Would You Use a Stylus on a Tablet Computer?The new Galaxy Note 10.1 from Samsung has been unveiled and it seems the entire tech world is buzzing about what Samsung has done different with its latest Android device.

It would appear, on the surface (no pun intended), that Samsung is doing everything in its power to make its products look and feel as apart from Apple’s iPad as possible. Apple has gone after previous Galaxy tablets, seeking injunctions because the device looked or operated in a similar way to an Apple product. Whether you agree with one company or another over the issue, this new tablet raises an important question for consumers. Would you use a stylus on a tablet computer?

This isn’t the first tablet to launch with a stylus included, but in a day where capacitive touchscreens and multi-touch gestures are dominating the market, Samsung is holding onto the idea that people still have a need to put a stylus to use, at least some of the time.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is made with professionals and artists in mind. The stylus promises to enable users to draw, jot down notes, and make the most of a tablet that is intended to do what the iPad simply can’t. Yes, you can get a stylus for the iPad, and some of them work quite well, but having a stylus natively supported means improved accuracy and plenty of potential for apps that make the most of the device.

Not every stylus is created equal, either. Bulky nubs make styluses built for capacitive touchscreens clumsy and difficult to use. There are a few designs out there that mimic the end of a ball-point pen, but these are often expensive and impractical.

Regardless of native support or stylus build quality, would you actually use one? Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons associated with using a stylus with a tablet.


  • Sketching and drawing is easier with a stylus than your finger.
  • Note taking is more natural and efficient.
  • Signing documents and filling out manual forms can be done in your handwriting.
  • Less of your hand blocks the screen, making it easier to read as you interact.
  • To some, a stylus looks more professional than using your fingers.
  • Less fingerprints to worry about on the screen.


  • It’s another device to lose.
  • A stylus gets in the way of quick navigation in many cases.
  • Not every tablet properly filters out palm resting while using a stylus.
  • Apps are often optimized for fingertips and multi-touch.

What Do You Think?

Using a stylus to interact with a tablet may appear on the surface to be the old way of getting things done, but there are plenty of folks out there that swear by them. I use a Bamboo stylus when doodling or drawing out site design ideas for clients. You may have an entirely different set of needs.

So, would you (or do you) use a stylus with a tablet computer? If so, which stylus do you use? If not, is there a reason you don’t want to? What might change your mind?

Photo: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)