gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

Just Mobile AluPen Stylus For iPad And Other Tablets

I tried a couple of iPad stylii a while back and found them to be, to spare a string of verbal abuse, lacking. They required too much pressure and were far too grippy against the iPad screen. They were ugly too, but form follows function… or lack thereof… so that’s really a moot point.

My friends over at MobileFun, purveyors of many iPad Accessories were kind enough to supply an AluPen for me to try. From just seconds of use, I’ve literally just removed it from the packaging, I’ve found it to be lightyears ahead of the stylii that previously put me off the whole concept.

The AluPen was recommended by the author of an iPad App which I’ve recently become rather smitten by in my continuous endeavour to give my daughter, who is now 4, the best start in reading and writing she can possibly get. This App is ABC PocketPhonics (which has just been updated to version 1.9), and it provides an excellent and engaging learning experience for kids, drilling the basics of letter forms and phonics into them in a fun way.

Letter forms is the point I wish to make here. ABC PocketPhonics shows your child exactly how to write each letter. Whilst it’s all well and good for them to get the basic idea by tracing it with their finger, it’s arguably much, much better for them to have something that at least vaguely resembles a real pen or pencil to practise proper writing technique with.

This is where the AluPen comes in. I furbished my daughter with… lesser… stylii and found that their shortcomings rendered them effectively useless for this particular purpose. The AluPen, however, requires a very small amount of pressure, has a beautiful weight and feel to it, is appropriately bulky, and resembles a crayon… something that any child should be intimately familiar with.

As such, it’s a brilliant companion to educational games like these, and I couldn’t recommend it more in general as, perhaps, the sexiest stylus I’ve held since MetalStylii furbished me with a gunmetal beauty for my Tapwave Zodiac.

Children’s games aside, the AluPen is a fantastic stylus to solve the cold-fingers problem if you fancy a bit of outdoor iPad/iPhone use in winter. That is to say, it’s big enough to hold easily through gloves.

As for painting, it’s no paintbrush and the artist in you might find it a little too stubby and imprecise for gentle brush strokes. I’ve not tried any iPad stylii that purport to be great for painting, so I couldn’t say how it compares but it suits my limited drawing ability well enough and is certainly better than a finger at least.

Finally, did I mention that it looks good? I was sent the red one which is just the right red, not too bright, and is rounded off with that lovely metallic ( well it should be, it’s made of aluminium ) anodised finish that everyone loves.

The only downside to the AluPen is the price. At around £20 it’s a little on the steep side, but the high quality should more than make up for this… coupled with the fact that it actually works really, really well. It comes with a sexy little leather carrying case, too.

If the red pictured is not your forte, then you’ll be interested to know that there are 7 colours to choose from; blue, green, yellow, black, red, pink and, naturally, plain ol’ aluminium. MobileFun don’t stock them all, but you can find them at

There’s not much more to want in a stylus!

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011, iPad, iPad 2, iPhone.