Autopoint Stylus+ 4-way Review

 

PRODUCT UPDATE: We recently did a review
on the STYLUS+ 4-way from STYLUSplus.com…the model we did a review on
contained a pencil as part of the pen (pencil, stylus tip, ink, ink)…the pen
is now available withOUT a pencil (stylus tip, ink, ink, ink).

 

The Stylus+ 4-way from STYLUSplus.com
is a pen/pencil/stylus that has 4 tips instead of the usual 3. It has the basic
.005 lead pencil, and an orange PDA stylus. (The original models had a gray
stylus tip). But it also comes with 2 other colored ink cartridges that you can
put in the third and fourth slots. To get the tip you want, you simply rotate
the pen until the tip “icon” on the end of the pen is pointing up and
push the plunger.

autopoint1.jpg (4327 bytes)

The styling of the Stylus+ 4-way is quite
handsome. I like the contrasting gold colored bands around the black
gripper. This pen has a light but solid feel to it and it felt good in my
hand. It has a smooth, soft, stylus for the PDA screen. There is also a handy
pencil eraser under the plunger.

autopoint4.jpg (4727 bytes)

Generally, the tips come out and retract smoothly. As I state
in other multi pen reviews, sometimes the pencil tips stick and do not retract
properly. The first Stylus+ 4-way pen I tested stuck, but STYLUSplus
sent me a replacement and it hasn’t stuck once. (Chalk that up to their
excellent customer service.) The only thing that you need to be aware of is that
you need to make sure that the icon for the tip you want is properly
“up” in the right position, or you may not get the pen tip you were
expecting.

autopoint2.jpg (2710 bytes)

The Stylus+ 4-way has the same annoying
rattle to it, (I call it the “rattle factor”), as some other multi
pen/pencil/stylus devices. This may or may not bother you.  I personally
don’t like pens that rattle, and my Platinum
Double 3 Exec
pen doesn’t rattle at all. But it only has 3 tips and you
eject the tips by rotating the pen rather than pushing a plunger. It also cost
around $15 more than the Stylus+ 4-way and requires you to use
2 hands, which is even more annoying! After using the Stylus+ 4-way
for a few weeks, I have retired the Platinum Double Exec.

Regarding the ink cartridges, the pen is available with
“your choice” of 2 colored ink cartridges. You chose from black, blue,
red, orange highlighter, or pink highlighter. The cartridges are simple to
install, and you can swap them in and out easily. The highlighter colors are
ink, but still highlight adequately. Their tips are not as fine as the black or
red tips, which is better for highlighting. All of the ink cartridges that I
reviewed were smooth.

autopoint3.jpg (4164 bytes)

I can highly recommend the Stylus+ 4-way.
For the price, it’s an attractive pen/pencil/stylus, and you have your choice of
the 2 colored ink cartridges. If you get one that has a sticky pencil, send it
back. As I stated above, STYLUSplus has excellent customer
service, and they replaced the first pen they sent me.

Price: $19.99

Pros:
Lower priced than other similar pens/pencil/stylus.
4 pen tips.
Customer’s color choice of 2 ink cartridges.
Smooth stylus tip.
Pencil eraser on the plunger end.

Cons:
Pen tip selected didn’t always come out on first attempt.(User
error?)
Rattle’s a lot.

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23 thoughts on “Autopoint Stylus+ 4-way Review”

  1. I don’t own a Nextbase 2 , but I own a Philips 634 DVD player, strangely enough, the menus and software appears to be the same and the players share the same functionality (play MP3, play JPG’s etc.). That’s why I find it so strange that your player had problems playing VCD okay. I’ve been using mine alot for playing home made SVCD’s (about 2500 Kbps video bitrate) and they play great, no stutter or sound sync problems whatsoever). Maybe your friend can reburn his VCD on another brand of cd-r ?

    This is a link to the details of my dvd player :
    http://www.vcdhelp.com/dvdplayers.php?DVDname=634&DVDselect=&Search=Search

    Btw, my DVD plays region free DVD’s, does the nextbase do that also ?

    Kind regards,

    Ivan

  2. Originally posted by Julie
    Is region free the same as multiregion? This player does do multiregion.

    I have just enough knowledge about this to be dangerous so someone please correct me if I have this wrong :p

    My understanding is a DVD disk that is “region free” can be played on any DVD player around the world, so naturally the Philips player Ivan has can read it (unless that’s not what Ivan meant).

    Usually a DVD player can only play DVD disk coded for that particular region, i.e. – a DVD disk coded Region 2 (Japan) cannot be played on your typical DVD player in the US configured to only read Region 1 DVD disks. Look for the little globe symbol with the number “1” on the back of the DVD box. So a “multi-regional” DVD player can play DVD disks coded for a specific region. Usually the player will say what regions it can play.

    So the question I want to ask, Julie, is what region other than the US (Region 1) can this player read? Does it mention that in the manual? I checked the Merconnet website and it doesn’t mention it. I ofter want DVDs from other countries so this can be a great addition to my family of gadgets 😀

    Thanks.

