Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hand Retractable Tip Stylus Review

When you use your smart phone, iPad, Galaxy Pad, or other touch-sensitive device, a stylus can be much more accurate than a fat finger tip. There are many styli and pen/styli available. This review examines the Hand retractable tip stylus.

First impressions. I first encountered the Hand stylus at the Consumer Electronics Show, where it was being demonstrated as a brush to use with a drawing program on an iPad. I was given one to review. My first impression after beginning to use the Hand stylus was its heft. Generally, I like heavy items, because my brain somehow associates weight with quality. So, just holding the Hand produces the satisfying sensation that I'm holding a quality object,  However, in use, the weight causes the stylus to slip frequently out of hand out of my hand.

Here is a comparison chart to show how weighty by comparison the Hand stylus is:

Item                                           Weight in Grams        Length in Millimeters
Typical stylus-pen combo                  8                            147
Another typical stylus-pen                 9                            150
Pocket stylus                                      4                             114
Mini stylus                                         3                                51
Hand retractable stylus                     26                             130 (retracted)
Bic stick ballpoint pen w/o cap          5                              144
Bic stick ballpoint pen with cap         6                              150
Bic B3 Grip retractable ballpoint      10                              145
Bic highlighter, cap on                      10                              140
Stainless steel gel pen cap on            25                              137
Stainless steel pen cap off                  19                              124

The Hand stylus is the heaviest of the examined items. Note that the stainless steel pen is close in weight. In use, however, I do not experience the slipping out of my hand that I do with the Hand stylus. The weight of the Hand might not be a problem, but shoppers should be aware of it.

For Men? I don't want to appear sexist, but my sense is that the Hand stylus will appeal to men especially. The weight, the hexagonal barrel (hexagons are my favorite shape) and knurled tip (reminds me of a metal file) all say "manly man."

Rotating Retractable Tip. The 4 millimeter tip retracts like an ordinary ballpoint pen, thus protecting it from damage. The retraction-extension cycle also rotates the tip a quarter of a turn, so that wear will be even. Tips are replaceable, too.

Performance. The Hand stylus works well on my Android phone (Galaxy S4) and a bit less well on my Galaxy Tab 2 (as all the other styli work less well on it). I installed a drawing app on the tablet and the Hand worked very well following the assignments from thin pencil line to thick brush line. The overall performance of the stylus is fine. The 4 mm tip makes using tiny keyboards much easier.

Customer Service. The original Hand stylus given to me for review at CES stopped retracting after only few uses. I emailed the company and they replied immediately with apologies and sent a replacement in just a couple of days.

When I disassembled the broken unit, I noticed that at least one internal part is made of plastic--nylon would be my guess. This may limit longevity.

Recommendation. Especially for men--and most especially for men who like to show off their techno toys--the Hand stylus will make a great gift. And at a price of about $20, it bears the cachet of costliness.

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