I have lost my beloved Musemee Notier 😦 I have a bamboo stylus as a backup but there is a new Notier model, the Prime 🙂 . I could not resist!
Arriving in a far more stylish case the Prime has a rubberised grip, my previous gripe was that the Notier was a devil for rolling away (it probably still will but not as fast) and certainly long-term use would have your fingers slipping. I am sure this model is a little lighter (18g) and possibly shorter (137mm), hopefully I can compare with another original Notier soon.
Update: The original is approximately 25g and 142mm and , so a huge weight saving but one that does not take away from the feel greatly.
So what do you get for just under £16 (inc. delivery) ?
Tracked Delivery (mine took exactly one week to arrive)
Improved case instead of cardboard box
The Prime with one stylus tip
A small bullet shaped capsule holding 2 spare tips (I am sure I only got one with my original Notier but got 2 – so now I have 7 tips in total!
I have hit 100 days with the Surface RT and I can say that they only thing about it that has been an uphill struggle has been this blog (only at times!). I certainly would have liked it to be more educational that it has been but attempting to blog daily has limited that. Id on’t intend to stop blogging, but I do not intend beyond today to blog on a daily (or attempt) basis but I do feel that this entry should look back at what I have tried to do and where i still/want to go with the Surface RT.
Connecting wirelessly to another display
Tethering to my phone for when I cannot get Wifi (made some headway – Bluetooth only real solution from a cost perspective, and so far not needed to!)
Finding at least one good app (and free) for all categories (a bit ambitious now the categories have expanded i.e. sport & government not my thing!)
Trying to write this blog from the Surface itself (setup has been on a PC, entries have been on an iPhone 5)
Not writing this blog retrospectively (which it has up till now!)
Purchase & use a stylus
I still have a few projects/research pieces involving the Surface RT that will be a part of this blog.
Tethering to my phone for when I cannot get Wifi (from my original list above)
Micro HDMI to mini HDMI adapter (on order)
VGA adapter (on order)
Working with whole groups of students and staff to utilise tablets in the classroom
I do have to say that I have not powered up my works laptop since July 2013, the Surface RT has been a great replacement and the abilities it has serves it well:
Small form factor
Amazing battery Life
Productive (especially love office and OneNote app)
App store is starting to mature
I am going to have to dust off the laptop, if only because I’m teaching game engines and the software is on my laptop ready to utilise. I am still holding out hope that miracast will come to the Surface RT (although knowing it not coming), but overall I don’t see myself being drawn back to the iPad.
In fact I would probably be persuaded to move onto a Surface Pro or similar tablet/laptop device.
I am really interested in using OneNote more, I am already loving the ability to share between devices, but still want to utilise this application more.
I must admit I am frustrated at how I have to quick opening up the ribbon for simple task switching – enter the Quick Access Toolbar, throw on a few basics to make my life easier (and space them out with some seperators spread out the icons):
Favourite Pen 1
Favourite Highlighter 1
Favourite Pen 2
Can definitely move about quicker and without cursing the smallness of the icons ( I think most would have issues as my fingers are not what you could call large)
Now this is going to be my first purchase for the Surface RT (@ £2.59). An excellent App for recording screen annotations and audio. The App gives two options at start-up:
Quick recording, whereby you can annotate directly onto a blank canvas – this can be exported for free
Base recording, whereby you can be more creative and build up your presentation and utilise an number of backgrounds – this is where the cost is required, otherwise you will have an obtrusive “PREVIEW” obscuring your video
The export allows you to include a custom logo (@ £1.79) instead of the default “Record Voice & Pen” Logo and a choice of qualities for export:
The higher the quality the longer the render time. You can also elect to include or omit audio.
My third (and final) stylus arrived today, I certainly will not be going any cheaper. The balance feels right, and the overall length is not too short or too long. However the stylus is erratic when trying to take notes, and only surpasses the very cheapest of stylus in term of performance and at only a few pounds less than the Wacom Bamboo Solo I cannot recommend this at all (although it works very well on an iPad). It is useful only for moving around the interface when things are just a little too fiddly.
I have had cheap stylus in the past, they have proved sufficient, and recently splashed out on the Muvee Notier V2 that has proved to be a good purchase and would certainly recommend them for users of OneNote.
I’m unimpressed by the Bamboo, don’t get me wrong, it is well built and well balanced with the tip slightly smaller than others I have come across Having tried a cheaper stylus I can appreciate the finer tip and it does get picked up by the Surface RT without having to push overly hard. The tip is replaceable which will make the stylus cheaper in the long run. But it is still a spongy rubber tipped capacitive stylus with no magic powers but equally no faults.
Maybe I’m spoilt by the Notier, but the Bamboo is a good choice if your looking for a stylus but are not looking to make copious hand written notes.
