Infiniter XP II Stylus
(Updated June 11, 2007)
I thought the Infiniter XP was the world's coolest stylus, but I was wrong. The Infiniter XP II is even better. Why? Read on!
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The Infiniter XP II is a 4-in-1 product. You get a pen, stylus, laser pointer and LED flashlight all in one sleek package.
The Infiniter XP II
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 pen and stylus are contained in the lower part of the barrel, with the laser and LED light 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. As the following image shows, the end of the bottom half is removable to allow changing the stylus or pen.
The Infiniter XP II 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 Pen Tip
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 Chasing The Laser
Mischief Watching The Laser
The LED Light
The LED light is what separates the Infiniter XP II from other laser styli. You press the top button on the barrel to turn the light on and release it to turn it off. Infiniter claims the light is visible over a mile away, which seems to be a stretch; maybe in total darkness you'd see a faint pinprick of light, but I wasn't able to test this.
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 XP II doesn't seem as bright as the Infiniter XP, though. The photos below compare the two; notice that I had to get closer with the XP II to get about the same light. (The photos were taken several months apart, so they aren't perfectly accurate.)
XP II LED Light In A Dark Closet
XP 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 $49.95, but it is on sale as I write this review for $24.95.
NOTE: In the interests of full disclosure, GreenPearle provided me the Infiniter XP II free for this review.
Belkin also sells a product similar to the XP II called the Quadra. In fact, I suspect that Infiniter makes the Quadra for Belkin. I only found two differences between the XP II and the Quadra:
The Infiniter comes in a nice metal box; the Quadra comes in that cursed form-fitting plastic. (The inventor of that should be drawn-and-quartered by teams of skunks.)
One of the Quadras I got had a white stylus; the XP II has a lime green tip (as does the other Quadra I got for my daughter).
If the prices are close, I'd get the Infiniter to avoid dealing with that plastic packaging.
UPDATE: GreenPearle.com sells this for $13.95 as of June 11, 2007. They also have several similar Infiniter 4-in-1 products in different styles.
I haven't found any real problems with the Infiniter XP II. I did have an Infiniter XP that I dropped once, which broke the laser and LED lights, so I'm not going to drop test the XP II.
There are, however, some issues I have.
The instructions could use a better translator. They were obviously written by someone without a good grasp of English, and are a bit too short. Here are the Engish instructions in their entirety (reduced 50%).
Infiniter XP II Instructions
The instruction sheet also didn't give instructions about changing the pen or stylus, nor did it list any information on pen refills or replacement styli. As I mentioned above, you have to pull the end of the bottom half off to access the pen and stylus tips.
If you write to Quarton, they will probably give you some replacements; I wrote to them about replacements for my Infiniter XP, and they sent me some for free. I compared the Infiniter XP replacements with the XP II pen and stylus, and they seem to be the same.
If you hold the Infiniter XP II 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.
The batteries don't seem to last very long. In fact, the batteries I got in the review unit seemed to be dying right after I put them in. They are also relatively expensive — Energizer 392 batteries (an LR41 equivalent) cost $2.99 per battery, while Energizer 392 High Drain batteries cost $3.99 apiece. Four of the High Drain batteries is more than half the cost of the XP II itself.
The batteries are also a bit tricky to put in the Infiniter, possibly because they are so small. I'd try to drop one in, and it would often flip on its side or back. It's probably best to try stacking the four batteries and putting them in at the same time.
These are all fairly minor points, and detract only slightly from my impression of the product.
This is a great tool, and lots of fun, too. Not only do you get a stylus and pen like many products out there, but you also get a laser pointer and small flashlight in one nice package. So why do I like it more than the Infiniter XP? Simply because it's slimmer — the Infiniter XP II feels like a pen, while the Infiniter XP was more like a magic marker.
Rating the Infiniter XP II on the typical five-star scale, I give it 4.9 stars. Adding information to the instructions on replacing the stylus and pen, including information about where to get more, would get this a full five stars.
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