We buy tablets for different reasons, whether it be for traditional internet browsing and email or being able to watch movies on the go on a much larger screen than our mobile phones. For me, yes I bought it for all of those reasons too but also because I thought I could use it as a note taking device as a sketchbook. This way could completely ditch pen and paper. I purchased an iPad and quickly learned that trying to take notes and draw with your finger just doesn’t work well. Having a stylus is really the only way to go when trying to write or draw as it feels more natural, but you really need to have the right kind of stylus in order to have a great experience. With that said, I’m looking at the the GoSmart 200 and 300 series stylus which are of a completely different type than any of the previous styluses I’ve used.
Design and Build
I’m combining both the GoSmart 200 and 300 series into one review because they are essentially the same stylus, just with a different look and feel. I’ll get into the look in a bit but I’ll first talk about the construction. Both styluses are made of solid aerospace-grade aluminum giving them a very expensive look. The aluminum also gives off that high quality feeling. That however is not what makes these GoSmart styluses different. What makes them different are their unique tips that they use. Unlike the squishy rubber tips that are on most styluses used for capacitive touch screens, the GoSmart ones use a see-thru, flexible, Teflon-coated tip that is made out of metal. What this means is a more precise tip and one in which you can accurately see what you’re actually writing. With other styluses, it’s very hard to be precise with them because of how large the tips are.
The GoSmart 200 series stylus is a more traditionally shaped pen style with a very straight pen like body, similar to a BIC. Even the cap has a clip on it so you can clip it to your pocket. This is the more normal looking design and I think the one most people would probably get.
The GoSmart 300 series on the other hand has a very unique look that would best be described as a rocket ship. Yes, it literally looks like a rocket with a body that tapers off into a sharp point. The only reason it looks like a rocket ship is because of the cap which looks like the bottom of a rocket. It has 4 small wings that protrude out from the cap which you can actually use to make the the 300 stand upright when not in use. It also has another function in which the fins keep the stylus from rolling when layed on its side. The 300 series body itself is thicker in the middle than it is at the ends. It has almost a paintbrush feel to it when in use and is actually very comfortable to hold.
This is where the GoSmart 200 and 300 series stylus differ from other stylus. The tip is made out of metal but is teflon coated to provide a smooth feel when gliding across the screen. It has very little friction when compared to rubber tipped styluses. It also has a specially shaped tip that is a circle with a cross in the middle. You can see completely through the circle as it is hollowed out and the point at which your strokes register are at the center of the cross section. That makes writing and drawing with the GoSmart very accurate in comparison to rubber tipped points that are very inaccurate and you often have to guess where the center point is. The point on the GoSmart also has a very flexible spring on it that allows you to adjust the angle of writing.
On the iPad Mini, I had noticed that many of my other styluses were not registering the same as they did on my iPad 2. I had to litterally push down harder in order for them to work which threw me off a bit. This also meant that I wasn’t getting the type of accuracy I was on the bigger iPads. Now, with the GoSmart, it functions perfectly on the iPad Mini. Very little force is needed to make it register. In fact, you can literally just place the tip on the screen and lightly drag it across the screen and it would still work. That’s how sensitive it is. This again makes the GoSmart very accurate and one of the best styluses I’ve ever used.
I’ve used everything from rubber tips to brush style tips and nothing has come close to the accuracy and smoothness that the GoSmart 200 and 300 series stylus has. I use to have real problems writing and sketching on the iPad in terms of accuracy and even more so with the iPad Mini. After switching to the GoSmart styluses, all my accuracy issues disappeared. The stylus is very well made and the aluminum construction makes it very sturdy and strong, though you will have to be a bit careful with the tip and always use the provided cap when in storage. If you don’t, it can be possible to damage the tip.
Oh and if you’re wondering, I do use a screen protector with my iPad Mini and the stylus still glides quite smoothly across the screen even with it on.
The GoSmart 200 and 300 series are available in a magnetic and non-magnetic edition. Magnetic version lets you attach the stylus to your iPad or any metal surface. It’s not necessary to have, but the price difference between the two versions is only $1. Both the 200/300 series go for $23.95 without the magnet and $24.95 with the magnet can can be purchased with a variety of different cap colors.