Adonit JOT Script review: current version disappointing.

November 28, 2013

Yesterday my Adonit JOT Script finally arrived. I am a long time tablet user, stuck with Windows. I've always said I would switch to Apple if they would properly support the stylus, so I eagerly awaited this delivery. I am a bit disappointed however.

pens-final The Adonit JOT Script is a stylus for capacitive touch screens. It is the first one with a small tip (only marginally larger than the tips typically found on the styli for Windows Tablet PCs). See the picture (showing the Adonit on the left, and a Microsoft Surface pen on the right).

The Adonit JOT Script only works with iOS, and includes special hardware for increased precision, communicating with the iPad over Bluetooth. Individual apps need to support the stylus by embedding an SDK from Adonit to actually achieve this increased precision. Penultimate (roughly speaking a special version of Evernote optimised for pen input) is one such app.

I tested the Adonit JOT Script using a first generation iPad mini, and Penultimate.

I love the pen itself. It is large, not too light, not too heavy. It has a good grip and feel. Much better than my Windows stylus.

The pen did not come with any user manual. You are supposed to surf to the support page that explains (using a video from the Evernote team) how to start using the stylus (remove the protective piece of plastic from the battery cover), and pair it with Penultimate. Once you know what you need to do, the setup process is trivial. The status LED on the stylus is confusing though: I expected that it would remain green as long as the stylus is paired with your iPad, but this is not the case. So at first I thought the pen was not paired and hence not working.

Drawing (and especially writing) is not a nice experience however. There is some lag between the pen movement and the ink appearing on the screen. This is especially a concern when trying to write small. Every once in a while, Penultimate skips a stroke or a full letter. All this seems to be caused by the palm rejection algorithm - if I lift my palm from the screen, the system is more responsive and does not skip strokes. Also, there are only three levels of line thickness to choose from (even though the line thickness chooser of Penultimate suggests a continuous selection is possible). For comparison see the following two screenshots. The first was generated using the Adonit JOT Script on an iPad mini with Penultimate. The second was generated using OneNote on a Windows 7 tablet.

penultimate
onenote

As I said, I tested the Adonit JOT Script on a first generation iPad mini. I went to an Apple store close by to see if the latest iPad (either the Air or the mini with retina display) would make a difference because of improved hardware. I couldn't install the final version of Penultimate (the Apple store only has iPads in demo mode), but one of them ran an older version of Penultimate that I used. This version does not support the JOT Script specifically (special SDK code not included), but the styles does work, and writing felt more smooth, responsive and even more precise (even without the specific support for the JOT Script). Also palm rejection seemed to work better on the latest iPads.

If only I had the latest iPad to install the latest version of Penultimate on, then I could do a proper test...

But until that happens, the verdict (for first gen iPad mini's at least) is: happy to see this technology being developed, but the current version is not usable in practice. Looking forward to upgrades that will resolve this, because I do think this stylus has potential.

P.S. The package arrived with a bill for E 11.55 V.A.T. and E 17.50 customs handling charges from PostNL (the Dutch mail company). Ouch! To be paid to the delivery man, in cash! As a twin sister of the Dutch telecom operator KPN (they were once a single, state owned, company), they probably thought they could invent their own "roaming charges" (for shipping atoms instead of bits internationally).…

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rackaroll
, 2013-12-02 01:49:54
(reply)

Hello! Is it possible to use the Jot Script on any other tablet? Thanks!

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-02 07:57:30
(reply)

I tried it on my Lenovo Helix Windows 8 tablet but that didn’t work

hsus
, 2013-12-02 21:29:35
(reply)

Hi! You (and seemingly everyone else) seem rather to be reviewing the (very disappointing) latest version of penultimate instead of the pen itself. I have a different stylus and I have the exact same problems with Penultimate whereas my stylus works nicely in Good Notes or NotesPlus.

Could you maybe test it with some other apps? I’m convinced that the absolute majority of the problems people are experiencing are because of faulty software on Evernote’s behalf (solely based on my own experience)

I’m thinking about buying a jot script but since no reviewer seems to test it outside of penultimate (which I don’t even use for lack of PDF-annotation support) I can’t make an informed choice.

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-03 09:20:58
(reply)

I’ll try the stylus with a few other apps later and report on the results. Right now I don’t have the stylus with me (and neither my iPad actually).

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-03 20:58:20
(reply)

Ok, I tested this too. I tried using the Adonit JOT Script with Goof Notes on my iPad mini (first gen). Unlike “Bereket”, I do not get any better results with that app, compared to Penultimate. The handwriting is similarly bad, and because Good Notes does not do palm rejection I get spurious scribbles in the lower right corner of the document…

Jesper Hessius
, 2013-12-07 12:19:47
(reply)

Thanks for testing and reporting back!

Out of curiosity: Did you sync the stylus with GoodNotes as a jot touch or simply went without syncing?

I read on GoodNotes’s forum that you can sync it as a jot touch 4 to get improved results (and a script compatible version should be out in december)

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-07 13:03:56
(reply)

In fact I didn’t. Looked for that option back then (good notes has a confusing structure). Now I found it but it doesn’t make much difference. It gets only slightly better. Let’s see what happens if they truly support the JOT Script.

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-11 09:23:24
(reply)

Today Evernote released a new version of Penultimate with updates to support the JOT Script. It’s horrible. They actually managed to make the Adonit perform worse. Strokes are suddenly broken into small bits and dots. Location accuracy has deteriorated. Not recommended at all.

Luggage
, 2013-12-19 01:09:03
(reply)

Do you use a screen protector ? There seem to be issues with a screen protector. The lag between touch and ink should also be a lot better on A7 devices.

