I’ve written about Doceri before, an interactive white board app for the iPad which I love. When my tech person ordered it for me, she told me that there was a dedicated stylus to go with it. I received that stylus a couple of weeks ago and have played around with it enough to have some opinions.

To be blunt, it’s not quite there. The advantages to it aren’t worth, in my opinion, the disadvantages. So let’s go over both. The primary advantage is that it combines pen and eraser, so to speak, in one stylus / device, so that one end of the stylus writes and, flip the stylus over, the other end erases with no extra tapping or clicking to change modes. This is both an intuitive and cool feature, but one that, at this point, is perhaps anachronistic, i.e. if we are to be on the move with the iPad and stylus, it becomes cumbesome to flip the stylus over. Additionally, when the stylus is used, the pen and eraser buttons on the iPad disappear. I would like them there so that, as I move around, if I don’t want to flip the stylus over, I can use the writing tip to change to eraser mode. This would give the stylus a bit more flexibility, i.e. when sitting, the eraser is much more useful than when mobile, but there is no way to erase other than using the stylus eraser.

I will admit that I haven’t explored the full functionality of the stylus, so I might be missing out. Apparently it can also have dedicated functionality (my impression is that you can give it specific commands / jobs to do in addition to writing and erasing).

I also don’t like the feel of the stylus; it’s too metallic, almost like using a thin ballpoint on a single sheet of paper on a hard surface (rather than a soft rollerball on a folded over notebook).

The final disadvantage, and really it’s just an annoyance, is that for the stylus to work it must be plugged in to the headphone jack of the iPad. I will not purport to know anything about the protocol of the stylus but I would have to assume that this is what lets the stylus write and erase. The cord, however, is indeed an annoyance, both when plugged in but even when storing the stylus (i.e. what do you do with that cord when your stylus is in your pocket or in the mug on your desk?).

My basic Targus stylus from Best Buy does a great job, feels good, and can work through a screen protector (which the Doceri cannot).

So the Doceri stylus definitely has potential but I think there are still a number of kinks to be worked out with it.

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