The Studio i for iPad. Is it the missing piece?

On the Studio i home page they state  ‘This changes everything’.  Steve Jobs might have disagreed and changing everything may be pushing it just a little but this pen may just be the iPads missing piece.  Yes that is a bold statement. Does it have a missing piece?

It has been well documented the iPad is the first real device that offers the possibility of going paperless.  However, for many, while it may get rid of papers, magazines and books it has not replaced the pen and notepad.  The normal capacitive touch pen is not a good enough replacement for the pen. It is not accurate and can mean an inefficient use of the already limited space on the iPad.  I have mostly gone paperless over the last year.  I have been using the capacitive pen and while it works well it often falls down because of the lack of real accuracy particularly when trying to mark up printed documents or diagrams.

The Studio i changes that.  The pen or stylus has a very slender tip and with it very fine writing is possible.  The pen currently only works in its own native app Studio Basic + but that will change in the coming months as other note taking apps incorporate this hardware (see info at bottom on upcoming support).  Plug the receiver into the iPad data\charging port and start using the pen.  The app is very easy to use and you can very easily change the colour, opacity and line thickness to what is needed.  Take a picture within the app or import a pdf and start making notes on it straight away.  With all the accuracy of a real pen.

The pen like accuracy means that you really can use the full screen efficiently and get the sense of filling a page full of hand written notes.  While there are a couple of small things to get used to I have found I am using it daily and have really grown to like and use the app for all notes and reviewing all reading material.  Also it ignores finger and palm touches.  So you can touch and rest you hand and palm as much as you like and it wont mark or affect you page.  with the pen I can mark up PDFs, take meeting notes, jot down my daily tasks, project notes or just doodle.  You can then load to Dropbox, share on twitter, Facebook or send by email.  You can have multiple notebooks and docs on the go and easily switch between them.  If I get a word doc (or other Microsoft office doc)I need to mark up I can PDF it on the iPad using Adobe Createpdf and then open it in Studio Basic and start writing on it. Simple.

However there are a few things to note with this product

  • It takes a little bit of time to get used to the products little features such as using the ‘ghost’ dot that follows the pen nib around the screen as this is where it will start inking and not exactly where the nib is.  Also you need to hold the pen the same way as when you calibrated it or the point will be a little bit off (or re-calibrate it)
  • There is a very small lag from the pen stroke to the inking on the paper.  (Not so bad on iPad2 but more noticeable on iPad)
  • You have to press down the nib to engage the pen which at the start is a little disconcerting and can be frustrating depending on what you are doing at the start until you are used to it.  Hopefully later versions will make it much more sensitive to pressure.
  • There is less accuracy at each corner of the screen and at the bottom of the screen
  • You can only use the Studio i in Portrait mode

All that said I really do like it and its by far the best product for writing on the iPad.  I think it begins to close off the missing piece for the iPad. At least the missing piece for me.  I am sure as the product and the app develops and other apps take it on board it will become even more valuable. I gave it a quick demo today and one person soon after jumped online and bought one and another 2 people are very interested and want more info.  That is from a 2 minute demo to only a few people.  It is that impressive for those wanting to really utilise the iPad fully.

In March\April more apps will come with support for this product which I am looking forward to trying out:

  • Good Notes (beta version in app store NOW)
  • Noteshelf
  • Notes Plus
  • PDF-notes
  • Ghostwriter
  • Procreate

If you are looking for this product here in Ireland or for any info you should email B-connected  – .  Its also on and I am trying to find out where else for other geographies as I think this would be very appealing for many iPad owners.

The byZero writing demo on YouTube:

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Categories: Apple, Technology


Another techie with another blog. Dad, husband and F1 fan.

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20 Comments on “The Studio i for iPad. Is it the missing piece?”

  1. Pete
    February 24, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    GoodNotes and now Ghostwriter support the Pen. GoodNotes works really well, ghostwriter lags a little but the app developer said they are working to fix it (they also support the iPen)

    • February 24, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

      That is good news. Thanks for the update. Have you got to try the ipen?

      • March 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

        I figured my prbloem was I didn’t have an app that could handle the file as I don’t get an Open in option so it looks like I’ll be requesting Pages. I use Dropbox with my note taking app so I understand that one.Thanks!

  2. Joonho
    March 5, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    It’s a very nice review. I just want you know that with GoodNotes app you can use in landscape mode. It detects screen orientation and compensates the angle.

    • March 5, 2012 at 6:50 am #

      Thanks for that. Must try it out as I much prefer using the iPad in landscape. Take care.

  3. March 10, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

    Great article – I am looking to go paperless to improve my productivity at work. I tried an iPad2 wih a standard capacitive stylus and was less than impressed. While it worked, the solution seemed clunky and it felt like I was writing with a crayon.

    I have two questions… if I am taking notes in a meeting, does the native application allow you to create multiple pages? All the Youtube videos seems to show annotation on a single page. This would be a real detractor if you had to save page by page as you went through the meeting – I take copious notes….

    My second questions relates to storing and organizing notes? I go through several notebookes a year. If I were to convert this to digital ink, how do I find the documents again in the future on my iPad?

    I have a New iPad on preorder, and am looking forward to getting it next week. Does anyone know if this solution is IOS 5 compatible, and will work with the new retina display?

    Thanks in advance!


  4. John Lee
    March 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    Just tried this with the new iPad and although everything works there is a much more pronounced lag

    • M McGarry
      March 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

      Time lag is very severe with the new iPad – to the point of not being acceptable.

      Time lag issue is in the app as using a finger rather than the Studio pen makes no difference.

      I have reinstalled the app but problem persists.

      Update and fix needed please

      • March 20, 2012 at 6:46 am #

        Yes that is disappointing. I just replied to another with the same problem. Hopefully a quick fix. I dont have any direct links with this company but will defintiely feed back to the products sellers here in Ireland so they can feed back and hopefully get a quick turn around.

    • March 20, 2012 at 6:44 am #

      That is very disappointing. Wit double the memory and a faster processor you would assume it would be quicker but I hope its just a simple software update needed so that it can optimise the new hardware. Hopefully its not too long until its resolved.

  5. rosario perry
    March 31, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Are there any updates on the new iPad (3) working better with the Studio I

    • April 2, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

      No confirmation yet but a new update for the app is now available in the app store. I cant confim if it fixes the slowness as I only have the iPad 2 :-)

      • April 2, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

        Could it be lag, that developers are at the mercy of Apples release schedule, and have not had a chance to optimize for their new A5X processor?

        Using Pen Ultimate and Notes Plus and a standard stylus do not show any signs of performance enhancement with my New iPad. So I do not think the issues is restricted to the by zero products.

        Fingers crossed that the new wave of app updates will significantly improve stylus writing lag.

  6. BobbyWayne
    May 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    Does it work with Notability?

    • May 16, 2012 at 11:41 am #

      Unfortunately not… or not yet at least.

  7. Matt
    June 7, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Just to clarify, the studio pen doesn’t work with GhostWriter, which supports the cregle iPen. The developer has however responded to my feature request stating that it’s already being implemented.

    PS great article, helped me decide :)

    • June 7, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      Thanks for the update and glad it was helpful :-)

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  1. My shelves are paperless thanks to the iPad | Feker - February 27, 2012

    […] Studio Basic + > Using this app in conjunction with the Studio i pen means I really can forget the pen and paper.  From note taking to signing off on invoices it’s all possible and better than the capacitive pens. See post on the Studio i here […]

  2. Back to paper with Moleskine’s Evernote Smart Notebook | Feker - October 19, 2012

    […] The Studio i for iPad. Is it the missing piece? […]

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