Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TruGlide Pro Expands An Artist Stylus

Chicago-based LYNKtec has seen some success as a two-year-old startup with its sights set on improving tablet accessories, beginning with tablet stands and microfiber cloths. More recently however, the company has expanded beyond those categories into the already crowded stylus market.

The concept came shortly after working with microfibers. The design team realized that the microfibers could be woven into a soft, conductive tip, effectively evolving the stylus away from rubber. And, using a similar concept, create fine microfiber hairs that could be used to make a paintbrush stylus too.

The LYNKtec TruGlide as an alternative stylus. 

Although the LYNKtec stylus offers two solutions in one, each application deserves its own space with the TruGlide Pro tip as the best place to start. It can be purchased as a standalone piece, an ideal writing and drawing instrument for anyone.

The TruGlide Pro is built around a 4.7-inch anodized aluminum body finished in matte black or slate silver. This housing is balanced and has the right feel, mirroring many of the better made styluses on the market in terns of size, weight, and ergonomics. The most unique aspect about it is the 1.5-inch detachable tip, which also distinguishes it from its predecessor.

Beyond cosmetics, such as mixing and matching matte black or slate silver tips, the detachable tip is functional. It ensures the stylus will remain sturdy even after a tip replacement. It also provides LYNCtec a base for any number of interchangeable tips with specialized purposes.

The primary tip is innovative on its own. As a microfiber tip stylus, it feels different than its rubber-tip counterparts. The TruGlide Pro glides freely across the touchscreen and provides for precise 5mm lines.

Sometimes it is difficult to say whether or not the glide is superior to some friction created by a rubber-tip stylus. It often depends on usage and personal preference. One notable difference is that the microfiber tip requires slightly more pressure to overcome its spongy responsiveness compared to the tips I use on a regular basis.

The secondary function adds an artistic paintbrush. 

Last year, we were truly taken by the inventiveness and innovation of Artist Hardware to bring a working paintbrush stylus, Sensu Brush, to market. Using slightly different technologies, LYNKtec wanted to introduce a paintbrush tip extension that was comparative to the one developed by Artist Hardware.

In many ways, it is comparative. The TruGlide Pro paintbrush tip has soft bristles that look indistinguishable from a fine arts paintbrush. The performance is close too. One notable difference is that the edges are rounded but not nearly as tapered as Sensu Brush, which might explain why the brush requires slightly more pressure before the bristles respond.

This means that the experience is similar, even if the TruGlide Pro tip doesn't have the same soft touch. Most people won't notice the difference, but fine artists might when working with both side by side especially with the brush application in Paper or watercolor brushes on ArtRage. Then again, two different kinds of brushes can expand the number of effects at any artist's disposal.

LYNKtec makes the case that one stylus is not enough. 

It seems clear that LYNKtec is looking to compete head to head. In some cases it can compete, but maybe it doesn't have to be the best in every field. As a writing tool, there is something nicer about the more durable microfiber tip that is the cornerstone of TruGlide Pro.

When the tip is moved to an adjacent field like art, the stylus provides a different but not necessarily better feel. There were art applications where the TruGlide Pro microfiber tip and brush were preferred. There were applications when it wasn't preferred. It mostly depends on which pens or brushes are being used on which applications. Each artist is likely to develop their own unique style.

TruGlide Pro Glides To 8.2 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

In proving it really does have a place, the TruGlide Pro also proves something unexpected. Most people size up every stylus by which is the best but this category has expanded. You really need more than one. And for anyone hoping to create digital art, having a greater variety of brushes makes sense.

The TruGlide Pro can be purchased direct from LYNKtec. You can also find the TruGlide Pro Stylus on Amazon, but the brush tip is separate. The best deal is to purchase the bundled package, which includes both tips and a tin case. LYNKtec is currently hosting an art brush contest via Facebook, with gift certificates as prizes (up to $50). It clearly belongs to the next generation of must-have tools for tablets.

received a TruGlide Pro bundle from LYNKtec for the purposes of this review. LYNKtec understood that there was no guarantee for review as all products must meet our minimum standards. This stylus did better than that. It exceeded them.  
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