Dower’s Surface Pro Finally Arrives – My Initial Impressions!

Microsoft’s Surface Pro made it’s world wide debut this past Saturday, and the launch was rather disappointing. The problem wasn’t so much the product, but more with the way the launch was executed, shipments were slow to arrive and Microsoft didn’t allow for pre-orders on their website; in contrast with their Surface RT launch back in November. Needless to say, my hopes of getting in over the weekend were dashed, with retailers like Best Buy and Staples not having much stock. My wife was lucky enough to get a pre-order in on Friday at Best Buy, but that didn’t materialize until yesterday afternoon.

I was on my way home from work when my wife sent me a text message saying I could drive down to Best Buy to pick up my Surface Pro, and immediately changed course to do so. The pick up was uneventful, and once home I was able to film my unboxing video, and did a quick physical comparison to my Surface RT.

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BoxWave EverTouch Capacitive Stylus Review

Anyone who knows me or has followed some of my blog posts know that I’ve always felt the biggest lacking in the Apple IOS lineup  is a good stylus or pen. Fortunately for Apple, there are ingenious companies like BoxWave and Wacom that have created styluses to offer the best pen-like experience to be had on an IOS or Android device. Today, I have in my possession BoxWave‘s latest offering, the BoxWave EverTouch Capacitive Stylus!

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Boxwave Capacitive Stylus Review

I have been an avid tablet and tablet pc user for many years. I’ve always enjoyed Pen computing, and even more-so pressure sensitive pen computing with a Wacom enabled device. For the uninitiated, a pressure sensitive pen is simply a stylus for a tablet or tablet-enabled laptop which can understand the various levels of pressure you exert on the pen tip. The experience offers a more real translation of real world hand writing and drawing onto the computer – a facet that doesn’t exist on the iPad or iPhone. Instead, you are left to finger paint your notes or drawings.

Fortunately, Apple has a very dedicated group of third party peripheral manufacturers, one such company is Boxwave, who offers a solution to the no-pen dilemma. Boxwave’s offering is a sleek metal cylinder, about 3” long with a black rubbery collapsible nub for a tip. On the body is a nice metal clip, and at the other end is a loop with a special plastic pin that anchors neatly into the headphone jack on an iPad or iPhone; so the pen is harder to lose. In short, it looks and feels like a quality product.

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I tested the Boxwave on the following applications on my iPad and iPhone: Penultimate for notetaking, Sketchbook Pro for drawing, and Sprite Something for creating game graphics. As with any pen product for the iPhone or iPad, resting your hand on the screen (like a pad of paper) is a bad idea, the device doesn’t recognize a large hand print from a finger tip, so you end up smearing and multi-touching the screen unintentionally. It’s also important to understand that the accuracy of a finger isn’t very precise, which translates similarly over to any pen, including the Boxwave. Don’t expect pixel perfect precision. If you understand and accept these limitations, then the Boxwave performs admirably. Taking notes and drawing is far better with this pen than with my finger tip, making for a more natural experience. Unlike other pens, the Boxwave doesn’t require much pressure from the tip to register a touch, and works at an angle, thus allowing you to hold the pen in a more natural hand position; even if your hand must hover above the screen.

For $15-$20, it’s pretty pricey for a metal cylinder with a rubbery tip. But if you really desire the feel of a pen to enhance your use of your iPhone or iPad, then I have found no better choice than the Boxwave, and compared to other similar pens, like the Pogo, the Boxwave is a far better performer and value.

If you wish to purchase the one I bought, simply following this link. BoxWave Capacitive iPad Stylus (Metallic Silver)