Bamboo Stylus Fineline
Wacom return with two styli aimed at different users; both are worthy of the name, but both could be better
Wacom is synonymous with quality stylus and pen-tablet solutions, connecting computer users to their screens and, more recently, they’ve created desktopclass touchscreens with the Cintiq and Companion lines. The first Wacom pressure sensitive stylus for iOS – the Intuos Creative – was a revelation and quickly became, for many, a firm favourite.
Fast-forward two years and the company has released two sequels: the Fineline (for note makers) and the Creative 2 (for artists). So which one is best for your needs?
On paper (ahem) the obvious difference lies within the levels of sensitivity: the Fineline has 1024 and the Creative 2 has 2048. The tips of both styluses have shrunk to less than 3mm in size and are made of a firm, rounded plastic material, and the battery is now built in and rechargeable (rather than the AAA battery of the original stylus).
The Fineline nib is a millimetre smaller than the Creative 2 (1.9mm and 2.9 mm respectively). The Fineline is slightly heavier, but that includes a protective cap, which the Creative 2 lacks. Both suffer from a Bluetooth pen-tilt issue that affects all thin nib styluses: angle from the left to the right and you’ll see a moving offset in the line you draw.
The heavier rechargeable battery of both styluses shifts the balance towards the back of the pen. If you’re drawing on a screen for a long time this is an issue, and, in this case, the Fineline is preferable. Both have a rubber cap that shields the micro-USB recharge port; neither feels like the protective end will last the life of the pen. The Creative 2 has three buttons (the Fineline has one); the placement leaves little to be desired, and they never feel as reachable as their desktop siblings.
However, most concerning is the lack of out-of-box app support for both devices. At the time of writing, pressure-sensitive support for the Fineline and Creative 2 is patchy. Though the styluses will work with many apps in terms of connection, this limits their full usefulness.
And so, the winner, by a marginal amount, is the Fineline. We can’t say the difference in pressure sensitive levels is hugely noticeable, but it’s a better shape and weight, the protective cap allows you to pocket it and it doesn’t feel like the cheaper device of the two options (though in actual fact, it is). Oh, and it comes in a range of colours! Paul Kercal
In some ways this is as good as you could hope for, however, it still misses the mark of what it could be. Currently one of the best styluses (although not without some hesitation). Given the choice, buy this.
The Wacom Fineline has a thinner tip and a more colourful personality.
The Wacom Creative 2 shows its pedigree but misses a best-in-class recommendation.