Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Stylin’ with the right stylus


By Claire Pieterek

Even though I've carried a PalmPilot for the past couple of years, I still find myself seduced by Levenger's (at http://www.levenger.com) slick catalogs full of beautiful pens and fine papers [So do we! --The editors]. Now, PDA stylus makers and traditional pen manufacturers are beginning to provide those of us who have gone electronic with many good alternatives to the stock styli that came with our PalmPilots. Using the right stylus, you can PalmPilot with pleasure.

The original plastic styli provided with the Pilot and PalmPilot organizers simply aren't good enough for more than brief use. With the too-small, too-light plastic stylus, I found myself getting writer's cramp in classes and meetings. PDA Panache soon came to my rescue with the Black Chrome PalmPilot Deluxe Stylus, colloquially known as the "Black Nail". Although it's been slightly redesigned (and also comes in a Palm III-compatible model which doesn't really resemble a nail), the Black Nail has long been considered the reference standard for PalmPilot replacement styli.

A more recent entrant, the PGHQ Stylus, made for PilotGear by the E&B Company, has since supplanted the Black Nail as my favorite silo-compatible stylus. The PGHQ Stylus is just a little longer and heavier than the Black Nail, and it comes in a number of different color combinations.

Although 3Com wised up and included a fairly good metal/plastic stylus with the Palm III, there are a number of new and intriguing products for PalmPilot people looking for better writing options.

The Throttle

A very cleverly designed and packaged product, the Throttle (as shown in Figure A) is made of smooth matte gray plastic, similar in color to the PalmPilot, with a bright red button. A gray Throttle with a green button the same color as the PalmPilot's power button might be a nice alternative.


Power up with your very own Throttle from ttools, LLC.

The Throttle provides an excellent solution for anyone who wants a good stylus and also needs a pen, without having to carry a zillion things in pocket or purse. One click of the Throttle's red button, and it's a ballpoint pen that takes a standard metal refill. The click action is good and the ballpoint included with the Throttle is good quality, not skippy or blobby. Click the red button again, and it's back in stylus mode.