Would you like to have the power of a Wacom tablet—assuming you already have an iPad Pro and Apple Pen—without spending a boat load of cash?

I installed the DUET application from the Apple App Store for $9.99 and then downloaded the PC backend software from the http://www.duetdisplay.com website.

You then have to link the iPad directly to the PC or Mac via a lightening / USB connector. This configuration works flawlessly and allows me to have a Wacom like workstation at a fraction of the cost.

However, the huge difference between other available apps such as AstroPad or AirDisplay, is that DUET sucks you into a $20 a year subscription fee to use the DUET PRO, which recognizes pen pressure and those features that one would absolutely expect when using the Apple Pen. All the functionality that you would expect with the Apple Pen is provided with AstroPad—but there are some important differences in hardware support and the methods in which each application connects to your core platform.

The current version of AstroPad is only available for the Mac and it works via Wifi—allowing you to sit on the couch away from your work station and doodle. If you need Windows PC support, DUET connects via a USB to the iPad Pro’s lightening connector. I have not compared it to the AstroPad’s Wifi performance, but the configuration I have set up works flawlessly, with no latency or performance degradation.

As mentioned above, in order to have pen pressure you need to pay a annual subscription of $20. This is after you spend $10 to get the base version. I could not find a listing for DUET PRO on the App Store, so the trickery of DUET is distasteful, meaning they suck you in for $10 and then hit you up for an additional $20 a year via an In-App subscription process that batters you into submission. I found this tactic not only displeasing, but highly unprofessional.

Anyone who buys a pen based application is expecting to get all the pen functionality. DUET tricks you into buying the base version thinking you will get this functionality, then immediately starts hammering you to upgrade to a subscription model as soon as you start using the application. For me, I find that to be a very disgusting marketing and sales strategy akin to a used car sales tactic. There are no clear lines of demarcation drawn on the App Store sales page between the base version and the pro version, only loosely worded under tones that you are about to get screwed.

AstroPad, has full disclosure, coming right out up front, charging you $30 and there is no subscription. The down side is, that AstroPad, with this current version, is only supporting the Apple Mac. I needed something that ran on both my PC and all my Apple based products.

If AstroPad offers PC support in the future, there is a very good chance I would drop DUET like a hot potato. As for now, DUET does do what I need it to do. Only time will tell if I migrate away from it to something a little more grounded in salesmanship ethics.