Stylus by day and UVC cleaner by night.

Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s, I regularly had to write notes and essays by hand.  In fact, I continued to take paper notes up through my advanced graduate-level courses.  Recently, I was working with a student who took notes within the GoodNotes App, and I was awestruck with his ability to combine his iPad, keyboard, and stylus within the App.  I tried to hide my jealous feelings of the option to quickly search for keywords amongst all of the documents and for his ability to have all of his notes with him at any given time.  I have several large 3-ringed binders with notes that I personally took/annotated.  I can still remember where the information is physically stored and access that information when needed.  Unfortunately, it is not digitized and not easily available for on-the-go utility.  I have grown fond of my iPad Pro 11” with Apple Smart Keyboard Folio ($179) and have started to use a stylus more frequently.  With the Apple Pencil 2 price tag at $119, some may find it a bit out of their budget range.  Excitedly, Adonit provides several options but at a fraction of the cost.

The ADONIT NOTE-UVC arrived in a pristine-white 2 1/4 inches wide by 7 5/8 inches tall by 1 inches thick retail package.  The cover panel provided the Adonit pyramidal prism logo along the top, the ADONIT NOTE-UVC product title along the bottom and showcased the 6 inches tall stylus image along the middle of the panel.  If you look toward your left, just adjacent to the NOTE-UVC device, you will see that the device was made for the iPad Pro 3rd/4th generation 11” and 12.9”, iPad Air 3rd Gen/Newer, iPad 6th/7th generation, iPad Mini 5th Gen and newer.  The centralized NOTE-UVC image was similar to the ADONIT NOTE+, but had a rectangular purple light emitting from the side of the pen.  Both of the side panels displayed the product name and noted that the device was intended for the New iPad/iPad Pro.  The bottom panel provide a UPC Barcode, address information for the product, and several manufacturing labels.    The rear panel listed the product title along the top and three multi-lingual labeled icons: 1. UVC Germicidal Light, 2. Palm Rejection, 3. Tap iPad to Open Notes App. This information was given in English, Russian, French, Spanish, Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Chinese.  

To access the Note-UVC, I gripped the top clear product hanging tab and slid the inner box upward. The first thing that I found was a 2 inches wide by 7 1/4 inches tall by 3/8 inches thick cardboard box with a QR code in the middle and “ *Update to IOS 12.2 or above *Disconnect previously connected digital pencil, such as Apple Pencil” along the top.  I slid the instruction manual from the top of the box, turned the accessory box over and then removed the short 8.5 inches long USB-A to USB-micro cable.  I was a bit taken aback that they chose to use micro-USB for this device when the ADONIT NOTE+ and my iPad Pro 11” charged via USB-C.  Unfortunately, this decision meant that I needed to carry three separate charging cables for my iPhone, iPad, and Adonit Note-UVC. Hidden beneath the accessory box, I found a black 0.45-ounce Adonit Note-UVC pencil housed within a white foam cutout.  The stylus measured 6 1/16 inches long by 3/8 inches diameter, had a micro-USB charging port along the top and a removable stylus tip at the distal end.  Located 1 15/16 inches from the tip, you will find a 3/8 inches long by 3/16 inches inches wide copper-colored power button.  Approximately 5/16 inches from the power button, you will find the blue LED indicator.  On the opposite side of the stylus (7/16 inches from the tip), you will find a 1 1/2 inches long by 3/16 inches wide cutout.  Looking through the clear outer plastic cover, you can see the dual LED UVC-C emitters and circuitry.  

Similar to my experience with the ADONIT Note+ stylus, there were some differences between the Note-UVC and Apple Pencil 2.0.  The matte black coloration of the Note+ and Note-UVC starkly contrasted with the white Apple Pencil 2.0.  Each of the Adonit devices measured 1/2 inches shorter than the Apple Pencil 2.0 and neither magnetically charged.  Rather, the Note+ charged via USB-C and the Note-UVC employed micro-USB charging.  In addition to the copper power button and the UVC emitter, the shape of the Note-UVC was rounded, unlike the Apple Pencil 2.0’s flat charging surface.  Lastly, the tip of the Note-UVC was markedly smaller than that of the Apple Pencil 2 and the Note-UVC weighed 0.18 ounces less. 

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Turning to the instruction manual, I was pleased to find a multi-lingual (same 11 as noted above) instructional experience.  The first panel provided a useful labeled diagram detailing the replaceable tip, power button, LED indicator and UVC germicidal light.  Next, it detailed a seven step quick start guide. 1. Turn on stylus. 2. Turn off stylus. 3. Turn on UVC light. 4. Turn off UVC light. 5. UVC light power-off overturn protection.  6. Charging. 7. Changing the tip.  The last panel noted the product compatibility (see above) and ten points of information.  The small print in the very last notice was perhaps the most important because it noted to hold the UVC light ~2cm/~1 inch from the surface.  Before using the stylus, plug the USB-A end of the cable into a wall adaptor and then the back of the stylus into the micro-USB cable.  After an hour, I checked back on the stylus and found that the red LED had turned blue. To turn on/off the stylus, press the copper button once.   To turn on the UVC light press the copper button for 3 seconds.  The stylus will run through its sixty-second illumination and then it will auto-extinguish.  Interestingly, it can sense if the light is down towards a surface because it will extinguish if rotated to face upward. Unfortunately for parents, eyes/skin could still be injured if held at an oblique angle.  

To test the stylus, I navigated to the Pages and Good Notes Apps (navigate to https://www.adonit.net/noteplus/ for more compatible apps).  Similar to my experience with the ADONIT Note+, the Note-UVC worked just like a pencil/pen/crayon/eraser/stylus.  I found the stylus was comfortable within my hand, and I enjoyed the size, shape, and grip of the device.  The palm recognition/elimination allowed for more accurate note-taking, but I missed the programmable buttons of the Note+.  Even though the stylus lacked some of the features of the other Adonit options, it made up for this with the ability to clean the surface of my iPad Pro.   After reviewing the Homesoap device from PhoneSoap, I was impressed with the cleansing power of the device during a ten-minute cycle.  I was thus incredibly skeptical about the ability of the Note-UVC to sanitize the surface of my iPad Pro 11” with a single sixty-second cleansing cycle. 

Despite my reservations, the Note-UVC device far exceeded my expectations.  I obtained two sterile swabs from a local lab and swabbed the surface and buttons of my iPad Pro 11”.  Holding the stylus at about 1-1.5 inches from the surface of my tablet, I ran through two cleaning cycles.  Without touching the screen again, I swabbed the screen again with a new sterile swab.  After 48 hours of incubation, I went to the lab and checked the plates.  It appeared that there were quite a few colonies of staphylococcus and at least one of a bacillus species.  The post-cleansing plate was essentially clear other than at the rim, which suggests contamination during the testing phase.  Again, I did not expect the Note-UVC to perform as well as it did.  If you are looking for an inexpensive stylus option, look no further than Adonit.  They have a variety of options to choose from.  I am personally torn between the programmable options of the Note+ and the cleansing nature of the Note-UVC.  Even if you do not need a stylus, the Note-UVC can be a portable cleanser for your phone, for your computer, or for other devices that you may touch regularly.  The device is not designed for human skin, and I would avoid shining the UVC light upon yourself due to the risks of skin cancer.  I loved the auto-off feature, the contour, and the coloration of the stylus.  If I had an option to design the Note-UVC-2.0, I would exchange the micro-USB for a USB-C.  Otherwise, the stylus is an amazing piece of tech that serves a highly useful secondary function. 

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