iPad and Tablet Accessory Review: AluPen and AluCube

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iPad and Tablet Accessory Review: AluPen and AluCube Listen to this article

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Last year Judie reviewed JustMobile’s AluPen. She liked it a lot. Then, last spring, Just Mobile introduced a stand for the AluPen. The AluCube was just that, an aluminum cube that serves as a perfect stand for the AluPen. To my mind it didn’t make all that much sense to buy a separate stand for a tablet stylus but when I heard they had created a deluxe package and were selling the AluPen and AluCube together I was interested.

Just Mobile was kind enough to send a review sample so lets take a closer look.

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From Just Mobile:

AluPen and AluCube – the perfect duo combined in deluxe set.

Just Mobile AluPen is a chunky pencil-shaped stylus that gives you precise control over your iPad/ iPad 2, iPhone and iPod touch. Sculpted from aluminum, with a soft rubber nib, the AluPen makes drawing and writing a uniquely smooth experience. Which is why it’s the essential accessory for creative tableteers.

Just Mobile AluCube is the upright stand for the world’s coolest iPad stylus. Crafted from a single chunk of aluminum, AluCube’s rubber-lined recess snugly grips your Just Mobile AluPen while protecting it from scratches. A cable recess in the base means AluCube can help keep your desk tidy, too – while providing a stylish and reassuringly solid home for your AluPen.

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AluPen: Iconic design, High-quality aluminum construction, Ultra-soft rubber nib for smooth control, Compatible with all capacitive touchscreens AluPen, Works with all iPad & iPhone apps, Perfect partner for drawing and painting apps, Deluxe carrying case included

AluCube: Premium solid aluminum, Soft rubber recess, Non-slip rubber base, Press-on cable holder/ anchor

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The set comes nicely packaged in a good, heavy box, with a nice insert and everything you need to have a tablet “desk set”. There is the AluPen, the AluCube, a leather carry case for the pen and a product catalogue (Just Mobile has some other cool stuff that is worth checking out.)

Let’s look at each part separately.

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In her review Judie wrote:

One of the first things I wished for when I first got my iPad was a way to use it as a tablet computer. The iPad’s large screen was simply begging for handwriting input, and programs like PenUltimate, SketchBook, Brushes, and photo editors like ColorSplash were ripe for a better input device than my pointer finger.
Because of the iPad’s capacitive touch screen, any old stylus would not do, plus I wanted a stylus that wasn’t too pointy. I’d seen quite a few capacitive styli that would work, but I thought they were pretty homely when compared to my iDevice’s good looks. It wasn’t until I was offered the chance to review the Just Mobile AluPen that I finally felt I had found a stylus that looked like it “belonged” with my iPad or iPhone.

Composed of aluminum, the AluPen measures about 5? long x 0.5? thick; holding it is like holding one of those fat pencils you first learn to write with, one that’s been used for a while so it’s a little shorter than when new. In its present form. the AluPen is not uncomfortable or too weird to use, although I would love a slightly thinner version that was also a little longer.

And she concluded the review by noting,

If you want a beautifully made stylus that will work well with your iDevices, then the Just Mobile AluPen is just what you need. At $10 more than most of the plastic capacitive styli I have seen, it’s a bargain.

The Just Mobile AluPen is available directly from the manufacturer.

What I Like: Allows you to input txt, handwriting, drawings onto iDevices without using a fingertip; allows you to use iDevices while wearing gloves

What Needs Improvement: I wish the AluPen was an inch or so longer and 1/4 as thick; there is nothing to store the AluPen in and the soft tip could become damaged

I agree with Judie on all the positive aspects. The stylus is beautifully made, looks great and feels great too. I don’t actually find it too short and was surprised at howe light, and how comfortable, it was to hold and use. As to Judie’s complaint that there was no place to store the stylus… that’s where the AluCube comes in.

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It is a solid block al aluminum. The insert of rubber protects the AluPen from scratches. The cube looks like it would be heavy but, since it is aluminum, it is surprisingly light.

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ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

Like the AluPen, the AluCube has the Just Mobile name lightly embossed in the metal. It isn’t noticeable unless you look for it so it doesn’t detract from the appearance in the least.

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Using the AluCube is as simple as can be. You take the AluPen and insert the bottom of it into the hole. Done. It IS worth nothing that the stylus will only go in bottom first. I suspect this is done to protect the delicate tip of the stylus.

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Just Mobile does a good job of paying attention to details One such detail is the cutout on the bottom of the cube. It is there to sit on top of an iPhone or iPad sync/charging cable and to help keep your desk neat and tidy.

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A closer look shows how nice a package this makes.

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And if you were wondering about the size of the AluCombo, this will give you a pretty good idea. Again, because the two are made from aluminum they are substantial but not heavy.

I like this combination a great deal. I have a number of different types of stylus I can now use with my iPad but this one makes such a nice, neat and interesting package that it is the one that is currently sitting on my desk at the office. It does the job AND has the added benefit of being a conversation-starter. “Hey, what is that?” is a common question, the answer to which is often followed closely by “You are such a geek.” Guilty as charge but I am a geek with a really nice iPad accessory sitting on his desk so I’m not complaining.

The AluPen/AluCube Combo can be found and ordered here on the Just Mobile website.

MSRP: $39.95

What I Like: Looks great: Allows input txt, handwriting, drawings onto iDevices without using a fingertip; allows you to use iDevices while wearing gloves; Protects the AluPen’s tip by keeping it upright; Cable management on the bottom it a nice plus

What Needs Improvement: Some (Judie) might prefer a longer stylus


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About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.