Jot Touch Quick Review

Top, my Jot Pro iPad stylus. Bottom, my new pressure-sensitive Jot Touch.

I just received my Jot Touch in the mail yesterday, and I am super excited about it.

The Jot Touch is an iPad stylus. It is unique in that it is the first pressure-sensitive stylus to come out for the iPad so far. It works over a bluetooth connection and is made by the company Adonit. I was very glad when they announced development of this stylus because I was already a big fan of their work. Their standard iPad stylus is one of my favorites (and believe me, I’ve tried a lot of styluses).

In between freelance projects and prepping for my Kickstarter project that I’m launching tomorrow, I don’t have much time to do a full review with images and stuff. However, I thought I’d throw out this quick review for all you inquiring minds out there.

Initial Thoughts About the Jot Touch

  • This stylus is just as well-made as Adonit’s others. Many styluses I’ve come across are cheap and lightweight, but the Jots are very very well done.
  • The pressure-sensitivity aspect only works with iPad 2’s or newer. This was kinda a bummer for me because my iPad is first-generation. I have had to do my tests on my sister’s iPad 2, and I plan to upgrade with the next iPad release. For what it’s worth, the Jot Touch works great as a regular stylus, and seems improved over the previous Jot models. The springy tip feels even more like a ballpoint pen, and seems more responsive.
  • The Jot Touch is limited by whichever developers decide to integrate its technology into their apps, but there is an impressive variety of compatible apps already, including heavy-hitters like Sketchbook Pro, ArtRage, and Procreate. A notable app that is not compatible: Brushes.
  • Most weaknesses I’ve seen so far are a result of the app developers, not Adonit itself. Each app integrates the Jot Touch in different ways, some offering only opacity control while others include brush size control and shortcut buttons. There are differing levels of pressure by app too. However, as iPad speed improves and the Jot Touch becomes more popular, this can only get better with time.
  • The Jot Touch helps a lot with brushstroke variety, but not much for ACCURACY. That’s not to say it isn’t accurate – it is, for an iPad stylus. Don’t expect this stylus to miraculously turn your iPad into a Cintiq tablet. There is still a big adjustment if you haven’t drawn on an iPad before.
  • It is easier to draw pretty lines with the Jot Touch, but because accuracy is still an issue, I think it’s greater strength is in painting, not linework. It is SO MUCH easier for me to blend colors now, because I don’t have to constantly open menus to lower my brush opacity. I can just lightly glaze a color on top, and then go right back to painting bold colors with the next stroke. This is the discovery that has made me happiest so far.

More Reviews

If you want a more in-depth perspective, I’ve found these other articles most informative:

Macworld Review

TUAW Review

An Artist’s Review

Bottom Line

I would be quick to recommend this to artists who already draw on their iPads regularly. It is a welcome improvement to what the drawing experience has been so far. I would be more cautious towards artists who have never drawn on the iPad, because I suspect too many of them might think of this stylus as the cure to making good drawings on the iPad. If you’re not happy with the drawing experience now, I don’t think this will change your opinion of that. There is still a learning curve, and you still have to adjust your process and way of thinking; but once you learn these processes, the Jot Touch makes them faster. I would get to know your iPad with a less expensive stylus first.

Though there’s room for improvement, the Jot Touch is now what I consider the hands-down best stylus for the iPad. So if you know you will be using your iPad a lot and are looking for that one stylus to invest in, this would be it. I predict many initial complaints will disappear with new iPad and app releases. It is already my favorite tool, and I’ve only had it for less than a day.

4 thoughts on “Jot Touch Quick Review

  1. Lisa

    Thanks for the review, I’ve been kicking around the idea of getting something like this, was considering a small Cintiq…need to figure out money vs usability!

  2. Fave

    I just delved into the iPad stylus realm and this is a good review on a product/company you seemed to believe in from the start. I’m going through several styluses right now, searching for the best one to work with Sketcbook Pro on my iPad. I’ll definitely be checking this one out. Thanks!

  3. carltonarts

    I was so excited to buy and receive this stylus but I was quickly disappointed…not with the stylus but that the apps simply have not integrated the Jot Touch very well.
    Having owned a Wacom for a while, I expected this stylus to do at least two things…adjust opacity and brush size. In Procreate you can only adjust opacity. This doesn’t fit with the digital painting workflow.
    ALSO the levels of pressure according to Adonit, the manufacturers of the Jot Touch, claims 256 levels. Well I found within the Procreate only 2 and the unachievable third middle pressure.
    Anyways. This is a very well made stylus but it’s like having a race car and no race track to fully utilize the race car on.
    The apps simply need to catch up.
    I would wait to buy this stylus until then.
    I’ll probably be returning mine.

  4. Bo

    Dani, great and measured review. I have been doing conceptual sketches on my iPad and love the Jot Touch, which I have lived with just over a week so far. like you said, it is easier to draw “pretty” lines.. it simply add a bit of organic texture in the changing line weight/density, even if the actual value seems to be a bit unpredictable at the moment.
    Totally agree, this is a significant upgrade for somebody who already like illustrating on the iPad, but a far cry from a wacom device, im thinking your plan to wait for the next iPad release before upgrading is a smart move.

    @carltonarts Saturday morning ProCreate updated the app and improved the user experience quite a lot, I suspect the next couple of software revs will see this become significantly improved. agree with you, the levels are virtually impossible, but I seem to get maybe a few more in both art rage and in the latest rev of ProCreate. so I think this also will improve. the data is available from the pen, it is a question what the developers chose to do with that pressure info. for sure, this is nowhere close to my wacom in terms of anything. ;-)


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