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LandWare Floating Point Stylus Review
By Ed Hardy
8/28/2001


Overview
The Floating Point stylus from LandWare has a spring-loaded tip that improves the writing process.

Writing Tip
Clearly, the most important part of the part of the Floating Point stylus is the writing tip. This is a small pin that, instead of being solidly attached to the rest of the stylus, rides on a small spring inside the rest of the plastic tip. This means when you write on the screen, there is some give to the tip instead of being rigid like most styli.

The Benefits
The spring loaded tip evens out the pressure from the stylus on the digitizer. If you push down harder, the spring absorbs a bit of the force. This is supposed to improve Graffiti recognition. I'll have to admit I was a bit skeptical about the claim of improving character recognition so I ran some tests, admittedly non-scientific.

I wrote a series of sentences twice with both my regular stylus and with the Floating Point, varying which one I used to write the sentence first. Frankly, I was a bit surprised with the result. The Floating Point one consistently gave me fewer errors.

Many people have also said that using the Floating Point stylus is more like writing on paper than a regular stylus. In my opinion, the process of writing on the Palm is so different from writing on paper that this is too tough a comparison for me to make. It is almost impossible for me to find much in common between the typical writing I do in paper, on a large sheet lying on a desk, to writing on my Palm, in a small box I'm holding in my left hand, no matter what stylus I'm using.

The even pressure of the spring-loaded tip should also save wear and tear on your screen. The tip will help prevent you from pushing down too hard on the stylus, which should help prevent scratches.

The Rest of the Story...
Lest I neglect the rest of the stylus, the shaft of the Floating Point is silver metal and has three grooves to keep your fingers from slipping on the slick metal. Printed on it in very light letters is the name of the product and LandWare's URL.

The top is plastic and unscrews to reveal a reset pin.

The combination of the black top and tip with the silver shaft looks very professional. I like the looks of this stylus a lot. The metal shaft means it is a bit heavier than many plastic styli but not by much.

I am using the new version for the m500 series and this stylus fits well in the right channel. Of course, it suffers from the m500 series overly tight hold on anything in this channel. On either side of the Floating Point's top are two small lumps designed to hold it in its slot. I ended up having to take some sandpaper to these in order to make the stylus loose enough in the slot to remove without resorting to tools. But I don't blame LandWare for this; all peripherals that use either channel on the m500 end up being this tight.

LandWare also makes versions that work with the Palm III, V, and VII series, and the TRGpro and HandEra 330.

Conclusion
I have to give LandWare credit for coming up with a unique design that actually improves on the standard stylus. If your Graffiti recognition rate is poor, the Floating Point stylus could be just the thing you need to improve it.

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Wrong Title

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 12:51:35 PM #
Ed,

Wrong title.

wrong headline?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 12:51:49 PM #
it still says:

Sony PEG-S320 Review
By Ed Hardy
8/28/2001

as headline...just so you know.

RE: Wrong Title
Ed @ 8/28/2001 1:22:26 PM #
Thanks.

---
News Editor

Mine break

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 1:37:56 PM #
I really enjoy using this stylus until the tip breaks. I have had two break on me thus far right at the point where the plastic part meets the metal shaft. To Landware's credit, they replaced the first one with a whole new stylus. That one broke also in the same place.

It is possible that I am doing something wrong that is causing the problem, although, I don't know what it is. I would even be happy to purchase a bag of these plastic tips so I could just replace the ones that break. However, I would rather not keep sending these things back. It's just a stylus and the stock one doesn't break.

My purpose in posting this is to see if others have had similar problems. Otherwise, I guess I'm just a stylus-abuser and should stick to the stock one.

RE: Mine break
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 1:48:05 PM #
Ironically a small number of tips were overstressed in our automated test rig which weakened the ultrasonic weld point. This made a few of them prone to fail in the manner you saw. Fortunately this situation has now been corrected with all styli we ship out and the resulting components are quite resilient. We do offer a lifetime guarantee and will gladly replace any styli that fail in this manner.

