Is an Adonit Jot Stylus for the iPad Worth the Money?

In a previous post, I share my thoughts about using a stylus to digitally handwrite text. There were numerous benefits noted, including students being able to have more precision when using apps and administrators writing observations during walkthroughs.

I am starting to have second thoughts.

My biggest concern is with the stylus produced by Adonit. Previously, I had purchased their Jot Pro per a recommendation from a colleague. This is the stylus with that clear plastic disc on the end.

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photo credit: mango_207 via photopin cc

While it was precise, the disc caused a clicking sound that was distracting to students. Plus, the discs fell off sometimes. It was recommended to me to be sure to clean the discs regularly by the company. Who has time for that?

I was reading the Steve Jobs biography at the time. In it, Jobs discouraged the use of a stylus, suggesting that we have ten already (our fingers).

Maybe I should have heeded this advice, but I gave Adonit another shot when it came out with the Evernote Edition Jot Script. Now battery powered, this stylus connects with your iPad via Bluetooth.

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photo credit: kiyong2 via photopin cc

It worked great…when it worked. Unfortunately, leaving the battery in this stylus for even a short time depleted it to the point where it would not work anymore. The advice from the company was to use a lithium battery to ensure a long life. Unfortunately, these are more expensive and not what we stock at school. Because I have grown tired of accommodating the limitations of the company’s products, I plan on giving both away.

For those in the market for a new stylus, consider holding off on the Adonit product line. They are very innovative, but their products have yet to deliver on their promise, especially considering the high price. Their newest stylus now has a rechargeable battery, but you need a USB connection to do it. Not real conducive if all you have is an iPad. For a better value, check out the Ampen hybrid stylus with a mesh tip, or just go with a Bamboo. The technology should not get in the way of our purpose for using it.

Author: Matt Renwick

Matt Renwick is a 17-year public educator who began as a 5th and 6th grade teacher. After seven years of teaching, he served as a dean of students, assistant principal and athletic director before becoming an elementary principal in Wisconsin Rapids. Matt is now an elementary principal for the Mineral Point Unified School District (http://mineralpointschools.org/). Matt tweets @ReadByExample and writes for ASCD (www.ascd.org) and Lead Literacy (www.leadliteracy.com).

9 thoughts on “Is an Adonit Jot Stylus for the iPad Worth the Money?”

  1. We bought the Jot script this summer and it is working well for us. We are a bit afraid of it due to the price but when trying to write a lot it does really work well. We have not had a battery issue yet and we have had them since July… We also bought a mesh tip for $6.00 and it is great! If we were to do it again we would only buy the mesh tip. Thanks
    Clare and Tammy

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    1. You want to trade? 😉

      On a serious note, did you initially use the lithium batteries? I was told by Adonit that the alkaline batteries don’t have enough voltage. I bought some lithium batteries tonight. I hope this will resolve the problem, although I still believe that a great product should be resistant to these types of problems.

      I also really like the mesh tips. The Ampen Hybrid stylus even comes with a stretchy cord that connects with the iPad. Great purchase for classroom iPads.

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  2. Interesting. I’ve been debating getting one. On one hand–easy to take notes during observations, ease of annotating PDFs, but it seems like a lot of money to spend on something that I’m not sure will do what I want it to do. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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    1. Samantha, for every negative review I have read on this stylus, someone has raved about it. Please note that this is only one person’s experience. You might find it worth the cost. Admittedly, I am a bit “rough” with my technology. I have zero time to polish this or buy that specific type of battery. My personal belief is these tools should just work. Any accommodations we have to make enables the limitations of the technology itself.

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  3. Love both of those, but I would consider both luxuries that students don’t need, unless they are using the iPad for technical drawing, art classes, etc. Who on earth actually has the budget to make this even a serious consideration? For general purposes like note-taking, game play, sketching, etc., stick to the $5 bargain variety. They are absolutely a cost-effective way to expand an iPad’s capabilities, and no one sheds any tears when students lose them.

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  4. Hi!
    I had one and my experience was negative: after some days of usage the pen began to skip lines and I have to redraw letters or figures. It was very annoying! I tried several solutions which I found in Internet, but not succeed. How I understand I was not alone with my problem and there was no solution for it instead to buy net pen tip. The result: I throw the stylus to trash can.

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  5. I stumbled into this site here, after googling for my problem with amPen skipping. It was OK when I first bought it, but now it is skipping even after changing the tips several times. I am about to throw it to the trash can

    Like

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