Infiniter XP Stylus
(Updated January 11, 2004)
(Updated June 11, 2007)
Could this be the world's coolest stylus? Yes, it could. Read on!
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The Infiniter XP is a 4-in-1 product. You get a pen, stylus, laser pointer and LED flashlight all in one sleek package.
The Infiniter XP
People who know me know that I carry a lot of crap with me. Whenever I go out, I take
- My Pocket PC, of course
- My cell phone
- A blue Victorinox Cybertool 41
- An older SwissChamp (without the hook and pin).
- A pen
- My key ring
- Spare keys in a case
- A business card case
- Nail clippers
I also have a digital camera bag that I take in my car that has
- A Canon S100 Digital Elph
- A spare battery for the camera
- A Targus folding keyboard
- My Pocket PC thumb board
- A SanDisk Cruzer
- A PCMCIA Compact Flash adapter
At various times, I've also had a mini-Maglite and a bullet laser pointer, but those stopped working. So when I saw a chance to get a pen/stylus that also included a laser and an LED light, I jumped at it.
So how do they work? In a word, great. The Infiniter is a bit bulky, but not uncomfortably so. The pen and stylus are contained in the lower part of the barrel, with the laser and LED light being in the top part. You can actually separate the two halves and still use them, although you'll have to hold the batteries in the top half yourself.
The Infiniter XP Parts
The pen seems to be a half-size ballpoint. You twist the top of the barrel clockwise to get the pen out. The pen seems adequate in use.
The stylus has a lime green tip and feels fine in use. You twist the top of the barrel counterclockwise to get the stylus out. One downside is that, if you twist the top of the Infiniter when accessing the stylus, you can end up unscrewing the battery compartment. If you twist at the top of the lower half of the barrel, that won't be an issue, though.
The Stylus Tip
The laser is as good as the dedicated bullet pointers I've had. You press the bottom button on the barrel to turn the laser on and release it to turn it off. The range seems fairly good, too; it can put a red dot on things a good distance away. It's also a lot of fun with pets; our dog, Mischief, loves to watch — and sometimes chase — the dot.
Mischief Watching The Laser
The LED Light
The LED light is what sold me on the Infiniter XP. You press the top button on the barrel to turn the light on and release it to turn it off. As the image belows shows, it is bright enough to be painful to look at, but it won't light up a room by any means.
The LED Light
I took the light in a dark walk-in closet and could easily find things. The photo below shows that the light would reach the end of the closet, but wouldn't light up the sides.
The LED Light In A Dark Closet
If you're looking for a light to help you find things in the dark, it will do. If you expect something to use for hiking, though, this won't be the light for you.
The regular price is $39.99, but it was on sale when I got it (and still is as of the time of this writing) for $29.99.
UPDATE: Stylus Central doesn't seem to carry this any longer, but it can be found at GreenPearle.com for $12.95 as of June 11, 2007.
I haven't found any real problems with the Infiniter XP. However, I did drop the Infiniter once, and now both the laser and LED light don't work. This seems a bit fragile to me.
There are, however, some issues I have.
The instruction sheet that came with the Infiniter didn't list any information on pen refills or replacement styli. However, I contacted the people at Stylus Central, and they do sell refills for it. You have to pull the bottom half of the bottom half off to access the pen and stylus tips.
UPDATE: I also contacted the people at Quarton about refills, and they sent me some for free.
As mentioned above, the size is a bit bulky, but given the functions this has, I can understand that. However, there does appear to be another contender that's slimmer -- the Infiniter XP II, which also is a 4-in-1 device with a pen, stylus, laser pointer and LED light. Belkin also sells a product similar to the XP II called the Quadra. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if Infiniter made the Quadra for Belkin.
UPDATE: I bought the Belkin Quadra, and it is much slimmer, which I prefer.
If you hold the Infiniter at the top (above the pen/stylus part), when you twist the barrel to get the stylus, turning a bit too far will start unscrewing the battery compartment.
Like most laser pointers I've seen, I'm worried that the buttons on the barrel will get depressed (pushed, not suicidal) while in my pocket. That would cause the batteries to drain for no reason. To remedy this, I wish laser pointer manufacturers would add a "lock" switch that would prevent the button from being pushed inadvertently (or would keep the laser from shining if the button was pressed).
The buttons make the laser quick to turn on and off, unlike a twist mechanism, but also require you to keep the button pushed as long as you're using the pointer. For extended usage, my suggested lock switch could also be used to keep the laser on, even though the button was no longer being pushed.
These are all minor points, except for the first, and detract only slightly from my impression of this product.
This is a great tool, and lots of fun, too. I had been without a flashlight or laser pointer to carry around for a while, and this gave me both -- plus a pen and stylus -- in one nice package.
Rating the Infiniter XP on the typical five-star scale, I give it 4 stars. If it hadn't broken, and were somewhat slimmer, it would have gotten a full 5 stars.
UPDATE: In the initial version of this review, before I tried the Quadra and before the Infiniter broke, I did give it 5 stars.
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