tablet with stylus

Choosing a Stylus for Your Tablet: Universal or Specific?

XPPen 2024-03-21 10:52:13 6 min read
Are you considering buying a stylus for your drawing tablet? You might have this question in mind:

A brand-specific stylus with full functionality and a good reputation costs $130.

A stylus that can work with many devices is being sold for $15 online. It's unclear which specific devices it's compatible with and it's made by different brands.

Which one should you choose?

Want to know if a universal stylus is compatible with your drawing tablet? Wondering how well it works? Considering if it's a good buy?

To find the answers, continue reading. This article will address all your questions you want to know about styluses for drawing tablets.

There are two working principles of stylus pens: electromagnetic resonance and capacitive. These two principles apply in detecting movement on the surface of a drawing tablet with stylus.

An electromagnetic resonance stylus uses a magnetic field to figure out where it is. It's also called EMR technology.

The touch screen sends a changing electromagnetic field to the stylus pen when you try to draw and use its surface. Styluses also emit electromagnetic waves in an intermittent manner toward the screen. When the stylus approaches the receiving coil on the screen, the coil senses the electromagnetic waves emitted by the stylus. The coil group closest to the stylus senses a higher electromotive force.

The position of the stylus can be determined by measuring the electrical charge in the horizontal and vertical directions. This information is used to move the cursor on the screen.

This means that when you press the touch screen with your stylus to write or draw, the stylus and the touch screen communicate with each other to figure out exactly where the stylus is. This allows you to write or draw what you want.

EMR technology

By this principle, you may have found that the EMR stylus works without touching the screen because it uses virtual signals. If necessary, you can operate the EMR stylus by hovering it over the screen without worrying about scratching the surface.

Of course, you should be mindful of the hovering distance of the stylus since it is only limited. The strength of the electromagnetic field gradually weakens with increasing distance. Typically, the operating distance of an EMR stylus is between a few millimeters to several centimeters.

For some professional EMR styluses, their operating distance may be further. In most cases, people still need to be close to the touch screen in order to accurately sense the electromagnetic field. This is necessary for successful positioning.

A capacitive stylus is a type of stylus specifically designed for use with capacitive touchscreens, typically found in smartphones, tablets, and other modern devices. Capacitive touch screens use the electrical properties of the human body to detect touch, unlike resistive touch screens.

A capacitive stylus typically consists of a conductive material, such as metal or conductive rubber, which makes up the conductive to and capacitive sensor. These materials typically mimic the electrical conductivity of a human finger. When the stylus pen touches the screen surface, its conductive rod changes the capacitance of the screen. The touch screen can sense this change and determine its position.

This means that a capacitive stylus requires a built-in capacitive sensor in the screen to function. As long as your screen has a capacitive sensor and is compatible, you can use this type of stylus.

Thankfully, most touch screens used in modern electronic devices are of the capacitive type. This means that they can recognize inputs from capacitive styluses, fingers, and even gloves.

We can find many types of touchscreen styluses available on the market besides EMR and capacitive styluses. Here, we'll talk about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of pen tips, their uses, and the compatibility of these styluses with different screens.

Capacitive styluses are suitable for most capacitive touchscreen devices, such as android tablets like Microsoft surface pro, iOS tablets like iPad air or pro and computer screens.

Capacitive touchscreens have many benefits, including the ability to recognize multiple touch inputs, handwriting, finger, glove and other inputs, and they have faster response times. They also typically have higher resolutions which give clearer and more detailed images and text.

EMR styluses use the principle of electromagnetic resonance to detect the position and angle of the equivalent stylus, which is highly suitable for specific types of EMR touchscreen devices like many professional digital drawing tablets, notepads, and tablets.

Professional digital drawing tablets and handwriting tablets use EMR screens instead of capacitive screens because the former has higher precision and a more natural feel.

Unlike capacitive screens, EMR screens do not require physical contact to detect the position of the pen. This type of pen typically has a fingertip and higher sensitivity, making drawing and writing more natural and accurate.

In addition, EMR screens can recognize the tilt and rotation angle of the stylus, which is helpful for drawing and writing. The screens can also detect the position and pressure level of the stylus, making drawings look more realistic and natural.

stylus pressure tilt

EMR styluses are divided into passive styluses and active styluses:

  • Passive Styluses

    Also known as battery-free styluses, this kind of electromagnetic stylus does not require a battery or power source and uses passive wireless pressure-sensitive stylus technology.

  • Active Styluses

    Active styluses require a battery or charging. Active styluses can provide higher precision and sensitivity, making writing and drawing more realistic and natural. The size and weight of the stylus are limited by the battery size, and frequent charging over a long period can also reduce its durability.

