the same as the 3rd generation, with the 4th Gen being a bit larger. Changing either the stylus nib or pen nib is achieved through simply pulling the magnetic 'caps' off of either end-- an update compared to the necessity to unscrew the 'caps' in the previous generation. While this is easier, we found that if the 'caps' are not perfectly seated, users might notice a bit of rattle, making the stylus feel just a bit less premium than the previous generation. In conclusion, we are a huge fan of the Bamboo Bamboo Duo Styli. The redesigned fourth generation is still a nicely made stylus that offers good value and quality. It is a very nice stylus and an interesting update in many ways. That said, we still prefer the practicality and durability of the 3rd generation Bamboo Duo. With the release of the fourth generation, there has never been a better time to snatch up one of the third generation Bamboo Duo's as their prices have dropped and they still are a very awesome stylus. To learn more: Wacom Bamboo Duo 4th GenerationWacom Bamboo 3rd Generation


Posted on

December 21, 2016