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-19 07:44:16
(reply)

No. I don’t use a screen protector. And as said in the original post, the latest iPads indeed seem to give a smoother experience.

Helio
, 2015-06-02 02:59:24
(reply)

I was really disappointed at the beginning with penultimate and with my jot script. But after buy the good notes app I completely change my mind. Now I make my notes with same speed with well made words that I use to make on papers.

Bereket
, 2013-12-03 05:53:36
(reply)

This pen strangely enough works HORRIBLY with the app it is intended for (Penultimate). I use the pen with Good Notes and it is absolutely amazing. I would think that this would be embarrassing for Adonit, that their new bluetooth stylus actually works better on other company’s apps.

Ümit
, 2013-12-13 15:09:54
(reply)

Does it. work with ipad2 just in general?

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-13 16:05:28
(reply)

Yes it does.

Jesper Hessius
, 2013-12-26 23:31:29
(reply)

Have you tried it with the new Goodnotes 4? It’s supposed to have better compatibility as well as some options for correcting offset.

Jaap-Henk
, 2013-12-27 11:39:46
(reply)

No I haven’t. If anybody else has any experience with version 4 of Goodnotes usign the Adonit JOT Script, please share in the comments.

Danny
, 2013-12-27 23:37:10
(reply)

i am currently using the Jot Script with version 4 of Goodnotes. It works flawlessly for me. I really like the pen. Check out a review of the JotScript on the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et6LET_Eu-U&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL7wSUJC8SxAAcpvP-eJ-lp1–nm_tb7oI

David
, 2014-01-21 16:16:13
(reply)

I was bought because convince by the review of Youtube but it doesnt function what you see from the video. Lots of hiccup.

David
, 2014-01-21 16:15:02
(reply)

Very bad experience on Jot Script, connection issue and skipping issue, I had bought 3 units but all screw up.

Denis
, 2014-01-30 23:27:19
(reply)

I use a Boogie Board Sync, which is very good to write on, but it doesn’t offer the possibility of ICR. I would love to have the possibilty to have my terrible handwriting conversed to typed text, so I don’t have to type my reports so extensively.

Now Myscript Notes Mobile has a crack ICR engine, it really works very very good if I try writing with an old fashioned stylus, which isn’t comfortable tu use and not precise at all , I wonder if anybody tried this Jot Script on Notes Mobile?

EdwinZ
, 2014-02-08 23:01:45
(reply)

I just bought an Adonit Jot Script last week mainly for use with Good Notes 4.0.5.

  1. I have been using an Adonit Jot Touch 4 for writing and drawing with GoodNotes for a few weeks and it is flawless. I am very happy with it. I intend to just use it for drawing my diagrams as its pressure sensitive capability gives me what I need for diferent line widths. I am learning to use ProCreate.

I just bought an Adonit Jot Script today. I intend to mainly for note-taking using GoodNotes 4.0.5 (script writing and drawing simple diagrams). I have completed the set-up with my GoodNotes who has now updated its Adonit SDK to recognize the Jot Script.

  1. When I started writing, I cannot write anything in a notebook I just created or use highlighting in an existing notebook. However, GoodNotes responds correctly when the Jot Script presses any of the buttons. (By the way, I had exactly the same experience with Penultimate. But I resolved it by using a process of elimination:
  1. I turned off pressure sensitivity - nothing happened so turned in back on and still have the same issues.

  2. I turned off palm rejection and I was able to right and draw and highlight, but as I was writing, I made marks all over thr page as my palm or finger touches the screen - obviously palm rejection is inactivated. So I turned it back on and still had the same issues.

  3. I then turned off Palm Rest and to my suprise, everything worked flawlessly with GoodNotes (did not try this with Penultimate), either when writing directly to the main screen or in the zoom area. Just to confirm, I turned on Palm rest again and was expecting the initial issue I was experiencing. Again, to my surprise, all is working flawlessly even when the Palm Rest is left on!!!

  4. FOR PAM REJECTION TO WORK FLAWLESSLY, IPAD MULTIGESTURES MUST BE TURNED OFF, WNHICH IS A TURN OFF, ALTHOUGH A MINOR ONE.

I did notice that there is a few milli-seconds lag if I write directly to the main screen (for Palm Rest on and off), but perfect, if i write in zoom area. The lag sometimes bother me a little. this lag however disappeared after the initial test for some unknown reason. !

…AND NO SKIPPING AT ALL….which by the way I only experienced with my old Jot Pro. Neither my Jot touch 4 and Jot Script had skipping issues. Worth noting is that the Script automatically hibernates after being idle for a few minutes. My battery is still at 100% after 4 days of normal use.

ADONIT JOT SCRIPT IS A GREAT INVENTION. THE FINE STYLUS HELP ME IMPROVE MY PENMANSHIP!!!!

shawn
, 2014-06-09 21:58:28
(reply)

i have been using the jot script since late november 2013. i was not very happy with it at first, but stuck with it.

most recently, when using the stylus on an ipad mini with penultimate–and using the zoom in feature to write–the stylus is magnificent! i have very neat, small handwriting, something that is impossible to recreate using other styli or even using the jot script in zoomed out mode.

however, i have been using it exclusively in zoomed-in writing mode for the last few months and have completely gone away from paper & pen… it’s great!

don’t think i can post any pics here, but if anyone is interested in seeing writing samples, i’d be happy to e-mail or post them elsewhere.

Hettie
, 2019-02-15 07:01:47
(reply)

Does Penultimate work with the Adonit pro 3, which have no batteries no button to switch on

Jaap-Henk
, 2019-02-15 09:08:33
(reply)

Unfortunately, I do not know; I’ve switched to using an Apple Pencil and Goodnotes/Notes Plus several years ago.