How to set up your Surface Pen

Dave W. Shanahan

Microsoft, Surface, Pen, Windows 10

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After I purchased my new Surface Pro through the Surface Plus Program, I had to get some new Surface accessories. I got the Surface Pro Type Cover in cobalt blue and of course I had to get the new Surface Pen in the same color. Unlike the Surface Pro 4 which had the Surface Pen included, now you have to purchase the Surface Pen separately for $99.99.

Microsoft, Surface, WIndows 10

Even though the price bumped up to $99.99, the Surface Pen is a must-have accessory for any Surface fan. Thankfully, you can get a Surface Pen in a different color other than just plain silver. With 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity, the pen feels like a real-life pen, close to writing on actual paper. I used the new Surface Pen in the Microsoft Store, and I was happy to start using it because I heard such great things about it and how it was a much better improvement over the previous generation.

There is not much to pairing your Surface Pen with your Surface device. Just hold down the eraser button for a few seconds, a green light will appear and the pen will enter Bluetooth pairing mode. It’s a simple process for most Windows fans already using Windows 10, but coming from Android or MacOS (X?), it’s always good to have a refresher.

Microsoft, Surface, Windows 10

In Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Devices
  3. Add Bluetooth & other devices
  4. Add Bluetooth and other device
  5. Select Bluetooth

From there, you’ll need to find and select your Surface Pen to pair it via Bluetooth. Once paired, you can use the new Surface Pen on any Windows 10 devices that support pen input. The Surface Pen also works on the Surface Studio, Surface Book, Surface Laptop, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, and Surface 3. However, the 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity are not available on those devices.

At the moment, the only Surface device that you can only use the Surface Pen to its full potential, with the 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity and the new tilt functionality, is on the new Surface Pro. Microsoft claims that more devices will get tilt support in an upcoming Windows 10 update.

After using the new Surface Pen for the last week, I agree with Microsoft that this pen is the “fastest on the planet.” The new Surface Pen responsiveness and speed make it a dream to use. I use the Surface Pen to take notes when I am in meetings in OneNote, and use it when I color using my favorite Windows 10 coloring app, Zen: Coloring Book for Adults. I am by no means an artist, but when I use the new Surface Pen, I feel like one.

Buy the Surface Pen from the Microsoft Store ($99.99)