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Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 review

Katharine Byrne
19 Aug 2015
Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
65
inc VAT

Expensive, temperamental and very sporadic palm rejection support, the Intuos Creative Stylus 2 is a disappointing digital pen

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Specifications

At £65, the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 is a rather expensive digital stylus made for the original iPad Air, iPad 3 and iPad 4, and all three iPad Minis. It pairs with your iPad via Bluetooth and charges via a micro USB port cleverly hidden underneath the rubber cap on the end of the pen.

The stylus itself is beautifully made, and its firm, narrow tip feels much more natural to use than the spongy, rubber orbs found on previous Wacom styli. Weighing just 19g, it's light and easy to hold, and its sculpted soft-touch body is extremely comfy to grip for long periods of time. There are also two customisable buttons which you can use to map various functions, such as the eraser, undo tool or full screen function depending on the app. The only problem is that it just doesn't quite work.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2

^ The Intuos Creative Stylus 2 has 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity, allowing you to draw thick or thin lines depending on how hard you press down on the screen

Just under twenty apps are compatible the Creative Stylus 2 at time of writing, but only eleven of them, such as Wacom's own Bamboo Paper app, support palm rejection. This means you can rest your hand on the screen for a more realistic drawing experience without having to worry about making accidental marks as you move your hand across the page. This is vital in my eyes, as trying to draw without palm rejection is nigh on impossible if you want to create something worthwhile.

However, even after trying three separate Creative Stylus 2s with Bamboo Paper, my experience was patchy to say the least. If my palm wasn't accidentally making marks on the screen, my lines kept getting erased because it got confused by another touch point on the screen. Likewise, the page kept zooming in and out as I moved my hand across the screen, and the pen's tracking kept wandering centimetres away from where I was trying to draw.

Wacom Bamboo Paper sketch

^ The Bamboo Paper app is admittedly more limited than AutoDesk Sketchbook, but even so, I simply had to give up at this point due to sheer frustration. The marks on the right are from my hand, despite the supposed palm rejection support

We used the Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 to sketch Link from The Legend of Zelda in the AutoDesk Sketchbook app

^ The AutoDesk Sketchbook app's palm rejection support worked much better, allowing me to draw without getting bogged down by too many technical issues

I suspect this may be due to poor implementation on Wacom's part, though, as I had much better luck getting the palm rejection to work with the AutoDesk Sketchbook app. Here, I was pretty pleased with my sketching efforts, but I still encountered the odd tracking issue. This is partly because you have to specify how you're holding the stylus, as this affects the angle at which the screen registers the pen tip. If you alter your grip, for instance, then it won't necessarily pick up the pen in the right location.

This was rather counter-intuitive for me, as I found my pen grip often changed depending on what I was drawing and where my hand was on the screen, particularly when it came to shading and colouring. Sticking with just one posture, on the other hand, felt slightly robotic to me, and while you can always change to one of the other prescribed palm positions (there are three for each hand), it's a hassle to keep switching back and forth. Likewise, I found they didn't always match how I was holding the pen.

Wacom Intuos Creative Stylus 2 carry case

^ The stylus comes in a handy carry case along with a USB charging cable

Admittedly, this is more a fault of the available software than an issue with the Creative Stylus 2 itself, but it nevertheless highlights a crucial flaw facing all digital styli. For me, it's simply not as convenient or efficient as using traditional pen and paper or a dedicated drawing tablet, and coupled with its dodgy palm rejection and limited number of supported apps, the Intuos Creative Stylus 2 is a highly frustrating product and doesn't live up to expectations. 

Buying information
Price including VAT£65
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Supplierwww.wacom.com
Detailswww.wacom.com
Part codeN/A

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