I’ve bought many products I love. I’ve bought products I like. I’ve bought a few products I didn’t like.
Only very rarely does a product come along that makes me angry, leaving me feeling abused, taken advantage of, and far less likely to buy anything from the company that made it. But here’s one: the Adonis Jot Script Evernote Edition Fine Point Stylus.
First things first: the iPad really doesn’t need a stylus. By design, its capacitive touch screen wants to interact with a human finger. For some applications, though, a stylus could be really cool, like painting or drawing, for example, or producing detailed hand-written notes. Pretty much every stylus on the market, though, has a big, fat, roughly finger-size tip, but the Jot Script seduced me with its promise of “a true fine point stylus for iOS that allows your handwriting to flow as freely as your thoughts.”
The Jot Script’s ultra-fine point is, in fact, too fine for the iPad to register its touch. The stylus compensates for this with a battery-powered Bluetooth connection — a wireless way of telling the iPad where the stylus tip is and how fast (and in what direction) it’s moving. All of this sounds great in theory; unfortunately, in practice, it just doesn’t work.
Even that characterization — “it just doesn’t work” — is too kind. It would be one thing if the Jot Script didn’t work at all: if it were just a dead stick in your hand, incapable of anything. The Jot Script, though, finds a way to be worse. It works for thirty seconds, then loses its connection.
When it finally reconnects, it draws stuttering, broken lines. When I’m writing notes by hand, it captures every other letter, usually in a blocky, ugly script that bears little resemblance to my own handwriting. When the stylus manages to draw a solid line, the line never quite corresponds with where the fine point contacts the screen. The drift grows rapidly worse over time, making something as simple as drawing a circle impossible.
At first, you will be tempted to think the Jot Script’s issues are user error. You will hold it at various angles. You will try to write more slowly and precisely. You will download other apps and try writing and drawing in them.
This will be to no avail, because, dear reader, the Jot Script Evernote Edition Fine Point Stylus is a piece of junk, the sort of device that companies release only because they confuse customers with beta testers. Technology that performs this poorly shouldn’t see the light of day — much less be sold for $75.00 a pop.
Amazon.com’s reviews include one or two from people who claim to love the device — but even these people say they only got it working after lengthy sessions with Adonit tech support, followed by sending the pen back to Adonit, followed by waiting two weeks for a replacement. I’m neither that patient, nor that desperate — especially when using Notes Plus (and its wonderful zoom mode), my finger (or even the trusty old Boxwave stylus I bought back in 2011) works pretty well.
Update: Heartbreaking pleas for help on Adonit’s own support site — ironically powered by “GetSatisfaction.com” — show this issue has been known and ignored for more than a year. Worse, Adonit denies the problem or replies to customer complaints with lies (“First we’ve heard of this issue!”). Customer-submitted screen grabs prove again and again that a disposable $2.00 stylus outperforms the Jot Script Fine Point. Evernote should be ashamed to have their company name associated with this turkey.