Would You Pay $250 for the Questionable Adonit Prime Stylus for Your iPhone and iPad?

Pulling out a stick stylus is rather plebeian, right? I mean, pretty much anyone can get one of those. If you want to appear like you’ve got everything under control and are living large — even if only to those in your latest Zoom call — obviously, you need to put the $250 Adonit Prime Stylus on your credit card.

Adonit Prime Stylus

Aimed at business professionals who are seeking a premium digital stylus for their desk, boardroom, or-on-the-go that looks like a high-end traditional pen, the $25o Adonit Prime Stylus is billed as “the world’s first multi-device compatible active stylus with interchangeable digital cartridges for iPhone and iPad.”

The Adonit Prime Stylus has a rich lacquer finish, and it is heavy in hand — just like your favorite fancy pen. The Adonis Prime has a two-part metallic body — meaning it has a screw-off cap that gets placed on the opposite end of the pen when you are using the stylus tip.

Witness …

Adonit Prime Stylus

Housed inside the stylus are swappable digital cartridges. If you order the Prime with the Dash cartridge, it will work with iPhone 8 and newer iPhone generations with iOS 11.0 and above, or 6th, 7th, and 8th gen iPads. If you order the Prime with the NOTE cartridge, it will work with 3rd and 4th gen iPad Airs, 3rd and 4th gen iPad Pros, and 5th gen iPad minis with iOS 13.3 and above.

Adonit Prime Stylus

I have to admit to being a little bit confused by this. It seems like the Prime-Dash cartridge should be compatible with pretty much any iPad if it works with iPhones since no iPhone has been made yet that is compatible with an Apple Pencil.

As for the Prime-Note, if it performs similarly to an Apple Pencil 2, then wouldn’t it only be compatible with the iPad Air (4th generation), iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation) and later, and the iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation) and later? Or is it just a nicer stylus that works on later iPads? I have questions.

Adonit Prime Stylus

So anyway. When you order an Adonit Prime stylus, you have to decide if you want it to come with an iPhone-compatible digital tip (Prime-Dash) or an iPad-compatible digital tip (Prime-Note). The Prime stylus body and your choice of stylus tip will cost $250. If you want to own both tips for easy swapping, you’ll have to pay an additional $70 for the other tip (once they become available). This seems like a money grab to me. Why wouldn’t Adonit just include both syli tips for the $250 price tag?

Adonit is calling the Prime an active stylus, but the information at the bottom of the page, where they compare all Adonit styli models, shows that the Adonit Prime-Dash Stylus does not offer palm rejection, nor does it offer pressure sensitivity! It appears the Admonit Prime-Note Stylus does offer palm rejection and gives you a finer, 1mm writing tip, but there is still no pressure sensitivity. Why not just buy an Apple Pencil for $99 or $129 if you want a better experience writing on your compatible iPad? Again, I have questions.

The signature written in the video above doesn’t look much better than I could do with any freebie iPhone compatible stylus or the plethora of giveaway pens I’ve received that had a soft pad stylus built into their top. Is this a case of form over function? Inquiring minds want to know!

Adonit Prime Stylus

The Adonit Prime stylus includes a motion sensor USB-C charging dock that “features a patented portless design engaged by placing the stylus point down in the stand, which provides 12 hours of continuous use from a one and a half-hour charge, making it the digital writing instrument of choice for iPhone and iPad users.” But is it? Is it really?!

What exactly does it need to be charged to do — other than show you a glowing green ring when the stylus is “on” or the palm rejection on the as-yet unavailable Adonit Prime-Note? What is it really offering you, other than a fatter, more premium stylus to jot your notes with?

Adonit Prime Stylus

If you want to give the Adonit Prime Stylus a try for yourself to see what you think, the $250 Adonit Prime-Dash is available for order now from the manufacturer and Amazon; the Adonit Prime-Note is listed as coming soon.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

1 Comment on "Would You Pay $250 for the Questionable Adonit Prime Stylus for Your iPhone and iPad?"

  1. That does seem cool but I would not pay that much for a stylus

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