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Thread: The Hex3 Nota Ultrafine Stylus

  1. #1
    Member Torrid's Avatar
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    The Hex3 Nota Ultrafine Stylus

    I’m back again with another stylus review! As you know by now, I am always on the hunt for the ‘perfect’ stylus. I keep on thinking that at some point we are going to see it, and I keep buying styli thinking at some point I am going to run across it (despite this ticking off the wife--lol).

    After my disappointment with Joy Factory’s offering, I tried another powered stylus, the Nota Ultrafine Stylus from Hex3. Here: Nota: The Finest Point Stylus for iPad + Android Tablets. Ultrafine tip works with gloves | HEX3

    Again, this is in the pricey range, around $40 with shipping and a current ten dollars off deal. I have had mine for about a week. Let’s take a look:

    Once the instrument is removed from the package, you must screw the back of the stylus off to remove a small disc that keeps the battery from being ‘hot’ and the device from being turned on inadvertently. Once this is done, the stylus is ready for use. Near the red indicator light, you press down and the device is powered on. The red light indicates you are ready to rock. It is a little heavier than the average stylus and this is due to the fact that an AAA battery is used to power it. I like this better than the AAAA battery that the Joy Factory device used, as AAA batteries are probably a bit easier for one to get one’s hands on. The device comes in two choices: Black on black and black on silver. I received the black on black. It is a little shorter than I like for my stylus to be, but not so short that I found it unusable (5 1/16” base to tip). It has a round barrel that tapers off at the very end to a small tip: 3.7 mm, which is one of the smaller tips available. However, it does not have a pocket clip like a pen, and with its mostly round shape, it is prone to rolling around on your desk a little. However, while the barrel is mostly round, it does have some indentions in the shape near the base of the device that allows for comfort when gripping the stylus to write. The all black look with a tinge of orange (a ring around the middle and the very top are both orange) looks pretty good.

    I used the Nota with my two go-to apps for note taking at the moment: FiiNote and Evernote. I have come to really like FiiNote, and I have found pretty good usage for Evernote as well. One of my former favorite note taking apps, 7Note, while still a good app for me, has fallen by the wayside, for now. As you know, Evernote recently added a handwriting option for Android inside your notes, and that is where I used the Nota. I was taking some notes, and needed to draw some basic shapes in my note. Before, my shapes would look fat and imprecise, although I could get the basic idea down in the note. But I must say, that with the Nota, and the tip being designed the way it is, I was able to draw shapes and write much better. I saw an improvement. I have to say that my first impression of the Nota was impressive. When using FiiNote, I wrote full on paragraphs with barely a skip. Unlike the Joy Factory stylus, right now, no matter how I held my N7, the Nota wrote smoothly and accurately. I was able to write in cursive and in manuscript. I felt fully confident that whatever I wanted to write, the Nota would respond.

    After the first couple of days, I found myself trying to find excuses to use this stylus. It has become my go to stylus of the moment, and again, my poor Boxwave has been kicked to the curb.

    However, there are a couple of things worth noting about this stylus: 1) Some users have noted that it is impossible to draw a straight line with it; that lines always come out wavy. I didn’t really experience this, but this is, I believe, more directly related to the iPad. However, it may be worth mentioning because it would give an artist pause. Read up on this here: HEX3 Nota, Diagonal Wavy Line Issue.

    2) The instructions of the Nota recommend that you use light pressure when using the device. I know that for most of my life, I was pretty brutal on the pressure I would apply on a pen and paper. I believe my touch is lighter now, and I did try to lighten up a little and still feel natural. YMMV, but I wanted to mention this because your pressure is probably different than mine.

    Finally, I again have a theory why this stylus is working for me where the Joy Factory Pinpoint stylus failed: The way I hold a pen. I don’t think I hold a pen at a crazy angle or anything, but I think that the way I write was not very conducive to the smaller tipped Joy Factory. However, I believe the Nota, while a larger tip than the Joy Factory, is still small enough for me to feel that I can see what I am writing with better detail, but since it is bigger is able to handle the angle I write much better. Again, that is my theory, and YMMV. Overall, I saw maybe one or two skips in a week of work.

