Adonit Star Stylus Review: Bring Old-World Class to 2023 Technology

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The Lowdown

Thanks to the high fluency of the pen and the fast processor and responsive screen of my iPad Pro, the experience of writing with the Adonit Star Stylus is as close to the feel of pen and paper as I have encountered when using the iPad to take notes.

Overall
4.5

Pros

  • The look, feel, and heft of a classic writing pen
  • Pen clip for keeping the stylus secure
  • Easy to turn on and off
  • Charging post is easily accessed and one hour provides eleven hours of writing
  • Comfortable and fluid writing on my iPad Pro
  • Less than half the price of the Apple Pencil 2

Cons

  • Pen cap could lock down more securely
  • No wireless charging
Adonit Star Stylus Review: Bring Old-World Class to 2023 Technology Listen to this article

Until a few years ago, I had an extensive fountain pen collection. I loved the design, the history, and the experience that came with fountain pens. Then Apple introduced the Apple Pencil, and my fountain pen days ended. The new Adonit Star Stylus brings the old and the new together in an onscreen writing tool that looks and feels like a classic fountain pen.

The Adonit Star Stylus in its retail box.

The Apple Pencil is one of my least favorite of Apple’s offerings. Functionally, it does the job, but it’s a bit too thin and much too long — and it feels like you are writing with a stylus.

Adonit has done its part to try to remedy that situation. They offer various pens for use with iPads and other tablets, and many come far closer to recreating the experience of writing with a pen.

None, however, have ever presented the look and feel of using a pen the way the Adonit Star Stylus does, and I love that the pen it mimics is a classic fountain pen.

The Adonit Star Stylus looks a lot like a premum screw top writing implement along the lines of a Mont Blank pen.

At first glance, who did you think made this “pen”?

If you took a cursory look at the Adonit Star Stylus, you would think it is a classic black pen with silver accents. Nothing about the pen gives away the fact that this “pen” is a stylus for use with any iPad that works with the Apple Pencil 2.

These include:

  • iPad Air (3rd/4th/5th Gen)
  • iPad mini (5th/6th Gen)
  • iPad (6th/7th/8th/9th/10th Gen)
  • iPad Pro 11″ (1st/2nd/3rd/4th Gen)
  • iPad Pro 12.9″ (3rd/4th/5th/6th Gen) and newer

Unlike the Apple Pencil, however, the Adonit Star has a broader body that is comfortable to hold and has enough heft to feel substantial in hand.

Adonit Star is inspired by sleek and simple elegance for high-quality luxury writing. It features a metallic body for a comfortable, weighted feel.

The Adonit Star Stylus with the cap removed.

The pen cap has classic metal trim with the Adonit name embossed in the thicker of the three concentric rings rung around the cap.

ThermoWorks Thermapen Mk4

A bearded person wearing a white shirt and a blue blazer; in the left breast pocket, there is a Adonit Star Stylus with the clip showing over the pocket's edge.

A metal pen clip lets you clip the Adonit Star Stylus to your shirt pocket or lock it in a pen slot in your bag or backpack. I appreciate having the pen clip and love the familiar look and feel of the classic design.

However, I do have to take issue with the cap on one matter. While it does click in place when put on the pen, it doesn’t feel quite as secure as I would have hoped. I’ve had the two come apart when carrying the Star. I would have preferred if Adonit had made the cap lock in space with a quarter turn.

The cxharging port on the Adonit Star Stylus

The bottom cap of the pen unscrews to reveal a USB-C charging port. The Adonit Star Stylus doesn’t have wireless charging like the Apple Pencil 2. That might be an issue for some people, but the accessible charging port and 11 hours of continuous use after just one hour of charge means it’s not an issue for me.

A small, unobtrusive button is just above the metal ring separating the bottom cap from the pen’s body. A simple press turns the pen on, and a small LED below the button lets you know the Star is ready to get to work.

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Removing the cap reveals a stylus tip that looks like a classic fountain pen nib. That’s a real treat for someone who appreciates fountain pens, but it might seem like overkill to others; as you may have guessed, I love it!

The pen features palm rejection, so you can write as if you were using pen and paper. Palm rejection is especially important for those of us who are left-handed since we tend to drag our hands across the paper as we write. I’ve tried to trip up the rejection of the Adonit Star Stylus and have been unable to do so. I’m impressed.

A person holding the Adonit Star Stylus while signing their signature in a document on an iPad.

The “inking experience” (as we called it back in the days of UMPCs) is fluid. Thanks to the high fluency of the pen and the fast processor and responsive screen of my iPad Pro, the experience of writing with the Adonit Star Stylus is as close to the feel of pen and paper as I have encountered when using the iPad to take notes.

Perhaps best of all, while the Apple Pencil 2 has an MSRP of $129, the Adonit Star Stylus is just $49.99. That means you get a stylus pen that looks and feels like a classic writing utensil for less than half of what Apple charges. Sure, you don’t get the wireless charging, but in the week I’ve used the Star, I have found that I don’t miss the wireless charging and am far more comfortable writing with this pen than Apple’s overpriced offering.

The Adonit Star Stylus is offered for pre-order at $49.99; it is available directly from the manufacturer.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample

What I Like: The look, feel, and heft of a classic writing pen; Pen clip for keeping the stylus secure; Easy to turn on and off; Charging post is easily accessed and one hour provides eleven hours of writing; Comfortable and fluid writing on my iPad Pro; Less than half the price of the Apple Pencil 2

What Needs Improvement: Pen cap could lock down more securely; No wireless charging

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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.