RE: Mine break
cavande @ 8/29/2001 2:28:26 PM #
I did have 2 break. I bought one for my IIIc and one for my VIIx. I think the reason they broke is instead of sticking them in the slot in the back of the Palms, where they're supposed to go, I was putting them in the stylus holder in the neoprene PDA case for quick access. Where the stylus fits in the 2 types of these cases I had just isn't long enough for the floating point stylus so when I zipped it shut, it pushed on the end (point) of the stylus. That's my guess as to why they both broke.
Landware did replace both of them without any hassle. I've upgraded to Rhino Slider cases so the stylus is being stored in the back slot where it's supposed to go. My guess is that will keep this set from breaking.
I love the stylus. I don't think I could go back to the old one. The one they ship with the Rhino Slider is kinda in between the standard stylus and the Landware, so they're my official backup stylus now. I'm giving my standard stylus's away to friends.
:)

RE: Mine break
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/9/2001 12:05:45 AM #
My stylus also broke at the tip where the it meets the metal silo. I ordered my after the 8/28 posting above which stated that the problem had been corrected and I can tell you that it has not been corrected. It just fell apart, I was hardly putting any pressure on it (If I had happened to be putting presure on in the metal silo could easily have scratched my screen). Landware is sending me a new stylus, but they are making me send the broken one back (I hope a postage paid mailer will come with the new stylus). At first they just wanted to send me a tip, but part of the broken tip is still in the silo so it would not be possible to screw another one in there. It's too bad, because it is the most incredible stylus, I can't believe how much it improves the usability of my Palm. However, I would not recommend it since it will only break.

Steve Watts

RE: Mine break
I.M. Anonymous @ 1/15/2002 11:46:23 PM #
I'm impressed you were able to get a replacement... I have e-mailed the company 3 times and NO response at all... I offered to buy a new tip and asked how to do this... But no response.
That pisses me off more than getting a defective product!
I bought the item in the fall for my M505 and love it, but it broke two months later... right at the tip where the stylus holder screws into the metal shaft.


For Clie?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 1:54:18 PM #
Ed,
Any word on whether they might be making a floating point for the Clie one day?

RE: For Clie?
Ed @ 8/28/2001 6:28:51 PM #
I asked my contact at LandWare this question and he said they are "strongly pursuing it" but he isn't ready to put any kind of time frame on when they'd have one.

---
News Editor

Dweeb

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 2:10:41 PM #
You know, I feel like a total weenie for saying this, but...

I LOVE MY FLOATING POINT STYLUS!

Sure, it's just a stylus (I told myself as I opened the package yesterday), but after a few hours I'm hooked. Considering the amount of time I spend using my Palm (reading, notes, games, not to mention appointments and todos) it's not suprising how much impact a simple, well designed thing like the Floating Point has on my day-to-day life.

RE: Dweeb
I.M. Anonymous @ 10/17/2001 2:19:05 PM #
I'll second that dweeb comment.

I almost cried when I bought my m505 and my floating point from my Vx didn't fit.

I LOVE MY FLOATING POINT!

Pilot Pentopia vs. Landware's floating point.

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 3:17:35 PM #
I have tried both and in my opinion the Floating Point feels better when using it on the screen than the Pentopia. The Floating Point's tip seems to have more give than when the Pentopia's spring force is set to its minimum setting. Thanks to a tip, you can even replace the tip of the Palm V stylus with the Floating Point's tip (the metal barrel on the palm V stylus is heavier than the one that landware provides). The only drawback is that it is not equipped with a pen and a metal reset pin as the Pentopia.

RE: Pilot Pentopia vs. Landware's floating point.
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/21/2001 2:59:30 PM #
I've been using pentopia's stylus for a while and I love it !! The only "gripe" is that the spring is a bit to strong, but IT'S A PEN AS WELL !!! also, the built in metal reset pin make Pentopia's stylus a winner in my book.

RE: Pilot Pentopia vs. Landware's floating point.
twizza @ 9/21/2001 3:17:00 PM #
i agree. i use the cpentopia and love it but i think that the spring is a lot too strong. if there was a means that i could put a springer spring in there then i would have the perfect stylus :)

Does not fit my m505

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 3:35:01 PM #
I bought one of these based on the announcement on this site a few days ago and it came yesterday. It really IS a very nice stylus and I recommend it highly EXCEPT that mine (which was marked m505 on the wrapping) is totally loose in my m505 silo - to the point that it just falls out if the unit is inverted. I just sent a post to Landware asking if they could have sent me a Vx one by mistake but based on what I read in this review, it is more likely that the Vx one would fit my m505 BETTER than the one that they sent me. For now, since it will not remain in the silo, it is of no use to me and I hope to hear from them soon about some sort of replacement or work-around

RE: Does not fit my m505
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 4:12:56 PM #
Have you tried exchanging the blunt end of the stylus with the stock end? I used a floating point for Vx on my m505 for a while by unscrewing the end and swapping them.

