Recently two digital drawing tools—specific for iPads—were released: a Bluetooth-based stylus called Pencil and in June of this year, the Adobe Ink and Slide. If you are an artist or just an artsy tech geek like us—and you are as obsessed about cost-effectiveness as we are… you’ve been carefully watching these two. Here’s what we’re thinking so far.
Adobe’s Ink & Slide hardware are bundled together and they are, respectively, a stylus and a digital “ruler” to be used exclusively with two of Adobe’s proprietary apps for now: Line and Sketch. The apps, incidentally, are free downloads and can be used with any stylus, but of course, work best with the Ink and Slide hardware. These tools enable drawing smooth lines, accurate shapes and various rulers, and tie in with Adobe’s Creative Cloud, and will no doubt feature seamless integration with more Adobe apps later on.
But in terms of cost-effectiveness in free-form drawing capability, our favorite has to be Fifty-Three’s Pencil right now. Sure, both of these products are designed to work best paired with their specific software counterparts, and are for later-generation iPads—containing “palm rejection” features where you can draw comfortably and naturally resting your hand against a tablet surface. But in comparing styluses, the Ink is not sold separately from the Slide, and costs $199.99—and the Pencil, for as little as $59.99, (which also comes with its basic free app – Paper) gives the user the ability to create fine detail, smudging, blending as well as erasing, all with one device. And, unless you are a draftsman or architect, you won’t need much more than this—unless you have been diagnosed with bleeding edge, early tech adoption syndrome.