Review: Lynktec’s TruGlide Duo Stylus/Pen Combo

 

When I reviewed Lynktec’s original TruGlide Stylus in April, I came away very impressed. I’ve been disappointed by several other capacitive styli before, but this one was different. Their patented microfiber tip material makes all the difference in the world, resulting in a smoother writing experience, especially for others like myself, who prefer to use a screen protector on their iOS devices.

Thanks to its superior writing performance, I have continued to use the TruGlide as my go to stylus since my review. However, I did have one wish to improve upon Lynktec’s already winning formula.

In the end, it was the performance of the TruGlide’s tip that really won me over. Even if the length or weight of the stylus weren’t absolutely perfect for my hands or personal preferences, the patented tip just works better than any other capacitive material that I have seen or tried. If the TruGlide is as successful a product as I hope it will be, I would love to see additional models with a larger, heavier body made available. Take a large Parker Pen-style body and put this tip on it and you’re done. That would be the stylus to end all styli in my humble opinion.

Evidently someone at Lynktec was listening, because the new TruGlide Duo is very close to what I asked for, with a very handy additional feature thrown in to boot. Lynktec has taken the same microfiber tip material that made the original TruGlide a standout, and put it on a much larger body. This makes me happy.

 

As you can see here, the Duo is noticeably larger than both the original TruGlide and the Wacom Bamboo. It is also much heavier than the original TruGlide, but about equal with the Bamboo, which is quite hefty for its size. I personally prefer a more traditional large pen feel, and the additional length and weight make this stylus closer than any other I have tried. Combine this with Lynktec’s great capacitive tip, and you have a winner.

One thing I did notice while testing was that, despite the fact that the material is the same, the tip on the TruGlide Duo is a bit smaller than the one on my original model.

The positive is that the smaller tip makes it possible to write and draw with even greater precision. However, there is a small trade off to be aware of. Since there is less material, you have to write with the pen nearly perpendicular to the screen. I tend to naturally hold pens at more of an angle, and the original TruGlide worked a little better in this regard because there was a bit more of a tip to work with. However, while the smaller tip of the Duo required me to adjust my grip a bit, the increased accuracy is worth it, so no complaints here.

So the TruGlide Duo is a longer, heavier version of the original, but that’s not all. This stylus doubles as a ballpoint pen, as well, hence the name Duo. This certainly isn’t a new concept…unfortunately. I usually avoid stylus/pen hybrids like the plague. The ones I’ve seen in stores to this point have been nothing more than ham-fisted hacks. These things are usually just ordinary looking ballpoint pens with a big rubber ball at one end or on the cap. It’s as if some companies have purposely gone out of their way to make a something that combines the worst features of a pen and a stylus into some overpriced Franken-cessory. No thanks.

With my very negative preconceived notions of such a product, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first took the TruGlide Duo out of the box and looked it over.

I was very pleasantly surprised. The Duo isn’t just a pen with a ball on one end. It actually has some design and thought behind it. There were a few subtle details that stood out to me. First of all, the body of the pen is straight, only tapering at the pen and capacitive tips.

This insures that the feel in the hand is the same whether you are using the stylus or the pen. This is a major shortcoming of a few of the other combos I have seen, which usually tend to favor one tip over the other. If either writing mode is just a “throw in,” then what’s the point?

Second, Lynktec wisely put the clip on the cap, rather than the pen body like the original TruGlide.

This allows the user to move it from one end to the other, where it is always out of the way while holding the stylus. Also, since it is on the cap, the clip can be removed entirely while using the stylus. Like the straight body, this is a small detail, but one that could screw up the entire design if not done properly.

Lastly, what good is a pen if it doesn’t work when you need it? Thankfully, the Duo uses standard refillable ink cartridges, so you don’t end up with a dried up pen a couple of months down the road.

Another small, but essential design decision here. A combo accessory is only worth having if all parts of the package work well and co-exist together. Otherwise, the weaker link just drags the whole thing down. Thankfully, that isn’t the case with the TruGlide Duo. Neither the capacitive tip, nor the pen gets in the way of the other, which makes it a very successful marriage.

At the end of the day, the star of this show is the stylus, with its awesome patented tip. That’s what I loved about the original TruGlide, and the same is true with the Duo, as well. As for the rest, there’s not too much to say, but that’s certainly not a negative. Quite the opposite, in fact. Lynktec’s small design touches insure that this combination comes together properly.

And the pen? Well, a pen is a pen is a pen, unless you buy something really high-end and expensive. It’s a commodity item. The Duo’s pen works as well as any typical ballpoint in this price range, and that’s all it needs to do. The true value of the Duo is that you have this usable pen with you when you need it, along with one of the best styli you can find for use on a capacitive screen.

For me, with as many devices and accessories as I carry with me daily, anything that can serve more than one purpose and do it well is worth a place in my bag. That’s ultimately the reason that combo accessories exist. Anything that can lighten your load a bit is worth the price if it performs well, because it means there is one less thing you have to carry. The rapid proliferation of gadgets in our increasingly electronic world means there’s increasingly more and more stuff that’s necessary to power, protect, and use our gadgets. Chargers, cases, bags, styli, and more, every device has its own accessory demands. If you use a stylus often with your iOS devices, then the TruGlide Duo is definitely a great value. It easily meets the standard of a great combo accessory. When you take the TruGlide Duo with you, there’s one less thing you have to carry. Take the Duo, leave the pen.

 

The TruGlide Duo is available in Carbon and Platinum finishes from Lynktec and Amazon for $39.95.

 

The TruGlide Duo was provided by Lynktec for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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  • Soni

    Hi

    I’ve tried a number of styli and haven’t been too happy with them. I’m trying to get hold of the Lynxtec Duo Stylus in the UK, but I can’t find any suppliers. Any ideas?

    Thanks
    S

  • jhrogersii

    I corresponded with the rep from Lynktec, and she said that while they don’t have any distributors in the UK, you can order the stylus directly from their web site, Lynktec.com. They ship internationally. Also, if you order more than $25, they have free shipping, so you will be covered since the Duo is $39.

    Hope that helps.

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelAngeroth Michael Angeroth

    Thanks for posting this nice review, I just bought one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.hall.56884761 Mark Hall

    Is the tip firm or hollow and spongy (like the older rubber tips)? I prefer a tactile feel that I am pressing on the screen.