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ttools
ttools.com


Palm Infocenter.com Bottom Line:

The Price:
  • PDApoint: $7
  • PREMIERpoint: $25
  • SLIMpoint: $13
The Pros:
  • Always have a pen with you
  • PDApoint and PREMIERpoint offer larger bodies for more comfort
  • SLIMpoint fits nicely in the stylus holder
  • All can use over the counter refills
  • All offer reset pins

The Cons:
  • None

Palm Infocenter.com Ratings*:
Design:
Cost/benefit:
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Overall:

*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms

ttools Styli
Ed Hardy (ed@palminfocenter.com)

The styli that come most PDAs are nice but a bit limited. They also have the nasty tendency to get lost. Most Palm users will eventually want a replacement that deals with whatever drawback most irritates them. For many users, the worst thing about the standard styli is that they are too darn small. Many men have hands so large that a slim stylus is almost useless. For others, their major complaint is that their very expensive and professional-looking handheld came with a cheap plastic stylus. Another typical complaint it is that a stylus is a waste of space. A stylus takes up a sizable portion of the case of a Palm and all it does is point to things on the screen. That space could be better used by including a writing instrument like a pen within the stylus. The ttools family of styli offers replacement stylus/pen combinations that deal with all of these complaints.

PDApoint
The PDApoint was ttools' first product and is a nice low-cost stylus replacement with a built-in pen. It looks like a regular pen with a stylus tip. A click of the top button, though, exposes a good-quality ball point tip with black ink. The black plastic shaft is slightly shorter than most pens and it has been ergonomically shaped to be a pleasure to hold. Unscrewing the top button exposes a reset pin. The most most interesting part of the PDApoint, though, is the clip. This can be used to hold it in your shirt pocket like any other pen but it has been specially designed to fit in the stylus slot on most PDAs, especially Palms, so the PDApoint can be "docked" onto your handheld. There is even a nice rubber tip so it won't slide out unless you want it to. Clipping an almost full-sized pen onto your Palm adds a bit of bulk but it is far better than trying to keep track of both a stylus and a pen. The PDApoint sells for about $7.

ttools is quite proud of the fact that Vice President Gore bought a bunch of PDApoints to distribute to a select group of attendees at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.

PREMIERpoint
The PREMIERpoint is the upscale version of the PDApoint. It is the same general shape and function, except in a snazzy brushed chrome instead of plastic. It is clearly aimed at users who want a stylus that really goes with their Palm Vx.

There are a few small changes from the PDApoint. The clip lacks the rubber tip, which ttools pointed out means it is a little less secure in the stylus slot. This is true, but I had to hold my Palm IIIx upside down and shake it a bit to get the PREMIERpoint to slide at all. And the fact that the PREMIERpoint is metal means it is a touch heavy for my taste. It will set you back $25 but makes a nice gift for a busy Palm-using executive who is really hard to buy for.

SLIMpoint
Last, and not at all least, is the new SLIMpoint, which quite simply is the best stylus I have ever used or even heard of. I've been using it for a while now and I like it more every day. It is much smaller than ttools' other products and fits in the stylus slot. Despite that, it still has an integrated ball-point pen and a reset pin, too.

The SLIMpoint looks a lot like a standard stylus except that it is in black metal with a plastic tip. It works like any any other click-top pen; there is a button on one end that, when pushed, exposes a ball-point pen with black ink. On one side is the "breaking button" that holds the SLIMpoint securely in the stylus slot.

The end opposite the writing tip unscrews to expose the reset pin. My only complaint with the SLIMpoint, and it is a minor one, is that the reset pin is too short to actually reset my IIIx. But the IIIx is an odd beast with a large internal space for the expansion slot that I have my axxPAC in so I doubt users of other handhelds will have this same problem.

The Company
All of ttools line is available under the Fellowes brand name at major computer and office retail stores like Circuit City, Office Depot, and Target. They are also for sale online at Smaller.com.

Launched in 1998 by husband-and-wife team Tracy Leigh Hazzard and Tom Hazzard, ttools, LLC is a privately owned company based in Providence, RI. Led by the two seasoned industrial design experts, the company's home office is tucked away on the third floor of an early 1900s Providence colonial. ttools, LLC is currently working on a line of office furniture, textiles, carpets and business accessories that they hope will change the way people think about technology, design, productivity and comfort.

