Many people like the idea of firmly integrating a pen into their handhelds. However, the high price for such gadgets made many people think twice. StylusCentral is currently selling the Cross MicroPen for just 4.99$-and we review it for you!
This stylus needs to be assembled before use-it consists of the pen part and an exchangeable nib that carries the screen part AND also connects to the stylus silo. The nib needs to be pressed onto the pen firmly and also in the right direction. My hands lacked the strength for the assembly, and a small gap stayed between pen and nib. However, using a table helped!
This is the thinnest stylus I ever faced in my life. I gathered a few styli in this comparison photo(Cross, Brando TT 3in1, E2 PalmOne, Vii PalmOne):
When using the stylus on a touchscreen, you actually use the rubber cone on the connector of the stylus. This is bad, as the cone will likely be damaged when carrying the handheld around. Using a rubber cone for touch screen input is a new thing for me-but it works well. You have a bit more ‘feedback’ from the Digitizer surface, and writing feels more paperlike. The thinness of the stylus is annoying though-my thumb starts to hurt a tiny bit faster than with a T3 stylus. Also, the stylus lacks a reset pin. A T3 and a TE2 could be reset with the pen tip, but a Vii was not resettable.
Writing on paper always was a domain of Cross-and this stylus makes no difference. You ‘expose’ the pen’s tip by turning the back:
Don’t ask why, but writing with this thing almost feels better than writing with a regular ball pen. The output looks a bit better than the Brando 3-in-1 stylus, here is a comparison photo.
One can use one nib with multiple kinds of handheld-dont ask me how this works. Cross says that the pen is compatible with quite a few handhelds, StylusCentral lists additional models. I tried fitting the stylus into a Tungsten E2. The stylus fits in, but doesn’t completely disappear into the silo:
A Vii prototype exhibited problems with locking onto the stylus-but the configuration was useable nevertheless.
Getting the nib off the pen is hard work though.
Overall, this item is difficult to rate. It does a good job as pen and stylus! It doesnt look or feel bad either. However, the stylus has major constructively deficiencies-the universal concept has a price. The stylus tip is exposed to damages, and the fit is not perfect either. But: 4.99$ is a good argument that compensates those difficulties. And-last but not least-this still is one of the nicest styli on the market…