As the days pass, we are finally starting to see wider availability of styluses bearing the Universal Stylus Initiative seal of approval. The first sighting, in the wild, was that of HP’s rechargeable USI pen that quickly sold out just to return at a discounted price. Then, iPlume launched its third-party pen designed by Waltop, on Amazon’s marketplace. This is the model we have here in the office and it’s a solid purchase at $49. Unfortunately, the high demand for a USI pen has left that listing completely sold out for more than two weeks.
Lenovo’s USI stylus is holding strong and has been made available in multiple markets. For only $40, it is hands-down the best value around but that’s based solely on the price as we haven’t had a chance to try it out. (You can actually score the Lenovo pen for $32 if you use the promo code “discover20” at checkout.) For a few lucky folks, ASUS briefly had its USI stylus in stock but until now, we’ve yet to see the pen become available on ASUS’s website. This morning, the listing for the ASUS Collections-branded USI stylus has updated and it’s available if you’re willing to fork over the $70 that ASUS is asking.
ASUS Collections USI Stylus
As USI’s chairman Pete Mueller explained to us, USI is intended to be a standard protocol. USI pens will work on any compatible device but that doesn’t mean that they might now work “a little better” on a device from the same manufacturer. The ASUS SA300 is battery-powered like the Lenovo and iPlume pens but unlike the iPlume, it lacks any barrel buttons that can be used for specific screen interactions such as highlighting text or taking screenshots. That makes the ASUS USI pen the most expensive on the market right now and due to the lack of being rechargeable, means it doesn’t really offer anything you won’t find in less-expensive models. Still, it is USI and therefore, has all the goodies that come along with the stylus standard.
- Compatible with ASUS Chromebook C436 (Other USI-compatible devices)
- USI Compliant
- Supports 4096 pressure sensitivity to get the best writing experience
- Magnetic pen holder for convenient storage
- Battery Type: AAAA, user-replaceable
- UP to 9 months battery life (presuming 10% in Tip mode)
All that said, $70 still isn’t a grotesque price to pay for a good stylus and I’m guessing ASUS’s pen is as premium as it looks in its headshots. For those rocking the ASUS Chromebook C436, this pen would be a welcome addition to the family and who doesn’t like matching accessories. You can grab the ASUS Collections USI Stylus in the ASUS store at the link below.