Reviews
Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2

By Jorge Figueiredo - November 26th, 2014

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Last year, we reviewed the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus, a great solution for folks that want a better way to interface with the iPad for creative projects. Well, it looks like the bar has been raised once again with the Wacom Creative Stylus 2. Compared to its predecessor, the new Stylus 2 is more comfortable, less expensive (from a market introduction perspective), and more functional. If you’re looking for a great pressure-sensitive stylus, you really can’t go wrong with this choice.

The Creative Stylus 2 comes with a plastic case, a charging cable, a replacement tip, and the replacement tool. Aside from being slightly longer and lighter, one of the first things that differentiates the Creative Stylus 2 from the previous version is the fine nib. The 2.9mm tip makes the larger, rounder tip on the original Creative Stylus look like an elephant’s foot in comparison. Drawing with the new Stylus 2 is easier thanks to the smaller surface area (plus, it’s easier to see exactly what you’re doing), and your fingers won’t slip down the flared end thanks to the soft, comfortable grip.

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Box contents.

Another interesting difference between this version of the Creative Stylus and the last is the absence of a replaceable battery. Instead, the non-drawing end has a rubber cap that can me opened and moved aside (it is attached to the stylus), revealing a microUSB port for charging. Having a built-in battery is much more convenient than having separate batteries. Also, the stylus charges fully in a fairly short amount of time and lasts for quite a while (I used this thing for almost 20 hours in total over the space of a week and it showed no sign of slowing down). The rubber cap is probably the only flawed physical part, as it doesn’t stay closed and has the potential to be torn off if caught on something; however, exercising care will most likely prevent any accidents – and if it does disappear, it’s not the end of the world.

Wacom knows a thing or two about interface design (seriously, look at the inTuos or Cintiq tablets), and this know-how has carried over into the design of this stylus. The shaft of the pen has a dual-button rocker, which incorporates utility by being programmable. Wacom also kept the pressure sensitivity the same as the previous stylus, giving the user 2,048 different levels of pressure to play with. What is even cooler, though, is that palm rejection is a feature in apps that support it. That is, when the stylus is engaged, you can’t leave unwanted marks from your palm unintentionally touching the touch-screen.

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The charging end, the nib replacement tool, and the charging cable.

The Creative Stylus 2 connects with little fuss using Bluetooth 4, and can be put to use right away thanks to the Bamboo Paper application (iOS). This simple, yet powerful app leverages the touch capabilities of the stylus as well as the rocker buttons. The stylus is also compatible with a number of other applications, such as Autodesk SketchBook and ArtRage, both flexible and entertaining programs (you can check the full list of compatible apps here).

While comfortable, this stylus takes some getting used to in practice, as it is more firm than the wider-tipped styli on the market. However, once you get used to the smooth action of the Creative Stylus 2, you will not like using the old-school pen interfaces. The pressure-sensitive nature of the Creative Stylus 2 is very apparent in apps that leverage it – especially with the pencil setting. I was very impressed by the range of tone that I could achieve with simple changes in pressure. Thanks to the fine tip, it feels more natural when sketching and taking notes than even the previous Creative Stylus. While there were times when holding the Stylus at an angle resulted in a slightly displaced line, the sheer usability and the palm rejection features (along with the mappable buttons) make the minor complaints practically disappear (using the erase button, perhaps).


A little something I made using the Creative Stylus 2 and Autodesk SketchBook.

Priced at around $80, this is a worthwhile choice for anyone who likes to create art on their iPads. I would go so far as to recommend grabbing one even if you purchased the previous version (time to leverage Kijiji, right?), and if you are looking for a stylus, this is a great choice. Flexible, comfortable, long battery life and growing support make this a stylus to beat.

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