When taking notes or drawing on an iPad, you get better results with a stylus than with your finger. There are countless stylus options available, but I believe that Wacom was the first company to create a stylus with a smaller tip that allows you to be more precise when you draw or write. In large part because of that feature, the Wacom Bamboo Stylus has been my favorite stylus for the iPad, although I prefer the slightly longer model that includes a real pen.
Kensington, a company that has been making iPad accessories since Day 1, sells lots of styluses for the iPad. Indeed, before I switched to the Wacom Bamboo Stylus, the Kensington Virtuoso Stylus for Tablet was my favorite iPad stylus. Kensington sent me a free review sample of the new Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus, a completely new model in the Virtuoso line that includes a fine tip. The tip is similar in size to the tip on the Bamboo Stylus, but the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus costs less than the Bamboo Stylus.
The Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus comes in either black or white. Kensington sent me the white model. There is a silver band in the middle of the stylus that gives the appearance that the top is a cap that can be removed, but the band is just cosmetic; no part of the stylus can be removed or twisted.
The tip of the stylus is essentially the same size as the fine tip on the Bamboo Stylus. In the following picture, the original Bamboo Stylus is at the top (a model that Wacom is now calling the "solo"), the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus is in the middle, and the Kensington Virtuoso Stylus for Tablet (which has a traditional size tip) is at the bottom:
I suspect that many customers will try to decide between the Bamboo Stylus and the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus, and I see five things to consider.
Tip. The fine tip is the defining feature of both of these styluses, and they are incredibly similar. They are the same size and feel almost exactly the same when you are using them. The Bamboo Stylus tip is just slightly softer so you have slightly more give when you touch the screen, but I doubt that you would ever notice the difference in actual use. Thus, both of these have excellent, fine tips.
Length. The regular Bamboo Stylus is 4.75", which is shorter than a regular pen, and for that reason I prefer the duo version of the Wacom Bamboo stylus that is almost a half-inch longer. The Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus is about the same length as the Bamboo Stylus duo and (as you can see in the above picture) is about the same length as the Virtuoso Stylus for Tablet.
Weight and Feel. The Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus feels hollow and light. It weighs about 0.6 oz. By comparison, the regular Bamboo Stylus weighs about 0.7 oz and the Bamboo Stylus duo weighs about 0.8 oz. These sound like minor differences, but they are noticeable, and I prefer the weight of the Bamboo models, especially the duo, which feel more substantial. Having said that, I'm sure that others might prefer a lighter stylus.
You should also consider that the Bamboo Stylus has a metallic feel. Indeed, it sticks to the iPad's built-in magnet that is used to attach the Apple Smart Cover. The Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus has a plastic feel.
Style. You can see in the above picture that the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus has a sleek look to it with tapered ends. I won't try to pick a favorite here, but you'll have to decide which look you prefer.
Price. The regular Bamboo Stylus (also called the Solo) has an MSRP of $29.95, while the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus has an MSRP of only $19.99. The prices are a little closer if you buy on Amazon; you can currently get the Bamboo Stylus on Amazon for $22.05 while the current price for the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus on Amazon is $18.98. Note, however, that if you want the version of the Bamboo Stylus that is the same length as the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus, you need to purchase the Bamboo Stylus duo — currently unavailable on Amazon, so you need to pay the $39.95 MSRP when you buy on the Wacom website.
The Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus is an excellent stylus. Because of the fine tip, I consider it better for writing or drawing than most other iPad styluses on the market. I still prefer the Bamboo Stylus because I like the slight increase in weight and the metal finish, it feels more substantial in my hand. However, the version of the Bamboo Stylus that I prefer (the duo) costs twice as much: about $40 versus around $20 for the Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip. Thus, I'm sure that many people looking for a fine tip stylus will opt for the cheaper Virtuoso Pro Fine Tip Stylus, and I think that they will be happy with the purchase.