You Won’t Find Better Styluses than the Architect and the Emote from Arctic – iPad Gear Review

As a stylus aficionado, I want to let everyone in on a little secret. When it comes to styluses, the tip is almost entirely unimportant – you are going to get the same writing results with almost any stylus. What’s important, though, is the way that the stylus feels in your hand, much like a traditional pen.

A comfortable stylus will make for comfortable writing, and the key to a comfortable stylus is one that has the right shape, size, and heft. If you’re in need of the perfect stylus, consider the Architect and the Emote from Arctic.

I had the opportunity to give each of these styluses a test run, and I think I may have a new favorite stylus company (my previous favorite being the Alupen).

The Architect is made of anodized aluminum, so it blends right in with all of your Apple products. It’s super sleek, and definitely wins the award for most stylish stylus that I’ve seen.

This is a 4.8-inch stylus, which seems to be the perfect size. It fit well in my hand and had enough weight to make writing simple, without being too heavy. The Architect is actually lighter than your average high quality pen, and I would say that it compares most closely to the Wacom Bamboo, another fabulous stylus.

As I mentioned, I notice no change in the quality (readability) of my writing or my sketching regardless of a stylus’s tip, but the Architect’s 7-mm rubber nib did flow smoothly over the iPad’s screen. Smoother, in fact, than any other stylus that I’ve used.

The Handwriting Test – Each Line Uses a Different Stylus. Architect is #1, Emote is #2. As you can see, no stylus makes a huge difference in neatness or accuracy.

Smoothness is a factor when you’re writing large quantities of text. The more glide a stylus has, the less stress it puts on your hand, and I found this to be a great fit for my small hand. I do think that the size might cause cramping in a larger hand, however.

The Architect does not have a clip, which is what contributes to its slick design. Instead, it comes equipped with a lanyard ring and a screw-off cap that keeps the stylus protected in your bag or your backpack when it isn’t in use.

The Lowdown on the Emote

The Emote stylus is a completely different instrument than the Architect. Where the Architect is about understated style and elegance, the Emote is about standing out. This stylus comes in four different fun colors and geometric patterns, ranging from green squares to red triangles.

This is actually a 2-in–1 stylus, which means one end is a pen and one end has a rubber nib. The Emote does not use the same tip as the Architect, and I actually had a bit of trouble when using it.

You see, all rubber tips have varying degrees of what I can only call squishiness, and the Emote was overly squishy. It had just a bit too much give, so I had to press fairly hard on my screen to get it to write properly. Though it requires more pressure to write with, it did share the same smoothness with the Architect. The Emote has a smaller tip than The Architect, but a smaller tip does not necessarily translate into better accuracy.

The Emote is also a weightier writing utensil, because of the real pen components inside, which, by the way, work well. If you like a weighty stylus, the Emote is a really good choice because it’s one of the heavier styluses that I’ve used.

Like the Architect, the Emote has a cap that pops on and off to protect the stylus while you’re writing with the pen, but unfortunately, since that cap spends most of its time on the pen side, there’s no protection for the tip of the stylus in a bag or purse.


Both of these styluses are impressive writing devices. They’re high quality, look great, and write well. If you want the ultimate in minimalist style and comfort, go with the Architect.

If you like a bit more color in your life, need a stylus that performs multiple functions, and has a significant heft to it, then the Emote is a great choice.

The Architect on the left, the Emote in the middle, and the Alupen on the right.

Both styluses come with additional rubber nibs, so you can use these for quite some time before they wear out. Not all styluses have replaceable tips, so this is a standout feature.

I really don’t hesitate in recommending either of these styluses to you, because they’re both fantastic for writing and reasonably priced.

About Juli: Contact me via Twitter: @julipuli