Tablet Stylus, Active vs Inactive
Non-Active Stylus (aka universal stylus)
Non-Active Stylus simulate finger. It doesn't have battery, and no light, no buttons. Advantage is that it's cheap and simple.
Problem of Inactive Stylus
- Writing for notes is difficult. Drawing any artwork is impossible.
- Do not work on Apple iPhone, or does not work well. Nor M1 MacBook Air touchpad. Finger always works.
- Right-click and text selection is difficult, sometimes impossible. You have to hold to do a right-click, which is very frustrating because sometimes it doesn't work at all in some apps. And often you need to mak a text selection, and right-click on the selection to lookup/search the phrase. Sometimes, when you hold to right-click, you deactivate the selection, making this impossible. [see Problem with Touchscreen User Interface]
Active pen typically:
- Require battery (or rechargeable)
- Have buttons on the pen
- Can work as eraser
- Pressure sensitive
- Dedicated button for right-click
Advantage of active pen:
- You can drag to select easily.
- Write or draw with precision.
- Write or draw with palm on the tablet or screen.
- Have dedicated right click, often necessary.
Disadvantage of active pen:
- Need to charge.
- The pen needs to be used with specifically designed computer, touch screen, or tablet.