A normal stylus with a hard tip works fine for writing and sketching, but when you want to “paint” on your tablet, a stylus with a brush tip can be a much better choice. There aren’t many styli on the market that fit this criteria and I’ve only had the opportunity to review one other before today. The Nomad Compose Dual Tip Stylus is unique because it has interchangeable tips to give you the perfect paint brush feel.
Note: Images in this review can be clicked for a larger view.
The Compose stylus is sold in two versions. Long tip and Short tip. Each package also includes a Glide Bevel tip.
The handle of the Compose is made of aluminum. It’s light weight but nicely balanced. Each end has a threaded socket that the stylus tips or the end cap can screw into. You could screw a tip on both ends if you like.
The brush tips are made of natural and synthetic fibers and feel just like a real paint brush. The Long tip is 0.7″ inches long, the Short tip is 0.4″ inches long and the Glide Bevel tip is 0.05″ inches long.
I tested all three tips with my iPad 2 and the Levels drawing app. I found that I liked using the long tip best as it provides a very comfortable painting feel that requires very little pressure on the display. Swiping the stylus back and forth over the screen results in accurate strokes at almost any angle of the brush. The shorter tip is more firm and strokes are sometimes skipped and don’t show up in your drawing. I found that I liked the Glide Bevel tip least of all due to the fact that you have to hold it almost flat to the screen for your strokes to be recorded. I’d rather use a regular hard stylus tip instead of the Glide tip for drawing and sketching. If it was up to me, I would offer a version of the Compose with both the long and short tips and ditch the glide tip altogether. But that’s just me… Unfortunately, you can’t buy the individual tips. Since they are interchangeable, you would think that would be an option.
The only other small complaint that I have with the Compose stylus is the lack of a protective cap. Nomad will offer a case for the stylus in January, but that’s another purchase.
All in all, I would say that the Nomad Compose with the Long Tip is my current favorite paint brush stylus. I’m no artist, but it sure makes me feel like one.