Adonit Note-M Review Mouse Pen Stylus For iPad

Friday, September 04, 2020

Long before mouses and keyboards were a thing, pens were their 'primitive' equivalent! The concept of a mouse pen has been around for quite some time, going as far back as the Soniture Space Pen.
The Space Pen was an ultrasonic 3D controller that you waved around in the air in front of a monitor to control the pointer or other functions. It was introduced in 1985 and was designed to plug into the joystick port of an IBM PC, Apple II, Commodore, Atari or MSX computer.
Fast forward to today, we have the likes of the Adonit Note-M, which is a stylus pen with full mouse functionality built-in. Instead of using an optical sensor, the Adonit Note-M uses an angular position sensor (a.k.a rotary sensor), which allows the Adonit Note-M to work similarly to an "air mouse"; hence you can operate in mid-air within a 5mm maximum height clearance.
The Adonit Note-M can also slide on a desktop surface just like a regular mouse and can track up to 1200 DPI but the DPI is fixed; hence it is non-adjustable so, you cannot adjust mouse sensitivity. As a mouse, the Note-M has radically different ergonomics compared to a regular mouse, which you typically hold in palm or claw grip. The finger mouse grip of the Note-M works well though, and it is comfortable too, just like writing with a pen.

There is no physical scroll wheel on the Adonit Note-M but, it does have a scroll wheel function, which works by sliding a finger up and down the touch sensitive left/right mouse click button rocker. You can adjust the acceleration speed and scrolling speed by going to iPad's Accessibility setting.
The left/right mouse click buttons make a clicky sound and, they cannot be remapped or customized to perform different functions like shortcut keys. The power on and off buttons cannot be customized either. The USB-C charging port is located on the side and it's slightly recessed inwards. The back of the pen is magnetized, letting you attach the Adonit Note-M to any magnetic surface.
The tip of the Adonit Note-M has the classic nose cone design of a regular pen with a 1mm fine point tip. The tip of the Note-M pen is non-capacitive like the clear disc on most Adonit styli pens (i.e. Pro 3, Droid Micro, Mini 4 and Pro 4); hence the Adonit Note-M is not compatible with Android devices.
The Adonit Note-M is similar to the Apple Pencil in that it does not work with Android devices, not only because of the tip but, also because of the special hardware in the iPad Pro that enables the Apple Pencil (1st and 2nd gens) to only work with the iPad Pro. The Apple Pencil is not even compatible with iPhones but, you can use third-party styli like the Snap 2
Unlike the Apple Pencil, the Adonit Note-M has a wider compatibility range that includes the 2018 iPad, iPad Air (3rd Generation), iPad mini (5th Generation), iPad mini (5th Generation), iPad (6th/7th Generation) and iPad Pro (3rd/4th Generation, 11-inch and 12.9-inch). The Adonit Note-M does require all these iPad models to be running iOS 13.3 or above.
The Adonit Note-M has a barrel shape with an 11mm diameter and a length of 165mm. The 1mm tip makes the writing style of the Note-M very similar to a Bic Crystal medium point pen. Gripping the Adonit Note-M feels nice in the fingers because of the smooth barrel shape, although the Adonit Note-M is heavier (15 grams) and larger than a typical 6-gram plastic Bic pen (145mm long/ 9mm diameter). 
The Note-M has a metal body, while the buttons and tip are made of plastic (PC and ABS). Bic pens and wood pencils have an hexagonal barrel body, which also has the advantage of preventing them from rolling off a desk. 
The Adonit Note-M is not hexagonal but the rear of the pen is flat; hence the Note-M does not roll off a desk. The Adonit Note-M does not have a protective cap or shirt clip like most Adonit stylus pens, although the Note-M comes packaged inside a thick foam cut out that can be used as a storage case. The tip of the Note-M pen is user-replaceable too via a screw thread mechanism. Spares/replacements are not included.
The Adonit Note-M does look like a graphic tablet pen and it even has side buttons, although they don't have pen/eraser functionality. The Adonit Note-M does not support pressure sensitivity or tilt support either, for changing the shape and angle of a brush stroke. The Note-M does support palm-rejection.
The Adonit Note-M is not designed for art drawing but as a digital pen that you can use to jot down notes in finer print without needing to recharge for up to 10 hours. If you use the Adonit Note-M exclusively as a mouse, you can get up to five hours from a single charge.
A full re-charge takes only 60 minutes. Included in the box is also an unbranded, short USB-A to USB-C cable included. You can buy the Adonit Note-M from amazon or Adonit's website.

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