The Cregle Ink R is a rechargeable, fine tip active stylus for tablets. Active stylus are nicer due to their small tips, and in this case, the Cregle Ink R offers a 2.4mm tip, which is smaller than the usual 5-8mm sized tips on the rubber normal stylus. Tablets have grown in popularity and they are good multi purpose devices. If you start using them for note taking, annotation, or even drawing, a stylus can definitely come in handy.
The Cregle Ink R comes in two colours, white or gray. The review unit sent to me was white. The main pen body was a smooth powdery-like metal finish which offers a nice grip for the fingers. The top of the pen is encased in the white smooth plastic, with an on / off metal switch and the Cregle logo. There is a tiny blue light near the front of the Cregle ink R that stays on when the stylus is turned on. The top cap can be opened to access the microUSB port for charging, and the cap also holds an additional replacement stylus tip. The only issue I found was that it resembled a marker pen due to the thick round body and it would have been better if Cregle could have slimmed the Ink R down.
The ink R is powered by a rechargeable battery instead of the previous AAAA battery. I don’t even know how an AAAA battery looks like. Cregle shared that the Ink R is an improvement over their original Ink stylus, where they have improved the replaceable pen tip to provide a longer-lasting tip, thus further extending the period in which a single tip can be used and reducing the hassle of replacing the tip numerous times. It was nice that they provided a spare tip too.
So having used it for awhile, I found that the Cregle Ink R finer tips offers better accuracy over the normal stylus. Also, normal stylus tend to use soft rubber tips which are easily compressible and goes out of shape. One issue I find with using the normal stylus is that it is hard to accurately pinpoint the location that is in contact with the screen. This can be important for fine selection or drawing / sketching. The tip on the Cregle Ink R is a harder rubber material with a smaller surface area allowing for more precise control. One common complaint with other fine tip stylus (those that are made of metal) are that it scratches the screen. No such problem here with the rubber material.
Writing experience isn’t exactly the most ideal. It’s a slightly different feeling which does takes some time getting used to. I felt like I needed to exaggerate my strokes, and occasionally, some of my strokes would be missed. The sensitivity of the stylus was average. I did test out a variety of apps, including those recommended by Cregle such as Bamboo paper, etc. To be fair, capacitive touchscreen just isn’t very precise. It doesn’t register touch inputs frequently enough to recognise something like small text. I had recently tested the Galaxy Note 4 and well, that’s what set the Samsung Note apart with their mix of capacitive and resistive touch screen.
The above video shows my experience with the Ink R. I would have prefer a stylus with palm rejection but that’s not in this current Cregle model. I did enjoy using it more than a normal stylus. Besides the iPad Air, I tested the Ink R on a number of devices too – iPhone 5S, LG G Pro 2, HTC Desire Eye and the HP Stream 7. It was the most sensitive on Android devices, and it could actually work without being powered on.
Overall, the ink R is an aesthetically pleasing stylus, offering better precision with the small, 2.4mm rubber nib. But the sensitivity was an issue that holds it back. However, at US$49, the Ink R is definitely not for everyone. You can buy the Cregle Ink R directly from their online website or through Amazon. Do check the Cregle website as they are currently running an Xmas promotion; 50% off the second stylus.