Pentopia Chameleon Stylus Pen for the Palm III series Review

Device:
Palm III, IIIx, IIIc, VII

The Pentopia Chameleon Stylus Pen from Pilot (available at Stylus
Central
and other retailers) is a very well made and feature-packed stylus. It has a spring-loaded tip, ink pen, and reset pen all in one. It also comes in three versions: Palm III series, Palm V series, and Handspring Visor.

When I first held the Chameleon, it felt rather cheap. This is because of its weight. It is lighter than the stock stylus that came with my Palm IIIc, even though it has a pen. I thought having a pen incorporated into the barrel would make it heavier, but I think that’s the reason it’s lighter. In fact, I think the barrel of the Chameleon is made out of plastic (I just realized that from writing this review, that’s how unnoticeable it is).

The reason someone would buy this stylus is probably for the features; my favorite being the spring-loaded tip. Even though I have yet to actually use a Floating Point, from the reviews I’ve read it seems to me like it really feels like you are writing on paper. This is not the case with the Chameleon. The tip in this baby is pretty stiff, but hopefully it will become looser through time. Even though the tip is stiff, I still get better recognition than with my stock Palm stylus. Also, the springs make the Chameleon feel like it’s stuck to the screen, unlike the stock Palm stylus that feels like a stone hitting another stone. Still, it doesn’t feel like writing on paper.

Another feature of the Chameleon is the pen that is produced when you twist the cap off. When you do this, you have a very small piece of plastic that you could easily loose if there wasn’t this cool feature: you can twist the cap of the stylus onto the end of the spring-loaded tip. This way, the cap won’t get lost and the stylus is long enough to be comfortable. The ink from the pen comes out pretty well, but it leaves some blotches here-and-there. Overall, the pen is a welcome feature to an already nice stylus.

See also:  Ring Stick Up Cam review

So what happens when you run out of ink? Well, that’s simple- you replace the cartridge. To do this, you twist off the stylus tip. This exposes the reset pen. You then insert the reset pen into a hole that’s on the side of the stylus cap, and unscrew the reset pen. After that, you press the pen against a hard surface and the cartridge comes out. Then you reverse the steps to insert a new one. This seems rather hard, but once you do it yourself, you’ll see how simple it is.

The last feature is the reset pen. Not much to say about this, other than the fact it’s made out of metal. The reset pen on my stock Palm stylus is very flimsy, but the Chameleon’s is stronger. You access the reset pen by unscrewing the tip.

I really like the Chameleon, and I recommend it to anyone that wants a pen and a stylus that fits into their PDA’s stylus solo. Even though the spring-loaded tip doesn’t feel like you’re writing on paper, it did improve my accuracy quite a bit. This stylus is very well made and you can get them in cool colors like neon blue!

Price: $18.95

Pros:
Spring-loaded tip
Metal reset pen
Pen
Fits into the PDA’s stylus solo

Cons:
Tip doesn’t feel like you’re writing on paper
Lighter than the stock Palm stylus
On the expensive side 

If you liked this story, be sure to read our other stories:


 

Product Information

Price:18.95
Manufacturer:Pilot Pentopia
Pros:
  • Spring-loaded tip
  • Metal reset pen
  • Pen
  • Fits into the PDA's stylus solo
Cons:
  • Tip doesn't feel like you're writing on paper
  • Lighter than the stock Palm stylus
  • On the expensive side 
29 comments… add one
  • Julie June 12, 2003, 2:18 am

    Post your comments here on the Fliklite LED Torch Review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/fliklite-review.html

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • Frostie June 12, 2003, 1:24 pm

    One question I have:

    How is it for actual brightness compared to a regular flashlight?

    I’ve seen other LED flashlights and they seem to be a bit anemic. Maybe you could post a comparison pic of the beam of this flashlight and another regular one?

  • Altema June 12, 2003, 3:03 pm

    Despite the (very) high cost, I may have to get this one, as I can NEVER find a working flashlight when I need one. They either get broken, the bulb burns out, or the batteries lost. I’ve had about 15 flashlights. The battery issue is probably the worst. “AA” batteries go for the gameboys, remotes, and walkmans. “AAA”s used to get taken for some of the kid’s Palms, but now the only one using them is my daughter’s M105. She wanted an M130 for her birthday… I got her a bicycle instead. Are you sure that price is not a typo?

  • chriszzz June 12, 2003, 3:17 pm

    $54 for a flashlight ??!! You sure it’s not Luke Skywalker’s light saber ? 🙂

    Actually, unless you go scuba-diving or mountain climbing with that thing, I don’t see why you’ll need such a flashlight ( except that it is way cool ).

