There is a never-ending variety of styluses that aim to look like a pen, but sometimes it is nice to use something different. The Maglus stylus is unlike any other iPad stylus that I have ever tried. It is a high-quality stylus made of aluminum that has a nice weight and is somewhat rectangular in shape, with two flat sides. ApplyDea, the company that developed the stylus, sent me a free review unit to test, and I've been trying it as my primary stylus for several weeks now. As someone who normally prefers styluses that feel like a pen and have a fine tip, I was surprised how much I have realy enjoyed using the Maglus. This is a really nice stylus.
The Maglus website says that it has a "precision-machined aluminum body" with an "optimally balanced ergonomic form." That's an accurate description. The aluminum body gives the stylus a nice weight — not too heavy, but enough to feel like you have something of substance in your hand.
The Maglus has two sides that are flat. It looks sort of like a carpenter's pencil, and its flat sides work the same way that the do on a carpenter's pencil: they stop the stylus from rolling around on your desk. Each side has a thin rubbery area which prevents the stylus from slipping out of your hand when you use it (and which also gives it a nice, somewhat softer feel in your hand). When you combine the weight of the Maglus with the unique shape, it has a very nice feel in your hand, unlike any other stylus that I have tried.
Inside of the Maglus, there are two magnets (under the black rubber part). The combination of the magnets and a flat side mean that the Maglus sticks to the edge of an iPad or an Apple Smart Cover better than any other stylus that I have ever tried. Before I started using the Maglus, I thought that the magnets would just be a gimmick. To the contrary, this is a a fantastic feature, and one of the things that I like most about the stylus. It means that when you are using your iPad you can place the Maglus on the edge and it will not slide around. It also means that, if you use the Apple Smart Cover as I do, you can just fold the cover down and place the Maglus right on the edge, and then you can pick up the iPad and the Maglus stays in place as you are walking to your meeting.
The silicone tip of the Maglus is a little bit larger than the tips that I usually use on other styluses. As a result, you do get more of the feeling that you are writing with a tip the size of a crayon as opposed to a pen/pencil. Having said that, I have no complaints about this tip. It works very well on the iPad, and my iPad never had any trouble sensing the input. The tip also feels nice against the iPad screen.
The Maglus comes with an extra tip, handy if the original one wears down. That extra tip also comes in cool aluminum case, the neatest case that I've ever seen for a second tip. The tip attaches the the Maglus magnetically, so you can just pull one off and replace it with the spare. I see that you can also buy a microfibre tip for the Maglus if you want something that has less drag on the screen.
The Maglus also comes with a thin metal strip with sticky tape on the back; the idea is that you attach the metal strip to some object, and then you can always magnetically attach the Maglus to that strip. It's a neat idea, although not one that I've used because I can't figure out where to attach it.
I generally find myself using two types of styluses nowadays. Sometimes I like the extra precise tip of an active stylus, one that requires batteries or must be charged, such as the Adonit Jot Script. Other times, I don't want to be bothered with worrying about making sure that the stylus has power, and I prefer some of the other advantages of a traditional stylus such as the fact that it always makes a straight line even when writing diagonal on the screen (something that can be a problem with active styluses). For the times that I want a traditional stylus, I don't think that I can say that the Maglus is my favorite stylus — I still really like the original Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo and the Hand Stylus, and it still seems more natural to me to write with something the shape of a pen — but nevertheless the Maglus is a fantastic stylus. And even though the Maglus may not be my overall favorite non-active stylus, I still love the change of pace of using it instead of a more traditional stylus. Here is the Maglus along with some other popular styluses. From top to bottom, this is the Adonit Jot Script, the original Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo, the Hand Stylus, the Maglus, and the 2014 version of the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo (which will be subject of an upcoming review on iPhone J.D.):
If you are in the market for a non-active stylus, the Maglus should definitely be on your list as one to consider. It feels great in your hand, and the strong magnets give it an advantage over every other stylus when you are carrying an iPad and a stylus together or you want your stylus to stay in a convenient location so that it is there when you need it. Even if you already have a non-active stylus that you like, if you want to splurge and get a second non-active stylus just to have something different to use from time to time, the unique shape of the Maglus has lots of advantages and makes this a fantastic second stylus.