Ink & Slide
Adobe’s artful thinking
£150 Manufacturer Adobe, adobe.com
Pressure sensitivity 2,048 levels Includes micro-USB charger and carry case Requires iPad 4th generation or later
Adobe’s new stylus and straight edge is designed as a companion for their growing collection of iPad drawing apps. With its brushed-metal finish and white plastic trim, the build quality is superb and it has packaging to make any Apple fanboy giddy.
The Ink stylus has a twisted triangular design which feels great in the hand as your fingers assume a very natural grip. The weight is hefty enough to feel substantial but not cumbersome. The Ink uses Adonit’s Pixelpoint technology and has a fine point like a biro as well as 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, so you can create textured artwork and add fine detail with ease. Unlike its rivals, it has only one input button though, which is calibrated to bring up a menu screen in compatible apps.
The real USP is the Slide. Bypassing the iPad’s capacitive touch, it allows you to draw straight edges (and other geometric shapes) on your iPad’s screen as if using a ruler or straight edge. It doesn’t work like a traditional ruler though (it’s not long enough to draw across the full screen for a start), instead it augments the shape drawing functions in apps such as Illustrator Line and Photoshop Sketch, to make them more intuitive.
After activating the ruler tool in your app you can draw straight lines or other shapes with ease, while the button on the Slide lets you cycle through shapes and in apps like Draw you can utilise technical drawing shapes and shape templates like a Herman Miller chair.
It’s great to have a solid object in your hand to make drawing feel more natural, but the Slide can be frustrating. We found if you strayed too close to the edge of the screen it could lose connection or even leave unwanted marks.
At £150 the Ink & Slide isn't cheap, especially compared to a Wacom Stylus at £65 or Adonit Jot Touch at £80. They don’t include a ruler, but as the Slide only works in a few apps it’s an expensive luxury rather than a necessity for digital artists. Alex Thomas
Fantastic build quality
Limited compatible apps
The Ink is a worthy addition to the Adobe family, but the Slide feels like an expensive luxury.
Ink & Slide comes with a cylindrical protective case and micro-USB charger that opens
with a very satisfying pop.