Dual Pen/Stylus from STM 

Now that virtually all of us have either a smartphone or a tablet computer – or possibly both – we are increasing finding that our fingers are really too large when it comes to accurately keying in all types of text. The STM Tracer DeLuxe Stylus + Pen, provides a useful all round tool for paper as well as those devices which use capacitive sensor technology for input.

Available in all silver and in black and looking at first glance just like an ordinary ballpoint pen, even though it has a quality “feel”, it is a double-ended tool. At one end is the ballpoint and the other is the soft rubber stylus tip.

Rotate the end of the Tracer remote from the stylus in one direction to get the black ballpoint or, in the other direction, red. In the mid position both are retracted so there is no risk of the ink staining one’s pocket. A small hole in the body below the clip acts as a window to indicate which colour has been selected.

When the ink runs out, the end of the unit pulls off to enable one to insert a replacement universal mini-pen refill.

The rubber stylus tip, which can be used for both typing and drawing – such as when using Swype’s continuous stylus movement across the keyboard to input text -- requires a slightly higher pressure than one’s finger. However, this is far from being a problem as, after all, the Tracer, being similar to a pen or pencil, feels a more natural way of doing things than when just using one’s fingertip. Furthermore, being smaller than a finger, one has better control over one’s actions and so can work faster and better.

In addition to the Tracer being a ballpoint and stylus, it is also a mini toolkit. Removing the stylus end cap reveals a tiny double-ended screwdriver bit and a SIM card ejector pin. While I have not had to put them to use, they could well be useful.

Overall, this is a well-designed and convenient tool that fits comfortably in one’s hand and is a useful complement to those phones and tablets which seem to have become essential to our way of life. While, obviously, one can buy cheap plastic ballpoint pens and an equally cheap styli, the Tracer, which has an RRP of £24.95 and it is available on Amazon, has a feel of quality and precision. Hence, I don’t think that one will have much difficulty in justifying the cost. 

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OverallDual Pen/Stylus from STM rated 72 out of 100

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