Active vs. Passive Styluses: All the Standards Explained
Like many tech topics, styluses can be needlessly confusing. Here’s what you need to know about the different kinds of styluses used for tablets, touch-screen laptops, smartphones, and more.
Not All Styluses Are Equal
All it takes to be called a stylus, really, is to be a small pen-like stick held in the hand. The original styluses were ancient writing instruments that were just small pointy sticks used to scratch letters into wax tablets.
Things have advanced a wee bit since then. While today you’ll still find styluses that are little more than sticks, there are also styluses with highly advanced and active connections to the devices you’re using them on—which certainly explains the price differences.
Let’s take a look at the three broad categories of styluses, including the many kinds of active models on the market, so you can both better understand the technology and select the right one for your needs.
Passive Styluses: Cheap and Easy
It doesn’t get much simpler than passive styluses. The fundamental defining characteristic of a passive stylus is that it doesn’t do anything your finger couldn’t—if your fingers…
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