The Cosmonaut is a new iPad stylus from Studio Neat which started life on Kickstarter. After a few months of manufacturing and testing, the Cosmonaut started shipping in early December to Kickstarter backers, and is now available to purchase for $25. But is it any good?
The Cosmonaut is designed to be more like a marker than a regular pen. The tip is wide, which may make you think it’d be less accurate, but surprisingly, it’s one of the most accurate styluses I’ve used. This is mostly due to the structure of the tip; it’s made of rubber which pushes in slightly and isn’t too flexible. (Some other styluses, such as the Griffin iPad stylus, are completely flexible which gives a horrible experience when writing). The stylus moves across the screen with the same fluidity as a dry erase marker on a whiteboard, which I find exceedingly nice to use.
It may just be me, but I’ve found that sometimes when pushing hard on the screen with the Cosmonaut, the rubber rubs against the aluminium core inside and gives the stylus a ‘scraping’ feeling. However, this is only a problem if you push too hard with the stylus. Bear this in mind if you plan on lending your Cosmonaut to young children – it’s unlikely, but repeated rubbing against the core may split the rubber tip.
The thick ‘barrel’ of the stylus makes writing and drawing more comfortable than with any other stylus I’ve used. Since it’s made of soft rubber, it’s a lot easier on the hand than the metal that makes up most styluses. I’d pay good money for someone to offer regular pens with the same rubber barrel.
The one issue I have with the design is more to do with my OCD tendencies, but the absolute blackness of the rubber means any dust that gets trapped on the rubber is very noticeable.
I find the Cosmonaut very easy to use, since its design encourages you to hold it further up the barrel, like you would with a marker pen. This means that there is little chance of accidentally resting your hand on the iPad screen.
The entire tip can be used as the contact point with the screen, which means the Cosmonaut can be used at any angle – very useful if you hold it in a strange way, like I do (I never learned the ‘proper’ way to grip a pen, so this is perfect for me).
Its weight means that it’s very rare that a touch isn’t recognised, since it keeps itself in contact with the screen. You also get a very satisfying feeling when dotting your I’s or tapping on-screen buttons with it.
Should you buy it?
In my opinion, this is currently the best iPad stylus available; comfortable, accurate and good-looking, too. The quality of manufacturing also seems to guarantee it will last a long time, unlike some styluses I’ve tried before. Whatever you plan to do with it, a Cosmonaut is a great purchase and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. You can pick one up for $25 on Studio Neat’s website.