  3. I just recieved this info from Merconnet:

    The Next Base and Next Base 2 are “region-free.”

    The Next Base 2 is also “Macrovision-free.”

  4. So, I’m about to buy one of these things because I have (or will soon have) a lot of Region 2, PAL DVD’s from the UK. I live in the States where Region 1, NTSC is the standard.

    But first I have some questions:

    1> I’ve endlessly searched the web and these forums and nobody mentions whether it has a PAL/NTSC – NTSC/PAL converter built in. And, if so, how do you tell it which to use or does it automatically select it for you?

    2> Most of the sites, including Merconnet, just copy the manufacturer’s product info. “Region Free” is good but how do you tell it which to use or does it automatically select it for you?

    3> Dumb questions here: From the photo of the back of the player it has a “digital out” and an “a/v out.” Is the digital out a standard optical audio cable port and can I use the a/v out only for the video portion?

    Thanks 🙂

  5. I do not have any direct experience with this player, but looking at the pix I would think that the optical is a standard TosLink plug. Looks to be about the right size. That would go to your optical input on your receiver for the Dolby Digital/DTS decoding. The a/v out should have video and standard L/R audio only on the supplied cable.

    If it comes region free from the manufacturer, that is really cool. Most DVD players I have messed with, such as Apex and the cheap Koss player that is very similar to this one, had to be hacked in order to enable the region free and no macrovision. On a region free player it just plays automatically. No need to tell it what region your disc is.

  6. I just received this product from MP3playerstore. I was amazed at the size of it and looked forward to a trouble free purchase. Unfortunately my first encounter came with plugging it in. The power adapter that was sent created interference problems on the screen of the three TV’s I tried. I went out and purchased a replacement for it and it worked fine without interference. I put in a US. Starwars DVD episode 2 and was very impressed with the picture and sound quality. I tried a few VCD’s and they worked fine as well. An Mp3 CD also sounded really good. It was only when I tried to play a few UK DVD’s that I encountered problems on all the TV’s. The picture was constantly jumping and the picture was in black in white. In other words I couldn’t get a DVD pal to play on a NTSC TV. Also stated in the forum this player is macrovision free. After hooking it up to a VCR to make a backup copy of a DVD, I tried it. Macrovision protection is very much built in this unit. When trying to record on this VCR, it kept fading into dark so it doesn’t look like it’s macrovision free.

    I would like to think I received a defective unit. I’m waiting on a RMA from MP3playerstore in order to send it back. I’m asking them if this was a malfunctioning unit because I’m sure it should be able to play all types of regional DVD’s, but I don’t know about the macrovision problem I had.

    I really do like the unit though. I love the size and I was impressed by the DVD quality, but unless it turns out that my unit was a lemon and the actual player should be region free, macrovision free and I received a dud of a power adapter, I don’t see a reason to keep it.

    Any further input out there would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Lee

  7. As of Feb 11, Merconnet has dropped the price to $149.00 for this unit plus shipping. Update on my dealings with Mp3playerstore.com. After a really nasty e-mail sent to them, they finally got back to me giving me an RMA ( Return Merchandise Authorization ) number, but through all the B.S, they still want 15% to restock it on a return. So, let’s see that’s $22.50 for that and the $10.00 for the original shipping cost. So it cost me $32.50 to get jerked around, get nothing from it, not even the vaseline. Please don’t be dumb enough to buy from them like I did. It’s just plain not worth it!:(

  8. I bought the Nextbase MDV1 and my player also have the “pausing” problems mentioned in the review.
    i thought it was just the disc, but i tried playing other discs and it still pause. and it does not pause at the same part of the movie always. it seems ok when playing vcds or audio cds though.

    i tried blowing a little in the lens but its still the same.

    what other things could i do to clean the lens(if its really the lens which is causing this problem)

  9. It’s a problem that continues to plague my unit too. But, it doesn’t do it all the time. I’ve watched 5 or so movies in the past weeks and it hasn’t happened again that I noticed.

  10. My friend and I recently bought the MDV1 and we both encountered the same problem of pausing while watching DVD (approximately after 45 mins of watching).

    I think the problem is not with the lense but rather with the way the system handles temperature. The pausing problem starts only when the unit becomes hot. I also noticed that heat is not properly dissipated because of the distance between unit and table also because ther is no built-in fan.

    What I plan to do is raise or the tilt the unit a little or just mount it sideways to provide ventillation to the exhaust found at the bottom (probably a small electric or computer fan will also help).

    I hope this helps….

  11. Originally posted by callanish
    [B]I just received this product from MP3playerstore. I was amazed at the size of it and looked forward to a trouble free purchase. Unfortunately my first encounter came with plugging it in. The power adapter that was sent created interference problems on the screen of the three TV’s I tried. I went out and purchased a replacement for it and it worked fine without interference. I put in a US. Starwars DVD episode 2 and was very impressed with the picture and sound quality. I tried a few VCD’s and they worked fine as well. An Mp3 CD also sounded really good. It was only when I tried to play a few UK DVD’s that I encountered problems on all the TV’s. The picture was constantly jumping and the picture was in black in white. In other words I couldn’t get a DVD pal to play on a NTSC TV. Also stated in the forum this player is macrovision free. After hooking it up to a VCR to make a backup copy of a DVD, I tried it. Macrovision protection is very much built in this unit. When trying to record on this VCR, it kept fading into dark so it doesn’t look like it’s macrovision free.

