At first glance, Kensington’s Virtuoso Touch Stylus & Pen (£14.99) looks almost identical to Griffin's Stylus, thanks to the black, rubberized body; silver pen clip; and large, silicon-rubber nib.
However, the Virtuoso Touch is about an inch longer than Griffin’s offering, bringing it to a more pen-like 5 inches.
In addition, Kensington’s stylus is one of three I looked at – along with the Targus 2-in-1 and the Hard Candy StylusPen – that incorporate an actual ballpoint pen cartridge in addition to the capacitive nib.
The Virtuoso Touch does so by adding the pen to the opposite end of the device, under a black cap. This structure provides most of the stylus’s weight, which is not inconsequential – the Virtuoso may look similar to the Griffin Stylus, but it weighs about twice as much.
You can dismantle the pen infrastructure for a lighter-weight stylus, but at the cost of length: without the cap in place, the Virtuoso shrinks from 5 inches to just over 3.
The Virtuoso Touch provides a smooth writing experience, thanks in part to its weight.
As a stylus, the Virtuoso is great for quick note-taking and cursive writing. The extra weight balances the pen at a comfortable angle, while the rubber nib allows it to slide smoothly across the screen. Drawing is a bit more cumbersome, as the length of the stylus and the nib’s diameter make it difficult to focus on a section of detail work.
On the opposite end, the ballpoint pen works about as well as any basic ballpoint; it’s also refillable, in case your ink runs out.
The Kensington Virtuoso Touch offers a great hybrid writing experience on the screen or on paper, but its large size proves too bulky for navigation, sketching, or detailed line work.