Three months ago I reviewed the Jot Pro stylus by Adonit. I found it to be a high-quality stylus that offered a unique feature: a fine point with a clear disc at the end, a combination that made it the most precise stylus that I had ever tried with an iPad. But I had a few complaints about this otherwise excellent product: it was noisy every time the stylus tip tapped the screen, and there was something not quite right (to me) about how it felt on the screen. On November 1, 2012, Adonit released a second generation version, and Adonit sent me a free sample to review. I'm thrilled to see that the new Jot Pro fixes most of the problems I noted in my original review, resulting in a really incredible stylus.
If you haven't read, or don't remember, my review of the first generation version of this stylus, you might want to take it a look at it because 95% of the Jot Pro remains the same. The Jot Pro still has a very sharp point like a pen — unlike every other stylus on the market. That sharp point is connected to a clear disc that is large enough for the iPad to sense it (the iPad is made to sense something the size of a fingertip, not the size of a pen tip), but because the disc is clear you can see right through to the screen. As a result, you can be incredibly precise. With other styluses, you might feel like you are taking notes with a crayon or a marker. With the Jot Pro, you get the sensation that you are taking notes with a pen. And the stylus itself has a great weight, a rubber grip that is comfortable in your hand, and a cap to protect the tip that screws on the other side when you are using the stylus. The first generation Jot Pro felt like a premium product, and the same is true for the second generation Jot Pro. Here is the second generation Jot Pro next to my other favorite stylus for the iPad, the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo:
What's different about the second generation Jot Pro is that Adonit improved the tip. To reduce the harshness and the loud tap every time that the disc touches your iPad screen, the pointed tip is now two parts instead of one with a small point at the end that is supported by some sort of spring mechanism so that it gives when you press it down. View the animation on this page to see how it works in action. In this next picture, the old Jot Pro is on the left and the new Jot Pro is on the right:
Although you can still hear a slight sound when the second generation Jot Pro touches the screen, it is much softer than the first generation Jot Pro, and reduced enough to no longer be an issue. This is the major difference between the first and second generation Jot Pro, and it is a major improvement.
Adonit also made the disc itself smaller. Adonit bills this as a way to provide more accuracy. I'm not sure about that — the original Jot Pro already seemed incredibly accurate — but it does make the disc feel better against the glass screen of the iPad, and perhaps is another reason that the noise is reduced when tapping the screen.
If that was all that I had to say about the Jot Pro, I would conclude this review by saying that it is my favorite iPad stylus on the market today. Unfortunately, I noticed one problem with the Jot Pro that doesn't occur all the time, but it is annoying when it occurs. Earlier this week I attended a court hearing that lasted about five hours and I took notes throughout the hearing using the excellent GoodNotes app on my iPad mini. I switched back and forth between the Jot Pro and the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo to compare the two over the course of that long hearing. For the most part both were excellent, but every once in a while I would find that the "ink" drawn with the Jot Pro would skip. Here are some examples:
As you can see from the gaps in the "2" and the "3" in the first image, the "r" and the "f" in the second image, and the "g" in the third image above, the Jot Pro seemed to sometimes lose contact with the iPad screen. I tried applying more or less pressure to the Jot Pro, but that didn't seem to make a difference. Let me emphasize that this happened rarely with the Jot Pro, but it did happen enough for me to notice it, and it never happens at all with the Bamboo Stylus duo.
[UPDATE 6/24/2013: I encountered those gaps using the GoodNotes app. On June 21, 2013, GoodNotes was updated to version 3.10 and one of the new features is "Jot Touch improvements." The Jot Touch is a version of the Jot Pro that adds Bluetooth and thus adds pressure sensitivity. Rhys pointed out in a comment to this post that the update appeared to solve the gap problem, and in my initial tests, I've seen this too. Thus, it appears that software developers can fine tune their apps to work better with the Jot Touch/Jot Pro. This is great news, and should mean that as long as you use the correct app, you may not have to worry about gaps.]
The only other drawbacks I noticed with the Jot Pro also existed with the original version. First, I wish the Jot Pro had a clip for when I put it in my shirt pocket. Second, the Jot Pro works best when you are moving the tip across your screen, but when you need to tap once on an on-screen button, the Jot Pro does not always work — whereas my fingertip or a stylus with a more traditional tip such as the Bamboo Stylus do always works. Perhaps the iPad's occasional inability to respond when you tap once with the Jot Pro is in some way related to the gaps that would sometimes appear when I was writing?
My main use for a stylus is taking handwritten notes, but I should note that if you are using a drawing program such as the fun Paper app by FiftyThree, the Jot Pro is miles ahead of other styluses. The more precise tip and the see through disc makes it much easier to be precise with your drawings.
For taking notes with an app such as GoodNotes, however, I'm torn as to whether the new Jot Pro or the Bamboo Stylus is better. They each have a different feel against the screen, but both feel really good. The Jot Pro is more precise but as noted above occasionally less responsive, while the Bamboo Stylus always elicits a response from the iPad but does feel more like you are using a crayon than a pen tip. If you think that a more precise tip would be appealing to you, I highly recommend the Jot Pro. It is one of the very best iPad styluses on the market today.
Note that while you can buy a Jot Pro on Amazon, it appears that Amazon is still selling the first generation version. Until that changes, I recommend that you buy directly from Adonit. [UPDATE: You can now get the second generation on Amazon; link added below.] You can get it in Gun Metal (what I tested), Silver, Turquoise or Red.