    I would like to think I received a defective unit. I’m waiting on a RMA from MP3playerstore in order to send it back. I’m asking them if this was a malfunctioning unit because I’m sure it should be able to play all types of regional DVD’s, but I don’t know about the macrovision problem I had.

    I really do like the unit though. I love the size and I was impressed by the DVD quality, but unless it turns out that my unit was a lemon and the actual player should be region free, macrovision free and I received a dud of a power adapter, I don’t see a reason to keep it.

    Any further input out there would be appreciated.

    Thanks
    Lee [/B]

  12. Your right in that this unit is not macrovision enabled but the manafacturing details don’t claim that it is. With regards to not being able to DVD’s that show up as Balck & White then I think that it is a problem with your TV. I have a TV that is PAL only and when I play Region 1 Discs (I am in the UK by the way) it shows up as Black & White, Region 2 discs are okay. I have another TV which is NTSC and PAL and hooking the player up to this TV enables me to play Region 1 and Region 2 discs without any problem.

  13. Just taken delivery of NB DMV1 and it plays CD’s great but intermittent Region 2 DVDs take ages to load or the unit hangs & they never start. When they do start it plays whole film ok.
    The disk spins/ stops/ restarts/ displays load, fails to respond to buttons or remote. Power on off & eventually it plays ok – but its going to annoy the kids in the car!
    is that Bank30.zip upgrade likely to fix it! thanks

  14. hey all,

    I was wondering if anyone has messed around with the LOGO option. If you open up the SETUP menu and go under PREFERENCES there is a menu option for LOGO. You can either set it to ORIG or CUSTOM. Just wondering if you could actually set your own picture for this. When you set it to ORIG you get the orange nextbase screen, and when you set it to CUSTOM you get a blank screen.

    There must be a way to somehow set this option to a picture of your own.

    I put in a burned CD full of images thinking that it may give me an option to set one of the pictures from the disc, but this was not true.

    Has anyone else messed with this?

  15. I just bought a Nextbase2 player in Thailand and after returning to Norway it worked for about a month. Now the LCD display is dark and now Audio/Video output. The DVD record is spinning.
    Anyone who have any idea what to do or I throw it in the river.

  16. Hi All, this has been mentioned before but there is no clear answer. Hopefully someone can help.

    I have jot got a new car imported from Japan that has a built in NTSC monitor with a 3.5mm Video input…I have plugged in my PAL DV video cam into it to test it and got a black & white image with a few lines.. the sound is fine (Has another 3.5mm stereo sound input). What I would like to do is be able to play back region 1 Ntsc, Region 2 PAL UK and Region 4 PAL (NZ – Where I now live) on this ntsc monitor. Also when I bring the unit inside, I’d like to be able to do the same but on a PAL tv…of course it goes without saying I’d like a colour picture on both set ups.

    Has anyone actually completed the above with any success??

    Please let me know..as I’ve emailed Apollo where there made..merconet, mp3player.com..and know one can either reply or give me a comprehensive answer 🙁

    I’d love to get the NExtbase 3…but I can’t afford to send the system back if it doesn’t work as desired..due to both the freight and restocking fee’s.

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  17. just bought mdv-1 from currys….plays everything brilliantly..except for dvd, dvd-r … no load at all!!!! out of 15 discs tried, dvd-r, region2, no region etc, nearest ive got is menu page, then hang on play????????????any ideas???

  18. I just ordered the NextBase 3 MDV-4 from Merconnet for roughly $138. I sent the first one back after a week and now have my second. Both have the same problem: when I play normal store-bought music CDs, after a few seconds the device begins to sporadically release a “pop” sound which sounds very much like a discharge of static electricity. Seems no matter where or how I plug in the unit, it is only a matter of time before the popping begins. I will also use the unit for DVDs but I wanted it not only for portability but for its versitility in being able to play dvds and cds. Merconnet suggested that I make sure my speaker wires are magnetically shielded and that the unit is far enough away from the speakers. I have repositioned the unit to no effect. As for magnetically shielded speaker wires, I really have no clue whether mine are. I’ve plugged the unit into 3 different stereo systems and tried Sony headphones. Still the “pop” shows up eventually! I’m reluctant to spend yet more money on magnetically shielded speaker wires when in fact it may just be a defect in the design. Interestingly, I haven’t noticed any such “pop” in the audio while playing DVDs. The problem is confined to CDs. Has anyone detected the popping? Any suggestions on how to solve it?
    –Bill

  19. A simple question to everybody that purchase this unit:

    Can you read MP3’s burn on a DVD-R or DVD-RW ?

    If not, do you know if there’s any small portable dvd player that can ?

    Thanks

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