The topic of using a stylus with a tablet is a bit controversial. When discussing the iPad in 2010, Steve Jobs (semi-)famously said, "...if you see a stylus, they blew it." And for the most part, recent tablets - whether they're running Android, iOS, or something else - have been designed with that philosophy in mind. Run a quick Google search, though, and you can see two things: styluses are hotly discussed in news and editorials, and they're on sale everywhere and in every price range.

For some (okay, few), using a tablet is really just easier with a stylus. For others, they are good only for occasional tasks such as drawing, coloring, or apps that require higher precision. And for others still, they don't want to see them (or simply have no need for them), ever. So where do you fall? For, against, or somewhere in between?

Do you use a stylus with your tablet?

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[Image: Geek With A Laptop. Also, check out this cool "Build Your Own Tablet Stylus" post from LifeHacker.]

Aaron Gingrich
Aaron is a geek who has always had a passion for technology. When not working or writing, he can be found spending time with his family, playing a game, or watching a movie.

  • jordanjay29

    Only for notes in math class. Even LaTeX is slower than pure handwriting math.

    • Geir

      Like your argument there, go tex. Anyway, i wish there was more focus on developing apps that Could parse my handwriting and convert it to text

  • Jake

    I'm an artist and I prefer my tablet to have s Wacom-style digitizer for precise stylus tracking and pressure sensitive control. I would only use the stylus for art and signing contracts.

  • Skillit

    After playing around with the Note I've to say that a stylus and a tab can go together very well, especially if they improve the handwriting to text recognition It can be truly ground breaking to the way people study and work.

    Palm use to have a awesome tech in handwriting recognition on the Treo devices, whatever happen to that ?

  • livelyppop

    I use one because I don't like to get my screen covered with fingerprints.

  • Anubis

    I use it for fine tasks; manipulating pictures, etc. But I don't use it for the interface at all. Mostly it is manipulating within files that have been transferred from a PC and that I need to fine tune.

  • Deltaechoe

    Since I use my tablet primarily as a notebook for class, I use my stylus a lot

  • Courtney

    I really want a ten inch tablet with a wacom digitizer and pen. At the same time, I use my tablet for notes with a bluetooth keyboard and a stylus.

  • Rob

    I don't have a tablet, but since one of the main reasons I want one is to draw on, I'd want a stylus! Maybe even two, a normal one and one of those weird paintbrush ones

  • http://royblumenthal.com/portfolio Roy Blumenthal

    Absolutely not the right framing of this poll. I've bought almost every stylus there is. And I use none of them. Not one. And that's cos they're all crap.

    However, I use the s-pen on my Galaxy Note for drawing. And it's blissful having precise control.

    I've read a rumour that there's a 10.1" version of the Note coming soon. With stylus. And if that's the case, I'll FINALLY be able to ditch my tablet PC and do professional illustration on a portable device.

    So, there should have been an option in the poll to say, 'If styluses worked properly on my device, I'd use one.'

  • jeffb34

    I have a Lenovo Thinkpad tablet which has a digitizer with stylus to take notes in class and mark up PDFs. This works 100% better than those after market stylus used on a regular tablet.

    • Btod

      What app do you use to mark up PDFs? I have a transformer and all of my class notes are in pdf and I desperately need a great annotating app. Ezpdf is good but not great. Repligo is so sluggish and the interface makes it too difficult to use I think.

      • jeffb34

        I am using Ezpdf... not perfect but is getting there. They just added a pressure sensitive pen for my tablet as well.

  • Ian Stephenson

    I'll use it but it HAS to be a capactive stylus with magic, like the HTC Scribe pen or the S Pen.

  • Eric

    Not sure this is a great poll. There are two very different stylus'. First, you have the stylus that is designed to mimic your finger, that will work with any kind of tablet. Not something I'm interested it.

    Second, you have the stylus designed for precision work. I'd love one to take notes in my math and engineering classes. That's what I want.

    The poll doesn't distinguish between them. In fact, it seems to be leaning more towards the first type of stylus, even though it is the second type that is the more debated right now, thanks to Samsung's Note (future lineup?), and HTC's past tablets.

  • http://www.sacnoth.com Bill Joyce

    A friend's senior citizen mother found a stylus was the only way she could use her Kindle Fire. With a stylus she loves it. My wife and I are happy with our fingers on our Acer A500.

  • Luis Mazza

    A Stylus would only be truly useful if you could lay part of your hands on the screen while writing. This is impossible right now (Galaxy Note here). So it's not a natural use.

  • richard

    Two cases:

    1. Very useful, so losing the stylus is inevitable.

    2. Not very useful at all, so the stylus is just useless weight.

    So why have a stylus? If you can't design a tablet without a stylus, let someone else design it.

  • James

    Any way you slice it, no matter what stylus you want to debate about, this poll reinforces one fact. Steve Jobs is still wrong and I love saying that about a guy who wanted nothing more that to force his opinion on people.

  • Doods de los Reyes

    There are some applications and use cases wherein using a stylus with a precise digitizer is critical. I like how my Samsung Galaxy Note can provide that experience while being totally optional.

  • GraveUypo

    High precision, pressure and tilt sensitive (like wacom tablets)?
    yes please.

    regular old crappy "touchscreen pen"?