    I will again report my findings after a month. Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator frenziedfemale's Avatar
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    Thanks again for the well written review! In look forward to your continued styli adventures!

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    Senior Member Rosalie's Avatar
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    That was great. Thanks again, Torrid

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    Member Torrid's Avatar
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    You welcome! Thanks for reading!
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  5. #5
    Member Torrid's Avatar
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    So after a little less than two months, I have my review of the Hex3 Nota ultrafine stylus...so far, I am still pleased. Unlike around the time when I first wrote this review, it just so happened that I had a few things that required me to take notes. Lately, I haven't needed to take notes on things--maybe because it is the summer, I have had a lot less meetings. That being said, overall, I am still pleased with this stylus. In two months of use, the battery is still good, and the tip has held up.

    As I noted before, there are some threads around on the Web about the wavy line issue with this stylus--mostly on iPads, I believe. I did not experience this issue, but not being an artist, this would tick me off as much as it did some other people. That being said, I don't think the issue has been resolved.

    I do have a few pet peeves however: As I think I mentioned before, the body of the stylus is mostly round, so it can move around on your table/desk. I wish it had something like a clip that would stop it from rolling and would allow you to clip it to a pocket--which brings me to another pet peeve: I wish it had a cover of some sort for the tip. I don't think that the tip will wear out any quicker necessarily without the cover, but I do like it being covered. The stylus does ship with a handy sleeve, but that doesn't cover the tip and you can inadvertently click the device on and not even know it. I guess that is another pet peeve (ha): You can accidentally turn the device on when it is in your bag, and not know it. Granted, I did this a few times and I still had a good charge, but I carry around an extra AA battery just in case. I guess for me, because of the way it is designed, I wish it had a cap of some sore for storage. I even thought about looking aound on Amazon and Ebay for something that I might be able to use as a substitute.

    I would go through that trouble because despite these drawbacks, I still liked using the Nota stylus, so much so that I ordered a second one. It is still my stylus of choice especially if I am going to be doing some writing or sketching. I never had any skips, and while there are others on the internet that have not had a great experience, mine has been pretty good. I think the stylus has a good feel, a good weight and the stylus has just the right amount of friction on the surface for me. Would I recommend it for you? Well that depends: Are you going to be doing some serious art work? I would say probably not. Plus, how do you feel about a price tag north of $40? These are two critical points you should consider before taking the plunge on this stylus--for $40 it isnt going to make your dinner (ha).

    I have used it with FiiNotes and Evernote, and not much else in terms of apps since those are the two note taking apps that allow handwriting that I use in my personal workflow these days. I also only used it on my Nexus 7; I used it briefly on the wife's Toshiba Thrive (10), and it worked fine, but I don't think I used it enough there to come to a definitive decision on how it would work. I would suspect that on a 10" tablet it should be better, but I cant confirm that from my own experience.

    All in all, it is my workhorse stylus of the moment and my personal favorite. I feel I write what I need to, and not feel limited by my hand being in the way, or the stylus being too bulky. If I come across something in this same vein that is interesting to me, I will buy it and see if I like it better than the Nota.

    Thanks for reading!
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  6. #6
    Junior Member WeiMing's Avatar
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    Hi, i came across the nota ultrafine stylus recently and im seriously considering buying it, but i have a few concerns. After reading your review, most of my concerns have been cleared off, except for one. Have you encounter any form of lag when writing with the stylus? Examples of the line 'lagging behind' the point of your stylus when in contact with the screen of your tablet. I have noticed some other stylus face this issue and hope to hear from you whether this stylus suffer from this issue. Thanks again and hope to hear from you soon !

  7. #7
    Member Torrid's Avatar
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    Hi WeiMing!

    First, to answer your question, I did experience lag when I used the stylus. I dont think it bothered me too much since I mostly just use it for note taking, but if I tried to draw something, I would see some lag. The bigger problem I have experienced in the months since my review, is the tip falling off. You can get extra tips, but it seems the quality varies: Some tips fall off, some stay on well. I didnt have this problem at all for quite some time, and then issues.

    I am still continuing my search for a perfect stylus, and had high hopes for the YuFu stylus from the same company. However, this product has yet to come to market several months after it was first promised and its Kickstarter backers arent happy. Lately, no other stylus has grabbed my attention.

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