Tuesday, September 1, 1998

Stylin’ with the right stylus

As far as styli go, the point is rather nice. The bright yellow tip is highly visible, and it glides smoothly across the screen. Don't buy the Quattro-Pen Data for the highlighter, though. It's not what most people normally think of as a highlighter. It's a fluorescent orange ballpoint, and it tends to skip and blob. When that runs out, I'll replace it with a red Lamy M21 refill.

The only drawback to this product, other than the price, is that Rotring has no plans to sell the stylus separately. This means that you can't go to your local big-box office store, buy a less-expensive Rotring Quattro model and replace one of the pen points with the stylus. If you break the stylus, you'll have to send the pen in for warranty service.

Cross keeps me from getting cross

Of all the styli I own, the Cross is the one I turn to for really heavy-duty notetaking. I bought my titanium Townsend model, shown in Figure C, in a moment of weakness when Egghead closed its retail stores and sold in-stock PalmPilot accessories for ridiculously low prices.

FIGURE C

Go to town with this Cross titanium Townsend stylus.

It's almost eerie how much using the Digital Writer on a PalmPilot's screen feels like pen on paper. The rubbery polymer tip has a nice, cushioned action that makes it ideal for long writing sessions. Undoubtedly, one of the best features is its price. If you already have a Cross pen, you can upgrade it to a Digital Writer for $5. Call 1-800-AT-CROSS to order the Digital Writer refill.

Styli will always be a matter of personal preference, based on individual needs, aesthetics, and PalmPilot usage patterns. Even so, I find it hard to pick just one! No matter which stylus you choose, always practice safe screening and prevent scratches by using some kind of screen protector.

Claire Pieterek is a LAN/WAN designer at Whittman-Hart, Inc. in Denver. She has been a PalmPilot fanatic since buying a Pilot 5000 in May 1996. Claire can be reached via email at pilotgirl@pipeline.com, or on the PalmPower PowerBoards.