Using a Jot Pro Stylus with Windows RT on a Surface Tablet

Adonit Jot Pro Review with Microsoft Surface Tablet and Windows RT

 

The Jot Pro from Adonit is a different kind of stylus made specifically for capacitive screens.  It features a transparent disc that makes contact with the screen and this disc allows you to actually see what you are writing as well as providing a relatively small contact patch which triggers the capacitive sensors.  This is good news if you are using a Windows RT device such as the Microsoft Surface since you lack  the ability to use a true active digitizer.

 

Writing Hello World with the Jot Pro on my Surface

Writing Hello World with the Jot Pro on my Surface

 

The Jot Pro utilizes all metal construction to create a very sturdy feeling pen, it felt like a real fine ball point pen to me in usage.  A screw-able cap is included to protect the disc tip from damage which is a nice addition/  The body is magnetic, which allows it to attach itself to anything that is slightly attracted to magnets.  On the Surface RT, you can keep the pen magnetically attached to the back of the touch/type cover where the magnets are.  It’s not a completely secure method of holding the pen however as it will fall down if you provide enough of a shock to it.

When writing on the screen of my Surface, the Jot Profelt almost like a ball point pen.  It provided a smooth consistent motion while the disc glides against the glass screen. I didn’t notice any scratches created by the Jot Pro and I don’t believe any would be caused in the future.  The Jot Pro could be likened to a good ball point pen compared to the Crayon like experience with the generic Amazon style stylus.  The generic stylus would force a lot of white space between characters due to the large contact patch, however when writing with the Jot Pro I was able to keep the text compact and more like regular hand written text.  I was also able to write much small text with the Jot Pro than I could with the generic stylus, not to mention that what I wrote was more legible.

 

Resting on the Magnetic Clamps of the Surface

Resting on the Magnetic Clamps of the Surface

 

Writing mathematical equations with the Jot Pro was excellent as well which is a huge benefit for any college student that is looking at a Surface and needs to take down a lot of formulas or charts.  I’m personally working towards a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and I’m looking forward to using this stylus with my Surface in the class room.

One of the biggest hurdles when writing on the Surface has to do with the Software used.  In my video demo I was working with OneNote 2013 from Microsoft which anyone who takes notes will find to be an excellent piece of software.  However it does suffer from a lack of palm block recognition, what this means is that your palm will interrupt any writing you perform with the stylus as it will register as it’s own multitouch input.  This can be annoying if you’re in the middle of writing something. For drawing I did demo Sketchbook Express from Adobe and found the Jot Pro to work very well with it.  Again the experience was not that different from drawing with a traditional ball point pen.

 

TL;DR The Jot Pro is an excellent stylus for those who need to take notes or draw and are using a Windows RT based device.  It’s all metal construction, transparent sliding disc, and magnetic cling create the best possible stylus experience you can get on a capacitive screen like the one on the Microsoft Surface.  However if you’re serious about your note taking you might want to wait for a model with an Active Digitizer.

Editor’s Update 3/11/2013: I would like to note that many users have mentioned that the Jot Pro works much less effectively when used in conjunction with a screen protector, your mileage may vary.

 

About Jurgen

I'm a Mechanical Engineer, maker, mobile enthusiast, cyclist, hacker, gamer, and foodie who has been following the mobile product scene since the first Palm Pilots. I've been a chronic early adopter for well over a decade now and see a lot of potential for Windows RT.

  • davvyk

    Ive been thinking about getting a Surface 2 when they launch and the only thing holding me back is how well they work with a stylus. Id love to be able to take notes in meetings but the lack of palm detection means writing any kind of legible notes is likely impossible for me.

    • Jordan

      Microsoft is considering an active digitizer within the Surface 2, but it is unlikely as they want a large difference between the Surface 2 and the Surface 2 Pro. Fortunately due to Haswell, the Surface 2 Pro will have a much longer battery life and be thinner than the original Surface Pro. I am using a first-gen Surface RT with a Jot Pro, and I just put a microfiber washcloth between the screen and my palm, so therefore it cleans the screen and acts as a palm block.

  • mitchellvii

    I simply cannot comprehend why MS would not include a simply palm blocking rectangle with OneNote to allow non digitizer note takers to use capacitive styli. How is it possible that Microsoft could build such an amazing and complex application and then leave out something so simple yet incredibly useful?

    Even simple free Android apps offer this feature.

    For employing so many smart people, Microsoft can be mind numbingly stupid at times.

  • jlros494

    I can’t seemed to be able to find the link to download so it can work on my RT