    I have hanging behind my bedroom door a AA battery flashlight that costs, well, $2, and it’s always worked. I don’t use it much but hey, when I do, it works fine. I use it in the house, not outdoors hunting lions, so the light’s good enough for me. I only need to see 3 feet infront of me, so no problems.

    I have a $3 flashlight in my car that is on the same set of D-cell batteries for the last 3 years, and it’s always worked in the few times that I needed it. I guess D-cells, being of much higher capacity, lasts longer then AAs.

    I also have in my keychain a tiny 1-led flashlight that looks like a photon microlight ( but only cost me $4 ). Again, in the few times that I needed it, it worked out just fine. And yep, its been on the same set of button cell batteries for the past 1 year.

    Do you guys actually abuse your lights so much that you need a solid metal one that looks like something out of Penthouse catalog ? I mean, do you beat the neighbour’s dog with it or you trying to light up the moon ?

    Just curious.

  • Altema June 12, 2003, 7:45 pm

    Originally posted by chriszzz
    I have hanging behind my bedroom door a AA battery flashlight that costs, well, $2, and it’s always worked. I don’t use it much but hey, when I do, it works fine.

    You don’t have kids, do you 😀

    Even my shotgun-battery from Craftsman gets the battery taken to use for the shop vac or drill (or for sinking toys in the bathtub)… batteries are not safe in my house! You are right about the price though; it’s steeper than mount everest. Maybe I’ll wait and see if the price comes down.

    PS: what do you mean by the penthouse reference?

  • pepe June 12, 2003, 8:10 pm

    Is it just me that thinks this torch is a dodgy shape?

  • Rizal June 12, 2003, 8:31 pm

    I want this light. I’m sure you would have mentioned it but I want to make sure. The light doesn’t have a blue tint does it?

  • icruise June 12, 2003, 9:10 pm

    Interesting review as usual. One question. You say:

    “In a pinch, you can use 2 AAA batteries with the Fliklite. The only consolation is that the LEDs will only glow at half their regular brightness.”

    How is that a consolation? Wouldn’t that be more of a disadvantage?

    I agree as to the shape…I wonder if they realized it when they were designing the thing.

  • Julie June 12, 2003, 10:25 pm

    Originally posted by Rizal
    I want this light. I’m sure you would have mentioned it but I want to make sure. The light doesn’t have a blue tint does it?

    Supposedly there is a blue tint, but I can’t see it.

  • Julie June 12, 2003, 10:25 pm

    Originally posted by icruise
    [B]Interesting review as usual. One question. You say:

    “In a pinch, you can use 2 AAA batteries with the Fliklite. The only consolation is that the LEDs will only glow at half their regular brightness.”

    How is that a consolation? Wouldn’t that be more of a disadvantage?
    [/B]

    Wrong choice of word on my part… 😮

  • Rizal June 12, 2003, 10:34 pm

    Originally posted by Julie
    Supposedly there is a blue tint, but I can’t see it.

    Thanks Julie, that’s good to know.

    P.S. I’m glad you’re reviewing more than just PDA’s and related stuff. It’s good to get The Gadgeteer qualtiy reviews on cameras, mp3 players and now flashlights.

  • Julie June 12, 2003, 10:45 pm

    Rizal:

    Thanks!

  • T1000X June 12, 2003, 10:54 pm

    Thanks for the review, Julie. That review really lights up my life… 😀

  • The Reader June 12, 2003, 11:19 pm

    You should have talked about how the light is spread, is it like a lamp or is it focused. Some are like a lamp where the light spreads, and you can’t focus the light on things far away.

    I’am betting this one is a spreader, because I didn’t see any concave lenses in there, another POS flash light.

    Yeah drop it in water and watch it sink faster than yourself, it’d probably drag you down with it.

  • dgallina June 13, 2003, 12:59 am

    Sure, you can get cheaper flashlights, but what other light could double as a small PC muscle exerciser or barbell “toy” 🙂

  • Julie June 13, 2003, 1:20 am

    Originally posted by The Reader
    [B]You should have talked about how the light is spread, is it like a lamp or is it focused. Some are like a lamp where the light spreads, and you can’t focus the light on things far away.
    [/B]

    It spreads the light instead of focusing it.

  • kris June 13, 2003, 3:43 pm

    Originally posted by icruise
    I agree as to the shape…I wonder if they realized it when they were designing the thing.