RE: Does not fit my m505
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 4:41:33 PM #
It sounds like you where sent the wrong item. Unfortunately because you posted anonymously I cannot check into this for you. However if you have emailed our sales team they will send a replacement end out to you tomorrow.

clinton logan

RE: Does not fit my m505
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 8:06:13 PM #
I swapped the blunt end of the floating point stylus with my stock stylus also. It made it a little shorter and it fits better in the silo.

I have the same problem
covingto @ 8/28/2001 8:28:55 PM #

I just received my m500 floating*point this evening ... I was _very_ disappointed
to find that it didn't "lock" into the silo. If I replace the blunt end, it obviously locks in fine, but
I didn't pay $17 for a stylus that doesn't work properly as-is.

I'm curious: does everyone like the lighweight feel of the floating*point? I guess I grew used
to the slightly heavier feel of the stock stylus ... the landware product is so light! Oh well ...
I'll give it a few days and see how it works out.

RE: Does not fit my m505
Steve @ 8/29/2001 6:04:11 PM #
I too had the same problem with my stylus that did not fit. It's a shame because other than that it is a great product.

RE: Does not fit my m505
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2001 9:15:28 AM #
If anyone is experiencing a bad fit with the m505 they should contact LandWare sales (sales@landware.com) and we will send the correct m505 end cap out to you free of charge. A small number were sent out with the incorrect ends.

It's just a stylus
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/30/2001 10:35:46 AM #
I admire and appreciate your company addressing these concerns in a public forum. From some of these posts, however, it seems that Landware has a quality control problem with these. Everyone has said that you company promptly replaces the problem units.

I'm one of the guys with two broken tips, however, and won't be sending mine back for replacement anymore. Sending back defective ones really isn't worth the trouble. After all, this is just a stylus - a glorified stick. I'll just use the stock one and not concern myself with it anymore.

RE: Does not fit my m505
GreenProbeGT @ 8/30/2001 8:57:29 PM #
I also had that same problem with my Landware stylus. I replaced the cap with the stock one that came with my m505 and it fit fine. The only problem was that the stylus ended up being too short to use comfortably. So.... I emailed Landware and a new cap arrived in the mail 3 days later. Excellent customer service!

Here's a tip: While you're waiting for your new tip, you can use the floating-point tip on your stock Palm stylus. Of course that doesn't look as cool, but hey, it's only temporary. :)

-Jimmy

Nah

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2001 4:58:26 PM #
The PDA Panache stylus for the M5XX series is head and shoulders above this stylus. I used one with a Handera only because PDA Panache does not make a Handera stylus. I found the metal body was very light and so I used both ends of the floating point styuls with the body of the Hnadera stylus and things were much better.

RE: Nah
Colormeweb @ 8/28/2001 9:51:43 PM #
I purchased the PDA Panache and the Landware Floating point and the same time and recieved them on the same day. After giving them both a day of use each I ended up keeping the PDA Panache in my silo. It has a bit more heft to it then the Floating Point and I like the orange tip on it.

PDA Panache

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/29/2001 8:32:11 AM #
Meanwhile I am desperately trying to purchase several PDA Panache items, but their website gives a VERY frustrating error when sending the order:

Cart32 Message
Ordering from this domain is not authorized at this time.
Cart32 v4.0 Shopping Cart System for Windows
http://www.cart32.com
Registered to Long Island Internet HeadQuarters
License: Unlimited clients
1996-2001 McMurtrey/Whitaker & Associates, Inc.

..and Amazon.com doesn't have the PDA Panache Clie Stylus, although they do have the duo-pen I want and the m100 stylus I also need.

Do any of you nice people know resellers of PDA Panache, possibly in US (shipping to Europe), preferably in the U.K. or even closer to Denmark?

Thanks a lot.


This is a great stylus

delanjp @ 9/6/2001 11:17:58 PM #
It fit tightr the first few days but wore down enough to be comfortably secure in my M505 after that. My error rate has gone down significantly and I have been writing Graffiti since my first PalmPilot Professional.
This is an excellent product that performs as advertised.

Bought one, broke two months later

I.M. Anonymous @ 1/15/2002 11:41:24 PM #
The plastic cone which held the floating point split, and so no longer holds the point. E-mailed support and sales (twice to support, once to sales) about problem, asking to buy a replacement cone - but no reply.
At least they could have written back!
Thumbs down on the product, two thumbs down on customer relations.

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