I was a bit skeptical to review another active stylus when approached by a lesser know company called Moai Electronics from Taiwan. Their website shows that they have a few cool products which includes things like Wearable Air Conditioner and E-Scarf that’s actually a portable warmer or cooler that you wear around your neck. Never knew such a gadget existed and it’s worth checking it out. Anyway they sent me their active stylus called the mPen.
Having reviewed two other active styluses namely the Precision Touch Dart Stylus and the Lynktec Rechargeable Apex Stylus which was almost identical, I was wondering if this was going to be the same. I was pleasantly surprised that there are a few things that sets the mPen stylus apart. This is an active stylus just like the Dart and Lynktec stylus which means it does not need Bluetooth connection in order to use it. One of the main advantages of using an active stylus is the fine tip giving you more precision than the conventional capacitive stylus that has a large tip made of rubber or conductive foam.
Here’s what sets it apart from the other active styluses that I’ve reviewed. It has the best response and writing experience. The Lynktec and Dart both have hardened 2.3 and 2.1mm tip respectively but you need to write gently on the tablet device like the iPad or the Nexus 7 or you’ll hear the loud “tak tak” sound as it hits against the screen. The mPen on the other hand has a 2.6mm softer rubber tip which is still quite thin giving you a quieter writing. It also has the best response where there’s no delay making writing and drawing a pleasure. Even at a difficult angle, the stylus could still be detected. It had no problems writing on a iPhone 5S with tempered glass protector as well as an iPad Mini with normal screen protector.
Also the other thing I liked about this stylus is the push on/off button at the other end which is just like a typical ballpoint pen that makes turning on and off an easy job. The Lynktec requires a press and hold to activate while the Dart needs a twist to turn on the stylus. The mPen got the design right to make it quicker and easier to use. However, there’s no auto-off feature when not in use which is expected for this design but the blue LED light will indicate clearly that it’s turned on.
Also the weight and size of the stylus is perfect mimicking a normal pen and it’s not too large measuring 14.48cm in length with a diameter of 1.15cm. It also requires a single AAA battery which will give you around 12 operating hours. I guess if you use a rechargeable battery with larger capacity it should run much longer. Included in the package is a AAA standard battery as well as 2 rubber replacement tips. The construction of the body is made of solid aluminum and has a good weight with battery included. The stylus will work with most of the common touch screen devices like the iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone and Android phones and tablets. It also comes with a pocket clip so that you can clip it to your case or pocket.
I tested it on most of the common drawing apps like FiftyThree’s Paper and Bamboo Paper and it works flawlessly except for the same wavy line issue encountered with most active styluses. Here’s something drawn with the stylus.
I highly recommend the Moai mPen stylus as it’s currently giving me the best usable and practical experience of all the active styluses that I’ve reviewed so far. The mPen comes in 2 colors, one a silver and black combination while another in full matte black which is my favorite. It’s retailing at USD39.99 which makes it much cheaper than the other active styluses like Lynktec. Unfortunately according to Moai, the stylus is currently only available in retail outlets in Taiwan. However, they do have plans to expand to Malaysia and Singapore market. If you’re interested, check out the stylus at their website.
It’s currently also available at Amazon for around $35.