First look: the pogo connect

Benjamin Rabe

Pressure sensitivity has always been one of the most requested features amongst mobile artists. With the Adonit Jot Touch already on the market, it seemed like a logical step that tenonedesign, who were amongst the first to come out with a stylus for the iPad (the legendary pogo sketch, and later the pogo sketch pro), have been also working for a pressure sensitive stylus for a while now. Secretly named the BlueTiger Project, it is now scheduled for October for pre-order.

Thanks to Dave Skinner of tenonedesign, I was able to test-drive the pogo connect bluetootch 4.0 Smart Pen before its public appearance.

the pogo connect

The setup

I used the connect mainly with procreate so far, but it also works with ArtStudio, SketchBookPro and ZenBrush.
Surprisingly, the connect doesn’t have a power button. Using a standard AAA battery, the pogo is an always-on device. Other than the Adonit Jot Touch, which has a small rechargeable battery built-in, that means you don’t really have to care about power consumption much. I have been using the connect for a week now, and the battery indicator (it’s being shown in procreate) only went down one level so far.
The pogo connects via bluetooth and the connection dropped only occasionly in my case when using it a full day to do life illustrations during the mlove mobileXmusic event last week.

Live sketch done using the pogo connect and procreate

Sketching with the pogo connect

To put it right upfront: sketching with the pogo connect is pure fun. I was surprised how well the rubber tip seems to transmit the pressure data. You get a very constant distribution of pressure while sketching.

Where the Jot feels more like a wet brush, the pogo connect feels more like a crayon to me.

Here’s a very quick video shot from hand to give you a quick first impression:

In procreate, you can map the sensitivity to either size or opacity by switching the glaze button.

Overall I really like the device. If I had to criticize anything I would say it lacks good grip. Since you have you apply more pressure compared to the jot, I often accidentally pressed the button on the pogo. Eventually I held it a little more towards the top and used the app undo button. And even though I got to really like the precision disc of the jot, the wider rubber tip of the connect didn’t really degrade the overall experience for me.

I will post a more detailed review soon. The pogo connect is open for preorder beginning october 1st for a price of 79.95$.


15 Responses to “First look: the pogo connect”

  • stefan marjoram Says:

    Looks fun – I must give it a try one day.

  • microbians Says:

    Do you try it with a screen protector if it is less working of not working at all?

  • seongmok Says:

    Is this one better for note taking than jot touch?
    It would be helpful for me to make a decision to buy one of them.
    Thanks

  • Benjamin Rabe Says:

    I think both are good for note taking, personally I would prefer the pogo for its overall better balanced pressure sensitivity.

  • Benjamin Rabe Says:

    I haven’t tried it with a screen protector, but since it works through bluetooth, that shouldn’t influence the pressure sensitivity at all.

  • Graeme Says:

    I’m interested, did you have any concerns about the jot touch scratching your screen? I don’t like screen protectors and would choose this over the touch or the upcoming jaja rather than use a screen protector, but if that’s not a concern then the jaja might win it, depending on the reviews.

  • Benjamin Rabe Says:

    No, I can’t see the jot touch scratching the screen at all. It’s really just a disc made of plastic, I don’t think it’s possible to scratch glass with it. I’m curious about the jaja, too.

  • Valerie Beeby Says:

    Very interesting! I’ve only got the Wacom Bamboo for my iPad. Tried it again the other day but I couldn’t wait to get back to the fine point and pressure sensitivity of the S Pen in my Galaxy Note, even though it’s like painting with a cocktail stick! Jot Touch or Pogo Connect do look good but I’m waiting for the Galaxy Note 2, with a larger stylus – and maybe the Galaxy Note 10.1 too. By the way, my HTC Flyer had a battery, but the S Pen does not.

  • Susan Murtaugh Says:

    Interesting, thanks for posting. Looking forward to trying it.

  • Daniel Says:

    Thanx for this review. One important thing for me: What about palm rejection?

  • Will Says:

    Thanks for the review. Can you compare the pressure sensitivity to a Wacom stylus? I just ordered the JaJa and would like to add the Connect to my collection. The connect appears to be more rugged and would be better out in the field.

  • Michael Says:

    My main concern is the lag between touch/movement and it appearing on the screen. It seems present in your video. Was it inhibitive or interfering at all? Did you get used to it? In your experience have they all done that?

  • Benjamin Rabe Says:

    Can’t say I experienced any lag in either device. but I am not a super fast sketcher.

  • A short interview with Dave Skinner about the pogo connect | iPhone, iPad and iPod fingerpainting blog Says:

    […] wrote a post about the pogo connect earlier this month. Now Dave Skinner of tenonedesign was so kind to answer […]

  • Will Says:

    It really is a shame that the Pogo Connect is not compatible with iPad 1 or iPad 2. The Connect requires the iPad 3. Kind of wish I knew that little detail before I ordered. I’m surprised it wasn’t mentioned in this review.

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