    AHEM…They made it waterproof, didn’t they? :confused: 😮 :p

  • pocketlights.com June 14, 2003, 2:47 pm

    The Fliklite is now sold with an optional wrist lanyard. Spare N cell batteries are also available.

  • NakMan June 25, 2003, 3:54 pm

    No offense, but the LED flashlights being talked about here are toys in comparison to units using a Lumileds Luxeon Star LED.

    I have an Arc LS and it’s just amazing:

    http://store.yahoo.com/flashlight/arcls.html

    For discussion on flashlights, go here:

    http://www.candlepowerforums.com

    Granted, these flashlights cost a lot more, but there’s no comparison in light output.

    Pocketlights, the firm mentioned in the Fliklite review, sells Arc flashlights.

    NakMan

  • pocketlights.com June 25, 2003, 4:48 pm

    I agree Arc flashlights are amazing because they produce a tremendous amount of light in such a small package. In regard to the Fliklite, there are plans to release a Luxeon Star model in the near future.

  • Young One July 21, 2003, 6:41 pm

    Ahem,
    Excuse me if this is nieve, But dosen’t a Mag lite do the same thing? The mag lite is Weatherproof, drop proof (well, almost), and caries a spare bulb n the bottom cap. The beam is adjustable and you turn it on by twisting the top. And best of all, It cost only $12!

  • Merlion July 24, 2003, 7:29 am

    Originally posted by Young One
    [B]Ahem,
    Excuse me if this is nieve, But dosen’t a Mag lite do the same thing? The mag lite is Weatherproof, drop proof (well, almost), and caries a spare bulb n the bottom cap. The beam is adjustable and you turn it on by twisting the top. And best of all, It cost only $12! [/B]

    The out-dated MagLite is crap compared to these high-performance LED flashlights; but there’re 3rd-party adapters to convert MagLites with high-performance LED assemblies. Many LED flashlights, like this Fliklite, are not only weatherproof, but waterproof. Their LEDs never need replacing, so there’s no need for spares, & their batteries can last many times that of incandescent bulbs flashlights. Impacts, like dropping the flashlights, will not affect solid LEDs like they affect filament bulbs. Incandescent bulbs are not only fragile, their filament, esp. when hot, is very susceptible to breakage on impact, & the filament have a very short lifespan. Do a search on LED lights & read about all the latest LED technologies. http://www.candlepowerforums.com is probably one of the most informative online forum on flashlights; I think a lot of us gadgeteers would be interested in getting some of these most ubiquitous gadgets – flashlights.;) I’m ordering a Surefire L4 Digital Lumamax first thing tomorrow morning! I’m really a slave to gadgets! ;(

    ARC seems to be reducing the prices of their flashlights, so I’m thinking that they’re probably going to release a new series of pocket flashlights using the new 5-watt White Luxeon Star LED soon. Argh .. could never have enough dough for gadgets!!! 😉

  • pocketlights.com October 14, 2003, 2:09 am

    The luxeon star version for the Fliklite is now available. It is called the Fliklite LS:1.

  • Haesslich October 31, 2003, 4:51 am

    Originally posted by pocketlights.com
    The luxeon star version for the Fliklite is now available. It is called the Fliklite LS:1.

    Speaking of which, can we get a review of this? I’m looking at buying one, but I want a second opinion to compare and contrast with the Torchreviews.net one (which itself is highly positive).

    Though I’d like to see a 5-watt version of the Fliklite as well. 😀

  • pocketlights.com June 21, 2004, 2:47 pm

    There are two new versions of the Fliklite:

    The 3-Watt Luxeon Star Fliklite

    The Fliklite LS:3 Luxeon ‘Dive’

  • trophyofgrace June 21, 2004, 2:54 pm

    You can purchase LED upgrades for maglites and the smaller version maglite. I saw them on the Screen Savers TV show the other day. The LED upgrade was $20 for the larger version and $15 for the smaller version MagLite, IIRC. Lemme see if I can find a link…..

  • trophyofgrace June 21, 2004, 3:03 pm

    I found a link, it’s $26 from Bulb Direct:

    http://www.bulbdirect.com/NewSite/search.asp?strAction=Search&selClass=56&selCategory=96

    If anyone is interested in buying a LED retrofit for an existing flashlight they already have, rather than purchasing a new light altogether.

  • pocketlights.com June 21, 2004, 3:06 pm

    Here is a link for LED retrofits for full size and 2AA Mini Maglites.

    [URL=http://www.pocketlights.com/ledbulbs.asp][/URL]

    This page has more information on each of the retrofit kits.

  • SamKerr April 16, 2006, 9:04 am

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