Adonit Note-M: 2-in-1 stylus mouse for iPads (review)

Adonit Note-M is a stylus that can also function as a mouse, and it's made for iPads (2018 or newer). Now that iPadOS has better mouse support, there's actually more use for an actual mouse, even if it's shaped like a pen.

Official retail price for Adonit Note-M is US $79 but you can find it cheaper on Amazon (currently $56).

In the box, you get the stylus, USB-C to A charging cable and the quick start guide.

Build quality of the stylus is good. It has a nice weight and it's comfortable to hold. The side button actually has two buttons on it.

The nib is considered hard and it has a matte surface texture to it so there's some friction when it's on glass.

The nib is small so it doesn't block the line when you're writing or drawing.

This stylus does not support pressure and tilt sensitivity though. So this is a stylus mostly for writing purposes. Accuracy is quite good. The stylus was able to capture my handwriting rather accurately.

The pen tip can be replaced but no replacement tips are included so you'll probably have to buy from Adonit. I've no idea how long the tip can last since I've only been using it for a few days.

The other end of the stylus is the mouse. There's this opening where you can see a reflector/mirror.

The mouse end is at an angle that allows you to hold the stylus at comfortably.

The mouse's side button is touch sensitive and can be used for scrolling.

How accurate the mouse is will depend on the surface you're working on, and also what you're connected to.

This is a bluetooth stylus so it can actually connect to any device with bluetooth, including your computer or even and Android device.

Surprisingly, I found the mouse to be more accurate with computer and Android than with iPadOS. It is functional with iPadOS but the movement is just not as precise compared to using it with a computer or Android.

Charging port is exposed and located in the middle of the stylus.

The indicator light will tell you whether you're in pen or mouse mode.

Switching between pen and mouse mouse is easy. Just press and hold the button closer to the pen tip and you get pen mode, do the same on the mouse end and you get the mouse mode.

Battery life is rated at 10 hours when used as a pen and just 5 hours when used as a mouse.

If you're using an iPad with magnets on its flat sides, you can snap Adonit Note-M to the side of the iPad too, just like an Apple Pencil, but there won't be any charging though.

Palm rejection works fine most of the time, probably as good as the Apple Pencil. However when using apps that don't have strict palm rejection, there may still be the occasional stray strokes. For apps with strict palm rejection, you will get perfect palm rejection.

I notice for certain drawing apps, there may be jitter with the stroke, but there are no such issues with writing apps.

Latency of the pen is quite good. The gap between the line and pen tip is small, certainly not as big compared to what the photo above is showing. Latency is quite similar to Apple Pencil. On iPads with 60Hz display, latency will be more noticeable. Writing on the iPad Pro is very smooth and responsive.

There are certain tasks where using a mouse makes more sense. For example when editing text or spreadsheets, you will be able to place the cursor very accurately between letters.

It's not as easy to do the same text edit with an Apple Pencil or some other stylus. It's great if you can place the cursor with the first try. But if you can't do it right the first try, you have to tap and hold (wait for magnify glass to appear) before you can place the cursor accurately. Imagine doing the same for multiple text edit.

As for browsing web pages, I don't find any significant advantage with using a mouse compared to using Apple Pencil or even with your finger. The touch sensitive button can be used for scrolling but to do so means you have to keep swiping the touch sensitive area. It's easier to just swipe the web page directly with your finger.

Should you get this over the Apple Pencil? Only if you do a lot of text editing on your iPad, and if you want to save money.

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Can be used as a stylus and as a mouse
+ Accurate for handwriting
+ Small tip does not block the line
+ Good build quality
+ Low latency
+ Comfortable to hold
+ Cheaper than Apple Pencil
+ Overall good palm rejection
- Mouse function great for editing text
- Mouse function performs better on computer/Android than on iPad OS
- Battery life could be longer


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