For a few years now, Adobe's been teasing its followers about Project Mighty, its iPad stylus and ruler prototypes. The day has finally come: Those prototypes have graduated to full-fledged products in the form of Adobe Ink and Slide, available in the United States for $200. The accessories are also paired with two new iPad apps from the company: Adobe Line and Sketch.
Down to details: stylus and ruler, together
It's hard to talk about Adobe's latest accessory offering without first acknowledging its price: At over $100, The Ink and Slide has the highest price tag we've seen in the iOS stylus market. To be fair, that's partly a result of Adobe packaging the Ink stylus and Slide ruler together — you can't buy them separately. Which is a shame, because while Ink stylus is a pretty good iOS pen, it's not the best in its class; the Slide ruler, however, is the kind of unique accessory I suspect many people will want.
That's not to say the Ink and Slide package isn't worth picking up. Adobe partnered with longtime stylus-maker Adonit to create the hardware, so the Ink sports the same panache and Pixelpoint technology you'll find in the Jot line of iOS pens.
The Ink: A wonderful 1.0, with a few flaws
The Ink is a tri-corner aluminum stylus, its edges curving from top to bottom much like ribbons on a May pole. The look is as functional as it is fabulous, as the changing edges prevent the pen from rolling away on an angled desk. The curves also make for a surprisingly comfortable stylus to hold.
Like Adonit's Jot Script, the Ink's 3mm nib is made of plastic and glides easily across an iPad screen, yet it provides excellent resistance and feedback when drawing, outlining, or writing. It's a tad lighter in the hand than I like my styluses to be, but that's largely a matter of personal preference.
The Ink has two distinguishing features on its body: a customizable color tip at the end, and a single button along the side. The button triggers the quick tools screen in either of Adobe's new sketching apps, giving you access to color tools, the clipboard, a palm-rejection switch, and more.
As with the Jot Script, you can use the Ink stylus in any app, but to really dig into its features, you have to use it inside proprietary apps. In this case, those apps are Adobe's new Sketch and Line programs.
When working in Sketch (which is a very nice app, though it oftentimes feels like an upscale Paper clone), you can change the stylus's colored tip, enable or disable palm rejection, access those aforementioned quick tools, and draw just about anything you like. You tap to pair the stylus, much like you would in Paper, and palm rejection is actually quite good: I had the Ink malfunction only once or twice in several afternoons' worth of drawing, which is a near record for me for those sorts of things.
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