14 June 2016

Pogo Sticky

The best backup is the one you never use, and I've ended up needing at least two this past week. My Pogo Connect, the one that I found on Amazon for 10USD, took a mysterious spill off the top of my end table, plummeting three whole feet onto soft carpet. The damage report goes like such: battery compartment jammed shut, main switch MIA, and vital electronics disconnected from main body. I got an up close and personal look at the inner workings of that stylus whether I wanted to or not. The main PCB which holds all the switches, contacts, and even holds the stylus tips in place was shot out of the aluminum body like a bullet. The real kicker is how this little board was so tightly packed inside the stylus body that it's impossible to wedge it back inside and make contact with the battery. Speaking of the battery, a mere AAA screwed into the back like a flashlight, that stylus body is an aluminum casket for it; the threads of the screw took such a massive beating at the hands of the plush plains that their hearts skipped a beat and criss-crossed each other to form the kind of seal only broken by stripping. 
Needless to say, I'm more than a little disappointed with the craftsmanship. Then again, it was pretty useless as a backup since most of the apps calling for it had phased out compatibility in recent updates. 

As for the sequel, its fate was revealed to be slightly less drastic but still debilitating. In addition to one of my brush tips going mysteriously missing, that adorable little AAA battery decided it'd had enough of sitting idly by and committed acidic seppuku. While its screw mercifully maintained its ability to undo itself, that little zinc oxide cylinder wasn't going anywhere. To be fair, a battery going belly-up isn't any real demerit in terms of craftsmanship, given lithium batteries having a spotty history with mastering the art of not blowing up in a fiery puff. 

The story does have a happy ending, despite still not finding that missing brush tip. A quick photo expose on Twitter got the immediate attention of TenOne, and within hours I was told of a fresh new one being sent out to me and arriving in a matter of days. They didn't even want me to wheel the corpse out; photo evidence was all they needed. This sort of disposability in electronics does make me a little sad as someone old enough to remember when "No Job Too Small" was the motto of any TV repair place, and paying to have a piece of plastic removed from a VCR after a VHS tape somehow shattered while playing Thunderball. These days, it's literally cheaper to simply scrap a TV (let some scavenger--which I mean in a good way--harvest its components) than to get it fixed, even under its own warranty. 

Overall, I'm still impressed with the Pogo stylus, especially its cooperation with Sensu, but given the Pogo Connect 2 being on sale at the time of this writing for about the same price as a Sensu brush tip, I think it's pretty clear if you're going to make art on tablets, it's best to shop around. 
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