While routinely promoted by Microsoft, the Surface Pen seemingly has been an under-reviewed piece of tech in comparison to the engineering wizardry of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. Microsoft is taking some time to educate Surface Pro and Surface Book owners about the new complimentary device and its equally impressive ability to help users #DoGreatThings.
First off, Microsoft is suggesting that users get acquainted with what and how the hardware interacts with in regards to Windows 10 and Surface devices.
One click to OneNote
- Click the eraser button on the Surface Pen once to launch a blank OneNote page on your Surface. It’s a fast way to start a handwritten note or jot down a few items for your grocery list.
Double click for screen capture
- Click the eraser button on the Surface Pen twice to snap a picture of whatever is on your Surface screen. OneNote will also automatically launch so you can edit what you captured—or maybe draw or write on it with your Surface Pen.
Click and hold for Cortana
- Hold down the eraser button on the Surface Pen to activate Cortana, your personal digital assistant.
The new click-and-hold for Cortana is perhaps the pen’s best quality outside of its pressure sensitivity. Surface owners can now utilize an entirely hands-off approach to file, subject, image, and web searching with their device. Bringing up Cortana and using voice navigation can be helpful when the Surface is used during presentations or for bringing up info when the device is in the hands of others.
The Surface Pen is also extensible in its ability to add pen tips with the Surface Pen Tip Kit. For a professional or aspiring artist, the Pen Tip Kit comes with four tips varying in different degrees of angles, brush strokes, and friction. Exchanging tips is also a relatively easy affair according to Microsoft. A Surface Pen owner merely pulls on the current tip with either their fingers or a tweezer from the Pen Tip Kit to remove a tip and pop a new one by pushing it into place.
For some, the Surface Pen doesn’t match other well-established stylus solutions or the relative newcomer, iPad Pro Pencil, regarding natural inking ability. For others, though, any deficiencies along those lines are more than made up for by the Surface Pen in terms of utility and ease of use.