GoSmart Crossover: A Precision Stylus for Touch Screen Devices
I wrote about a couple of earlier GoSmart stylus models in my stylus roundup on About Graphics Software. GoSmart recently gave me the opportunity to evaluate a new ballpoint pen and precision stylus combo called the Crossover 400. My personal preference is for a more art-oriented paintbrush tip and stylus combo, but if you need a stylus with a built-in ink pen, and one that is designed for accuracy, the Crossover 400 might be just the ticket.
Note: The giveaway has ended. Congratulations, Jennifer!
GoSmart Crossover 400 Description
My first impression of the GoSmart Crossover 400 is that it is attractive and sturdy in chrome and black styling. Capped, the stylus is just under 5 inches long, and it weighs 1.2 ounces. It feels weighty in the hand, but not overly heavy–just enough to give you the feeling that it’s well-built. The body of the pen/stylus is metallic chrome with black stripes, and it includes a black and chrome cap with pocket clip that can be used to cap the stylus on either end. You’ll want to use it as a cap to protect the delicate-looking cross-hair stylus nib when it’s not in use, because the ballpoint pen retracts inside the pen body when you don’t need it.
GoSmart Crossover 400 Precision Tip
The stylus end of the Crossover 400 consists of a very unusual tip. It’s a small circular wire disc (approximately 1/4-inch diameter) with cross-hairs attached to the pen body via a small flexible, spring. The surface of the disc is coated with Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE–better known as Teflon) so it glides across the screen smoothly. It shouldn’t scratch your device’s glass, but the company recommends a screen protector for complete peace of mind. I didn’t have any issues with it on the bare glass of my iPad Air, however, it does make a slightly annoying squeaky noise when used on the bare glass screen.
GoSmart Crossover 400 Protective Cap
Unfortunately, the cap on my evaluation unit catches on the cross-hair nib each time it is applied. I can hear it catching on the nib as it slides over the pen body, and at times I can feel the nib catching on the cap as it is removed. In fact, the angle of the nib on my unit did appear a bit distorted when it was new, and has possibly become more distorted over time. This hasn’t affected its performance, but given the delicate appearance of the wire nib, it makes me nervous.
(Note: After comparing the nib on the Crossover 400 to my older GoSmart stylus, I noticed the wires of the spring portion were, in fact, bent, giving the nib an odd angle. I was able to gently bend the nib back to its proper configuration. The cap does still catch occasionally, but it seems to happen less often than it did.)
Cap issues aside, the nib tip is tougher than it looks but you do need to take care to protect it. However, if you do damage the nib, replacement tips are available from Amazon and the GoSmart website.
GoSmart Crossover 400 Accuracy
The purpose of a stylus tip like this is precision and accuracy, and I can say in that area it truly does shine. I found the Crossover 400 fairly precise, both when tracing over lines and when joining lines. One thing about the precision was that it varied from app to app. For instance, in one of my apps, the first mark made when touching the stylus to the screen was not in the dead center of the cross-hairs. I suspect this is an app issue, however, and it was accurate to the center of the cross-hairs in the majority of apps I used with it. With practice, I was able to get very good at joining lines and tracing over lines in several art apps.
Unfortunately, the accuracy provided by this type of nib is hampered somewhat by the fat body of the pen handle which blocks a good portion of the screen at some angles. With earlier GoSmart stylus models, the tip of the pen body is narrow close to the stylus nib, making it easy to see a larger portion of the screen surface surrounding the nib. I can’t make sense of this design decision, because the ballpoint pen end of the pen body is nicely tapered to a point!
GoSmart Crossover 400 Ink Pen
As for the ballpoint pen, you twist the pen body to reveal and retract the pen tip. It prints in black fine-point ink. It’s not the best pen I’ve ever used, but it’ll do. The pen can be refilled with a standard mini ball pen refill (635M). I didn’t see any obvious way to change the ink cartridge. My stylus came in a fairly plain back box with no instructions, so figuring out how to replace the nib and ink supply may require a note to GoSmart’s support department.
By the way, both ends of the metallic pen body have a grooved surface, which provides a non-slip grip.
GoSmart Crossover 400 Summary
- It’s a stylus and ballpoint pen in one
- Quality construction
- Extremely precise stylus tip
- Stylus tip glides smoothly on the screen
- Provides a mostly-unobstructed view of the drawing surface
- Reasonably priced (US$28.95 at the time of this review)
- Stylus tip should be handled with care
- Pen cap can catch on the stylus tip, potentially bending it out of alignment or damaging the tip
- Fat pen body blocks a portion of the screen where you are drawing
- Makes squeaking noises on a bare glass screen
All in all, the GoSmart Crossover 400 stylus is probably your best stylus choice if you need the utmost accuracy and also desire the convenience of not having to carry a separate ballpoint pen. Personally, I am a little turned off by the “mechanical” aesthetic for artistic endeavors, but that is a matter of preference. The Crossover 400 is an exceptional touch screen stylus pen, especially suited for technical drawing, sketching, and note-taking.
Would you like to win the GoSmart Crossover 400 Stylus for yourself? Enter the giveaway below!