Stylus Central Foursome Multi-Pens Review

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Product Requirements:
Any touch screen PDA

I think that every time a new PDA is bought, the proud new owner wonders
whether it would be best to use the stock stylus, buy a replacement stylus, or
try a whole different type of writing instrument.

Some people settle – for whatever reason – on the stock stylus. I guess they
figure, “It came with my PDA, it fits, might as well use it.”

Others decide fairly quickly that they aren’t comfortable holding a lollipop
stick, like most PDA styli tend to resemble. Some even decide that the stock
stylus is actually harming their screen. For some people the replacement styli
that fit in the PDA’s silo, rank right along-side the stock styli in comfort, or
lack thereof.

To sum it up: these people want something that fits in the
hand, that can be used on any PDA’s screen without damaging the unit, and that
doesn’t cost a fortune.

In the ongoing search for the perfect multi-pen, there is a new contender: Stylus
has stepped up to the plate and offered their own version for your

With minor exceptions, both multi-pens look and operate the same. Both are
5.75″ (146.06mm) long with no tips extended, and both are .386″
(9.83mm) thick on the main portion of the barrel.

These pens use a  muted matte silver (almost a pewter color) for the
main portion of their barrels. They both have a plunger that sticks up
.632″ (16.06mm) from the top of the pen. Some may feel that this sticks out
a bit further than they would like.

They both have a slim pocket-clip with the Stylus Central logo in black on
its end.

To select the desired tip, you simply turn the pen until the name of the
color is facing upwards, then you press the plunger. The stylus tip uses a
floppy disk icon, so it is easy to remember.


Extracting a tip is simple – you just press the black ribbed catch on the

These two Stylus Central multi-pens have different styled grips and accents;
but as I said before – they are essentially the same multi-pen.

As the name implies, the Stylus
Central Foursome Comfort Grip
comes with a “firm soft rubber” grip
near the bottom of its barrel. Personally, I would have liked it better if there
had been a little bit more padding to the grip. There is just enough for you to
feel a different texture – but that is about it. To illustrate my point: the
barrel of this pen is .386″ (9.83mm) thick. The grip measures .387″ (
9.86mm). Were talking a difference of  .001″, which is obviously not
that much at all. If you don’t like a pen with a thick grip, this one will
probably suit you.

The grip itself is green (my favorite color), so you’ll get no complaints
from me about that! :0)

The Comfort Grip multi-pen also has polished chrome accents, including:
the pocket-clip, the plunger, the band separating the main barrel of the pen
from the grip, and the tip. This pen is a tiny bit flashier than the other –
mainly due to the chromed accents.

The Stylus Central
Foursome 4 Point
has a more industrial cross-hatch design on its grip. Every
surface of this pen continues the industrial look, by using the matte silver
instead of any chrome accents.

This multi-pen looks good, and I found that I liked the way this multi-pen’s
grip felt even better than the Comfort Grip’s. For comparison, the 4 Point’s
barrel measures .386″ (9.83mm), and its grip is .393 (10mm).

Each multi-pen comes with Black, Red & Blue ball-point tips. I tested
each color’s ink, and found them to be smooth and non-skipping. This pen uses
standard multi-pen refills, which are also available from Stylus Central.

The Stylus Central stylus tip is white, and neither too pointy nor too
rounded. This tip has been mentioned in many of the other multi-pen reviews that
I have written and as you know, I happen to like it quite a bit. It writes
smoothly on a screen with or without protection.

Now for the $64,000 question that I know some of you are dying to ask: Does
it rattle? Well, sure it does – but not too badly. I compared it with the
Rotring Trio (since it is in the same
price range), and there was quite a bit of difference. The Rotring rattles
badly, whereas this one doesn’t rattle near as much. Perhaps the addition
of the extra ballpoint refill inside the barrel helps dampen the rattling. Of
course, with any tip extended, the rattling is almost non-existent – unless you
really shake the pen.

I never really considered the lack of a mechanical pencil to be a con in the
past. However, several engineers have taken the time to privately e-mail me, and
let me know that it is really something that they need when making a decision of
which multi-pen to purchase. So for you guys (and gals), the lack of a
mechanical pencil will probably be the only con to this multi-pen.

Both pens are easy to use, non-damaging to your PDA’s screen, and priced
reasonably. If you are looking to replace your stock stylus – you might want to
give this one a try.

Price: $14.95
Refills are available in Black, Red, Blue, & Green
Stylus Central offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee on all of their products


Four writing tips

No mechanical pencil for our engineer friends…


Product Information

Manufacturer:Stylus Central
  • Four writing tips
  • Inexpensive
  • No mechanical pencil for our engineer friends...

5 thoughts on “Stylus Central Foursome Multi-Pens Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. captainmurphy

    Ok. I’ll post on

    I’m going to replace my Clie NX70v and my laptop (Vaio SRX77 with wifi) partially with this. I thought long and hard (it costs as much as a laptop :'( ) but I finally realized that I didn’t want to carry a laptop around while on the go when all I want to do is surf, check email and instant message (my workplace is fully wifi enabled, so is my home). I have a wifi card for the Clie but surfing was a real drag on the narrow screen. Also, I am unfortunately an early adopter so I am willing to pay up the nose for what I “think” is exactly what I need.

    I’m already compiling a list of programs to try out, can’t wait!

  3. Here’s something interesting — Samsung’s Nexio is actually being given away free here in Korea as they’re not selling very well in a nation where accessing the internet on a cellphone screen is commonplace. It’s a push by Korea Telecom to add subscribers to their cellular service, which the Nexio can use to surf on the go.

    I strongly considered it, but ended up opting instead for the Compaq Tablet PC, which (without the keyboard), is only a little more than double the size of the Nexio but runs any Windows application I want. With smart use of power schemes and hibernation, my Tablet’s battery lasts as long as the Nexio’s and boot up time isn’t such an issue. I can also read the screen while standing, unlike a normal laptop. Let’s face it, the Nexio isn’t going to fit in anyone’s pocket anyway (unless you wear a ScotteVest all the time!) so the issue of portability was moot…

    Interestingly, in the two years since Samsung introduced the Nexio locally, I haven’t seen a single person who owned one! And this is a country where 60% of households have broadband and cellphones are more abundant than deskphones.

    Personally, I think Samsung made the wrong decision is choosing CE for the Nexio’s OS. I think products like the Nexio that try to fill the niche market between subnotebooks and PDAs will unfortunately face the same future as the Newton…

    Ken Hong
    Manning Selvage & Lee
    Seoul, South Korea

  4. kenmsl,

    You are probably right about it being a niche market – of course if this were a Wondows XP unit, i would have already bought one. ;0)

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