A stylus is one of the most useful accessories for an iPad. You can take notes (using an app like GoodNotes) or draw pictures (with an app like Paper). For a change of pace, it is sometimes nice to use a stylus to tap buttons during regular use of an iPad instead of using your finger. And if you are annotating a PDF file — such as highlighting and adding margin notes to a case you downloaded from Westlaw — I find that I am more productive with a stylus. One of the very first styluses for the iPad was the Pogo Stylus by Ten One Design, and I reviewed it in 2010 just a few weeks after I started using an iPad. I was never a big fan of that stylus because it was too small and light and it had an unusual tip which I never found as effective as a soft rubber dome.
All of that changed in late 2013 when Ten One introduced a completely redesigned version of the Pogo Stylus. Ten One sent me a free review sample of this $20 stylus and I've been trying it out for the last few weeks, comparing it to my current favorite stylus with a traditional rubber tip, the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo. This new version of the Pogo Stylus is much, much better than the original Pogo, and while I still prefer the Bamboo Stylus duo for the reasons noted below, the new Pogo is an excellent stylus that I can recommend.
The new Pogo Stylus includes a lot of the features that I love on the Bamboo Stylus. First, it has the circumference of a normal pen and feels nice in your hand. Second, it includes a clip to make it easy to carry in a shirt pocket. And like the Bamboo Stylus, if you ever want to remove the clip, you can just unscrew the top and take it off. (I don't understand why people do that — a stylus without a clip is not only harder to transport but it also tends to roll of a desk — but to each his own.)
Also like the Bamboo Stylus, the new Pogo has a small rubber tip, about as small as a tip can get and still have the iPad recognize it. I find it much easier to write with these smaller tips than with the larger tips that you find on cheap styluses. In the following picture, the new Pogo is at the top, and the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo is at the bottom:
Rubber tips can wear down after use, so it is nice to have an option to buy replacement tips. Wacom offers this for the Bamboo, and even offers a firm tip for those who prefer that feel (I don't). The new Pogo has an ingenious tip that is connected to the stylus by a magnet. It is more than strong enough that the tip never comes off in normal use, but if you tug at it you can remove the tip. Replacement tips come in a set of two for $8. I should note that in my many years of using styluses I have never once worn down a tip to the point that I had to replace it, but I know from reports I've read on the Internet that others have found the need to replace a stylus tip. It's nice to know that if you do wear down the tip, you don't have to buy a whole new stylus.
The features of the new Pogo Stylus that differentiate it from the Bamboo Stylus are, frankly, the features that make me prefer the Bamboo. First, the Pogo is about a quarter of an inch shorter than the Bamboo. That doesn't sound like a lot, but the length of the Bamboo is closer to that of a traditional pen and I find that it feels better in my hand. Having said that, the new Pogo is still long enough to work just fine, and you might actually prefer something that is slightly shorter and takes up less space.
Second, the new Pogo weighs less than the Bamboo. The Bamboo is about 0.9 ounces; the new Pogo is about 0.65 ounces. I prefer the weight of the Bamboo — it is certainly not too heavy, and feels like it has substance to it. The new Pogo weighs more than some cheap styluses that I have tried and quickly discarded, and the stylus certainly feels strong enough. It's not like you are going to bend the Pogo or anything like that. My personal preference is just for something with a little more heft to it. If you feel the same way, you'll prefer the Bamboo. If you prefer something lighter, you'll prefer the Pogo.
Third, the new Pogo doesn't include a real pen on the other end. That's the "duo" part of the Bamboo Stylus duo. I like being able to carry a single stylus in my pocket and, for those rare occasions when I need a real pen (such as a sign-in sheet in court) I have that too.
In many ways, the new Pogo is more of a direct competitor to the Wacom Bamboo Stylus solo, the version of the Bamboo that doesn't have a pen and is shorter and lighter, and now costs $17 on Amazon. You need to pay $29.95 on Amazon for the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo, so the Pogo is two-thirds the price at $19.95.
I understand that $20 versus $30 may seem like the difference between an impulse buy and a larger investment. Based on the price alone, the new Pogo may be the better purchase for you. Moreover, if your preferences are different than mine and you prefer a stylus that weighs a little less and is slightly more petite, although certainly not too short, then the new Pogo might be even better than the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo. For me, if both styluses are within reach, I always prefer the Wacom Bamboo Stylus duo. But during my tests, when the Pogo was the one that I had with me, I certainly enjoyed using the Pogo. It's a nice stylus. I think that most everyone would agree that the new version of the Pogo Stylus is a vast improvement over the original.
You can currently buy the new version of the Pogo Stylus directly from Ten One, so that is the link that I have below. I suspect that it won't be long before the new Pogo shows up on Amazon.