Palm Stylus

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Choosing the Right PDA Stylus

The touchscreen is one of the key features of any PDA, as well as other handheld devices like tablets and smartphones. Picking out the right stylus can make it easier and more comfortable to use your device.

What Does a PDA Stylus Do?

  • Using your fingers to operate a touchscreen is the obvious choice for a lot of people, but it can lead to a lot of typos and also leave sweat and skin oils on your screen. A stylus has a narrow point for extra precision and it keeps the touchscreen away from direct contact with your skin.
  • Styluses are especially popular for handwriting and drawing on touchscreens. You can use a handheld stylus a lot like a pen, so it can feel very natural. The narrow point is also very useful for hitting individual touchscreen keyboard letters on smaller screens. Some manufacturers even make specialist brush styluses designed specifically for digital drawing and painting.
  • Styluses are especially useful when you are working with resistive touchscreens. You have to apply pressure to use a resistive touchscreen, and pressing down with a hard stylus point is a lot more precise than pressing down with a relatively squishy fingertip.

What Features Should I Look For?

  • Capacitive touchscreens are found in a lot of touchscreen devices. They rely on your body's natural conductivity to change the screen's electrical field where you touch it, which is why they don't work when you are wearing gloves. This is also a problem when using a stylus. If you want to operate a capacitive touchscreen, you will need a metal stylus or one made out of another conductive materials. Most plastic ones won't work.
  • A lot of PDAs come with a built-in stylus holder. If you want to make use of this to keep your stylus safe, you will need to use one that actually fits. That often means choosing one that matches the original stylus. If you have a PDA like the PalmOne or Palm Zire, you may need a stylus to go with it.
  • Different styluses can have different types of tip. Usually they come with either a rounded off tip or a precise point. A rounded tip is less precise than a pointed one, but there is less risk of scratching your touchscreen if you put too much pressure behind it.
  • Styluses can often be found in packs containing several of them, especially plastic ones. If you often lose styluses or just want to have a lot of them, this is a good way to get them.

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