A Stylus: Do I Need One?

23 May 2012

For most people, the ability to write by hand has become redundant. Think about it. If you are not a college student, doctor, or someone who really loves the feel of pen on paper, then you probably haven’t written anything substantial down in years. And with the move towards touch technology, one would assume that the need to write would be completely reduced. But, in a somewhat retrospective move, the massive popularity of tablet devices has prompted the return of an ancient piece of technology – the stylus.

Thousands of years ago the stylus empowered people to record their experiences, a step which changed the way we communicated and constructed history. The big question is whether or not you actually need a stylus for your tablet. Keep reading to get the low down on this bizarre trend.


What is a stylus?

The most simple way to think of a stylus is as a pen that is specifically designed to allow you to write on a device. If you have an iPad or similar type of machine, then you will be well aware of the fact that you can write little notes to yourself as ideas pop into your head. The problem is that the technology is not advanced enough to give you the kind of finite control that you need in order to actually write on the tablet. In the past, when having a PalmPIlot or similar PDA was the height of cool technology, the device came with a little stylus so that you could manipulate the screen accurately, without actually having to touch it. You know what it is now, right?

Do I need a stylus?

Many new tablet owners pose this question, and the short answer is no, you do not need one. But it can change the way in which you use your tablet, and further enhance the general performance of the machine. Because a stylus is thin and far more easy to handle than dragging a finger across the screen, it does open up some new possibilities, which you can read about below.  Also, using a stylus may keep your screen clean. But is it essential? Absolutely not.

Who benefits from using a stylus?

The truth is that you should have a stylus if you are involved in any kind of industry or activity where drawing is involved. For example:

  • architects,
  • designers, and
  • writers

all seem to benefit from the additional control that they have when using a stylus. Think of it like switching to a brush after years of finger painting. Your tablet is an incredibly powerful tool, and it will do pretty much anything you ask of it if you merge it with the best tools available.

So the verdict is in – consider a stylus if you work in a situation that requires you to be creative, spontaneous and accurate, but don’t stress if you decide to go without it. For once, the choice is yours.

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