In regards to OneNote on the Surface RT, it does have its limitations such as no video and no audio. But coupled with SkyDrive it is an amazing notetaking resource, throw into that the use of a stylus and I have now even removed those notes that I make on scraps of paper that eventually get lost or washed in my work trousers (admittedly the important things are typed up and retained).
But now my productivity is up and even the comments that I note-down that don’t seem important after any such meetings are retained.
So my stylus got delivered today, I took a gamble and ordered from Musemee’s Site Store, although the black stylus I ordered looked a different style from the other options it actually is similar as the slimeline models (which I prefered, i just really wanted black). The package contents contained:
The stylus that unscrews to reveal the tip, the cap can then be screwed onto the opposite end to lengthen the stylus barrel.
A 2 spare tips in a protective case (which was a surprise!)
Most thing such as opening an app a fairly pointless with a stylus as they do not require any degree of finesse. However when it comes to writing on OneNote (more on this in another blog soon) it really comes into its own. My handwriting has never been elegant and is maybe one of the reasons I ended up in the IT world, so if it can transfer my handwriting from stylus to surface and decipher it then a job well done!
So as you can see from the screenshot above within OneNote by selecting the DRAW ribbon and selecting the first pen tool, with the screenshot below showing the result after selecting the “Ink to Text” option (on the far right of the DRAW ribbon).
I am extremely happy with this stylus, it’s lightweight yet feels solid. The recognition is accurate with all but the exception of high-speed squiggles (where occasional gaps creep in) and the clear disc tip allows for accurate pin-pointing when dotting i’s and crossing the t’s. The tip also works at an amazing range of angles (many stylus suffer from restricted positions) and is at ease with the Surface RT being vertical or horizontal.
In regards to cost vs performance this a great purchase
update (11/09/2013):Just don’t put it on a table/desk that is less than perfectly horizontal – it rolls with a vengeance!
So this blog entry sees me on a search for recommended stylus for the Surface RT. There is an absolute plethora of choices that range from the downright cheap and nasty to the expensive show pieces. I have already toyed with the really cheap ones on an iPad and they are extremely flimsy and lightweight, certainly they are not for anything other than casual and occasional use. The only ones I currently own are micro ones that are stored in headphone jacks and are acting as dust caps for my desktop (I’m not intending to us these for the Surface RT). So onto reasonable purchases for the Surface RT – be warned there is no outright winner.
The Surface RT utilises a capacitive stylus, often characterised by a black sponge-like rounded tip not unlike a worn pencil eraser. This should not be confused with the Surface Pro stylus that can have 256 levels of pressure sensitivity and resembles a traditional pen and are far more expensive ( and accurate). The problems are that the width of the traditional capacitive stylus obscures the view of what you are/have written and they can ( given lots of use ) wear out by splitting rendering fixed all-in-one stylus useless.
So an ideal stylus ( for sustained use ) should have:
Replaceable tip (or very cheap)
Compatible with Surface RT
Griffin (£6) this is a cheap no frills functional stylus. When it wears out you buy a new one. If you find yourself using a stylus frequently this will cost you long term.
Wacom bamboo (£13/£17 with built in pen) a traditional rubber domed stylus that is actually smaller than the majority of rubber tipped stylus that could be replaced with a good overall weight. Certainly top of the usual type stylus.
Adonit Jot Pro (£20 with or without built in pen) this is the mac daddy of the stylus, it utilises a transparent plastic disc on a small ball joint so you can see where you have wrote for greater accuracy. It is accurate, it has a replaceable tip. But it is expensive and reports are out there that say it skips when making contact. The older models did not gave dampening so clunked when pushed onto the tablet surface. Bet well balanced. There have been reports of users adding conductive paste to the tip ball joint to improve performance as tips ages.
GoSmart Stylus (£20 standard or rocket finned body) this stylus seemed to have it all accuracy by utilising a wire crosshair that was coated and replaceable, style, reasonable price. However on contacting the manufacturer I was informed that the experience with the Surface RT is “hit and miss”!
Musemee Notier V2 (£15 for V1) seemingly similar to the Jot Pro but far cheaper but still a good balance and a cap to cover the working tip for protection that screws onto the bet whilst in us. As with the GoSmart Stylus I could not find any comments of compatibility with the Surface RT so I contacted the manufacturer who confirmed it was. The original V1 suffered from design flaws in the joint from the tip to the stylus body. This has been superseded by a replaceable tip in V2. Unfortunately it is only available through their own website in the UK at the time of this post.
I really think for anything non-fancy the Wacom bamboo would be ideal with its smaller and replaceable tips. So what do I really want? Well I really would like the Adonit Jot to work, but I don’t think I want to run the risk at its current cost. However I don’t want to compromise with the mini jot (£13) which is not as heavy and approx 5″. So I think the Musemee Notier V2 is going to be my choice for mid price and high accuracy with the fact in mind I’m only looking at hand written notes and not sketching or artwork. How that works out remains to seen.