Capacitive styluses, passive EMR styluses, and active EMR styluses can all be divided into wired and wireless versions. Bluetooth styluses work the same way as other types of styluses, but only through its wireless Bluetooth signal.

Some wireless styluses use Bluetooth to eliminate the inconvenience of wired connections, making it more convenient to connect and use. However, this also means that the price of wireless styluses could be pricier than that of wired ones.

There are other types of styluses available on the market, such as ultrasonic styluses and infrared styluses. However, these types of styluses are relatively niche and have limited applications, so we won't delve into them in detail today.

Many styluses are available nowadays, but is there one that works on all screens?

The answer is no.

Currently, there is no stylus that can be universally used on all types of screens. Different screens have built-in sensors that determine what kind of stylus should be used. Even capacitive styluses that are relatively widely applicable are not suitable for use on professional drawing tablets.

So, if you want to buy a stylus, it's a good idea to first check if it will work with your touchscreen device. Look for the specifications and compatibility list of your device to help you choose the right stylus for you.

In summary, there is no stylus that works on every type of screen, so make sure to get one that is compatible with your device. If you're an artist and need a high-quality stylus, you might want to consider the XPPen X3 series. It's equipped with the new X3 smart chip, which makes it more sensitive, durable, and performance-oriented, making it a great tool for any artist.

For professional artists, both passive styluses and active styluses have their own advantages and disadvantages. Wouldn't it be great if there was a stylus that could combine the convenience of a passive stylus with no need for charging, with the precision and pressure sensitivity of an active stylus?

This is exactly what XPPen's touch pen offers.

The XPPen X3 series stylus, equipped with the new X3 smart chip, can accurately process electromagnetic signals by encoding them into digital data. This change has increased the sensitivity of the initial activation force by 10 times, allowing users to enjoy a soft painting touch while retaining the characteristics of a battery-free stylus. With the digital acquisition and encoding of the X3 smart chip, artists can draw with almost no parallax or virtual lines, and locate the cursor accurately even in the four corners of the screen.

xppen x3 elite plus stylus
  • Price: $39.99. Get a brand-specific stylus at an affordable price.

  • More sensitive: The X3 smart chip technology increases the sensitivity of the initial activation force by 10-fold, allowing for artwork to be produced with a featherlight stroke.

  • More realistic: The X3 smart chip reduces the retraction distance to 0.6mm, resulting in a steady brushstroke without wobble.

  • Improved stability: With its 8192 pressure sensitivity levels and a 60-degree tilt function, the X3 stylus ensures easy, intuitive control while creating artwork.

  • Improved durability: The overall design of the X3 smart chip greatly optimizes its inner structure and eliminates the consumable spring components of previous designs, resulting in a 2x increase in the lifespan of the stylus.

  • Perfect performance: The X3 smart chip is designed with a digital signal processing mechanism, offering the clearest and most dependable signal ever.

  • Available products:

X3 Elite Plus Stylus

                    Artist Pro 16 Pen Display
Learn more

X3 Elite Plus Stylus

                    Artist Series Pen Display (2nd Gen)
Learn more

xppen x3 pro smart chip stylus

Switch between brush and eraser with ease by tapping the shortcut key on the pen body, without the need to click on the screen interface. The eraser head is also preserved, allowing for realistic smudging and erasing effects.

X3 Pro smart chip stylus is an upgraded version based on the X3 Elite stylus, which has optimized and improved many aspects of X3's already high performance:

  • The first response time is as low as 90ms*, which is 1.5 times faster than before.

  • The accuracy of the pen is improved by 20%, from 0.5mm (center) to 0.4mm (center), with no delay, no interruption, extremely small deviation, efficient creation, and smoothness.

  • The pressure level has increased by 100%, from 8192 levels of pressure to 16384 levels, which is the world's first 16K level pressure technology.

  • The pen body is equipped with a shortcut key. Switch between brush and eraser with ease by tapping the shortcut key without clicking on the screen interface. The eraser head is also reserved to restore the real effect of painting and wiping.

  • Available products:

X3 Pro Smart Chip Stylus

                    Artist Pro 14 Drawing Display (Gen 2)
Learn more

X3 Pro Smart Chip Stylus

                    Deco Pro Drawing Tablet (Gen 2) Series
Learn more

About Us

Originated from 2005, XPPen is now one of the top brands under HANVON UGEE, integrated with digital drawing products, content and service as a globally notable digital brand of digital art innovation.

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