Sep 24 2012

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$.

Aug 30 2011

New Pogo Sketch Pro Review


OK Fingerpainters, for those of you who prefer the comfort of a stylus there is a new one on the market, that I have had the honor of testing for the last 6 months and I must say it is my favorite of the new crop. It’s the Pogo Sketch Pro. Yes, made by the same people that gave you the small foam tipped beauty you could clip to your iPhone. The Pro version sports many new design features, each hitting a home run as far as I’m concerned. Fist, the purified solid aluminum tapered body, more reminiscent of a paintbrush than a pen. It’s about 5.5 inches long, an inch longer than the Wacom Bamboo and inch and a quarter longer than the griffen/targus/boxwave brands. Like the Bamboo it has extraordinary balance. Unlike any others though you can hold it at any angle.

That’s right, 5 degrees to straight up 90 it works. I have many, many styluses (styli?) in my collection and no other performs like this one does. It has a new patent pending tip technology involving patterned structures with in the tip itself. Kind of like little perforated holes so the tip is in constant contact with your preferred slab of joy. It is comfortable with my iPad 2 on an easel or iProp as well as my iPod Touch in hand.

It’s really responsive. The rubber tip being the same size and “squishiness” as the Bamboo (which is also a good choice for those who prefer a pen type stylus). The Pro also has a comfort grip, my hand never tires of using it. And best of all, it’s affordable at $24.95. It comes with 2 tips (I didn’t know that while I was testing.) The new rubber one and the classic foam tip. And even more good news, in October you will be able to purchase just replacement tips if anything happens to your Pogo Pro. I have had a fair share of the rubber tipped wonders just stop working and I love the idea of protecting my initial investment. I don’t know the price on those yet. I’m sure an announcement will come soon.

Now for those of you who are going to ask how it compares to my stylus socks…. I still LOVE those too. I am going to admit that my homemade charcoal holder with a shapedad plug shoved in it is still my favorite, but that’s because working with an easel the almost 10 inch length is best for me.  But I am an odd duck.

I do carry the Pogo Pro everywhere I take my iPad or Touch. It’s especially good at taking notes as well as painting. I am waiting for the kickstarter Flow brush and the Cosmonaut… last I’ve heard they are still in production You will get my opinion as soon as they get to my door. Conclusion… if you like a stylus, You’ll love the Pogo Sketch Pro.