Article Comments

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SLIMpoint given away at PalmSource

bcombee @ 12/18/2000 3:51:35 AM #
smaller.com was giving away SLIMpoint styli at PalmSource, so I picked up one for my Palm VIIx. I really like it, although you have to get in the habit of clicking the stylus upon removal to retract the pen back into the body. I didn't know about the reset pin -- very cool! smaller.com is selling these with your company's logo on it for giving away as promotions.

ttools Reset Pins Correction

Ed @ 12/19/2000 2:32:04 PM #
Tom Hazzard from ttools sent me an e-mail today pointing out that I was incorrect when I said that the PDApoint and the PREMIERpoint styli lack reset pins. Here's what he said:


The PDA Point and Premier Point both do have reset pins like the SlimPoint. Just unscrew the
clicker to remove the tool.

I have corrected the article and apologized for missing this.

---
Plenipotentiary
Palm Infocenter

I like it

Eston Bond @ 12/21/2000 8:26:50 AM #
Yesterday at Target I bought some writerights and a replacement stylus. Little did I know I bought a Slimpoint! I like it a lot, but my only quirk is that it isn't refillable. I found a great promo gift- Slimpoints with the Pine Tree Software logo on them!

Eston Bond
CEO Pine Tree Software
http://www.pinetreesoftware.net/

RE: I like it
Ed @ 12/21/2000 8:40:00 AM #
You can unscrew the stylus tip from the SLIMpoint to change out the pen. ttols page says:


The SLIMpoint model requires a multiple-action replacement cartridge such as the “Rotring® Quattro” or “Eversharp® Multiple-Action” refills.

If found the Rotring Quattro refill here for a $1.50.
http://www.discountart.com/store/rotringquattropendata.html and they used to sell them directly off the ttools site, but I couldn't find the page.


---
Plenipotentiary
Palm Infocenter

RE: I like it
I.M. Anonymous @ 12/29/2000 10:31:59 AM #
It is refillable. Just unscrew the plastic tip and the rest is obvious.

Regards,
Mike G.
mikeg2at@worldnet.att.net

RE: I like it
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/24/2001 9:20:27 PM #
When you dismanltle the SLIMPoint, don't throw away the white plastic top on the ink cartridge. You will need to put it on the replacement so the clicker will work.

RE: I like it
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/30/2001 10:28:26 AM #
I just the PDA point and like it too, but the reset pin is also not long enough for the M100


RE: I like it
I.M. Anonymous @ 3/12/2001 5:19:11 PM #
Can anyone tell me how to remove the cartridge for refilling? Do you just pull it out, or does it unscrew?

Words of Caution

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/12/2001 2:59:19 AM #
This is a very fine product, however I have a Palm Vx and this styli does not lock in the channel. So please beware that this product is not made to fit in the Palm V series. Maybe they should mention this on the packaging or on their website...

RE: Words of Caution
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/28/2002 1:34:18 AM #
I have a Palm Vx and a Slimpoint. The Slimpoint stylus fits snugly in the channel.

And thanks to this web site, I just figured out how to refill it (the writing tip is held in the metal tube by friction: you don't actually unscrew it, but if you twist and pull it will eventually work its way out).

SLIMpoint and Palm IIIx

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/28/2001 8:47:36 AM #
I bought the SLIMpoint last night from Target. The reset pin included resets my Palm IIIx just fine. This is a great product!

Compaq users are looking for a Stylus

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/26/2001 2:50:33 PM #
Does the SlimPoint fit in the holder of the iPAQ?

slimpoint in m100?

I.M. Anonymous @ 4/27/2001 12:44:51 PM #
Does the slimpoint fit in the m100?

SLIMpoint and m500

Ed @ 5/1/2001 12:50:21 PM #
I was in an Office Depot the other day and tried my SLIMpoint with their demo m500 and it worked great. I'm relieved; I would hate to have to give up the SLIMpoint.

---
Plenipotentiary
Palm Infocenter

point and scratch

I.M. Anonymous @ 5/4/2001 8:03:18 AM #
The slimpoint ruined my writing area. It is not manufactured with a smooth enough point. Therefore it slowly scratches your grafitti writing area. BEWARE

RE: point and scratch
I.M. Anonymous @ 5/4/2001 8:06:30 AM #
I concur. The nicest combo I have found was purchased at a Franklin Quest store. It is made by Pilot and is called Pentopia. Very nice and small and matches my palmVx case. The pen works great. Highly recommend.

RE: point and scratch
I.M. Anonymous @ 7/10/2001 10:26:32 AM #
I don't know about that, but I found a little trick that works well - get some 3M Scotch tape, and put it over the grafitti area. It lasts like iron. The only time I changed mine was when I changed my III to a IIIex...

sony clie? 610

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/14/2001 3:32:21 PM #
will this work for the above sony clie?

RE: sony clie? 610
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/14/2001 5:14:34 PM #
Sheesh. Clie users are brain-dead.

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