The Irish designed and made Scriba is a Bluetooth Stylus for most touch-enabled Android and iOS devices. Now the world does not need more rubber tipped styli, but Scriba is sufficiently different to have a niche.
Now before you describe Scriba as an Irish joke for a digital pencil let me assure you that it is a lot more. It may look funny, but it’s deadly serious.
First, it has an ergonomic design to fit either a left or right hand. Its ‘squiggly’ barrel and pressure grip feels good in the hand.
Second, Its squeeze motion is unique. Squeeze harder to increase, decrease or fix tip width fluidly, so it offers much more flexibility than a fixed size rubber tip stylus.
Third, the haptic feedback adds more intuitiveness to its use. Plans are to incorporate squeeze into things like launching PowerPoint presentations etc.
Finally, the battery (micro-USB chargeable) has a very long 200 hours life (not tested).
Who is Scriba for?
It is for arty types who can draw – creatives. Its rubber tip won’t satisfy precise Wacom/Windows Ink style artists, but it’s a wonderful tool for doodles and artistic pursuits on a touch tablet.
And at present, it only works with a few apps. The initial list is here. I understand the most widely used app is the free Brushes for Scriba Create that can control up to ten layers, and switch between brush and eraser by double-clicking Scriba or triple-clicking to hide the interface.
One freeware app (nags for payment to unlock features) is Drawing Desk for Android and iOS. This offers a wide selection of tools such as 3D brushes, NEON Brushes, Glitter brushes, Gradient brushes, Pattern Brushes, Shapes, Typography tools, Realistic brush tools, Smooth eraser, Ruler, Smudge tool, Water Colour, Paint roller and many more.
Then there is Zoom Notes described as the ‘Swiss-Army knife’ of note-taking.
First, I am not an artist in any sense – stick figures look out! So, all I could do is verify that it works on iPad an Samsung Galaxy Tabs (Android). It seems more mature on the iOS platform.
It is all about free-flowing drawing than about precision design. Its Brushes for Scriba app works well.
I found the tip a little thick for note taking compared to the Samsung S-Pen, but it was perfect for free-hand drawing.
There is a Twitter page for a Dublin Design Studio that uses Scriba here showing some great examples of its flexibility.
What is missing?
Scriba needs apps to be more than a rubber tipped stylus. Otherwise, none of the unique squeeze features work.
There is no support yet for Windows Ink (or Windows 10 devices) except as a capacitive stylus.
While silicon is a good tip, it can be ‘grippy’ compared to finer plastic tips. It is not so much the pen on paper/glass feel that I like – but then I am not an artist.
And while its light at 16g it is a little bulky to put in the pocket. But it is made of durable polymer.
GadgetGuy’s take: Scriba for scribbles!
If you are a creative illustrator, you will have a stack of ‘tool’s to do you work. These include various brushes, airbrushes, stylus etc. This is another electronic tool that could, in time replace some of the manual tools.
For the present, available apps limit its use. In the future, I hope it gets Apple Pencil and Windows Ink drivers then its indispensable.
If you are interested the manual is here.
Scriba costs €65.00 (about $106 plus GST and freight). You can order it here.