I Can Has Pen Input? (or, My first moments with a Surface Pro)

A 3 minute read, Posted on Sat, Feb 9, 2013 In Technology
Tags review, surface

I just picked up my Surface Pro from my local Microsoft Store this morning. I’m no stranger to Windows 8; I’ve been using it on my desktop since RTM (and a little before) and I bought the RT back on launch day. In general I like the changes that have been made and no longer feel at home on Windows 7. I have especially been digging the way the interface was built around touch with my RT, I think that has helped me accept some of the changes experienced with mouse and keyboard only input.

I’ve recently discovered the convenience that is OneNote for all my meeting and personal notes. I had seen OneNote but never really tried it until I had my RT. Being able to take quick notes on my Surface in a meeting or on the go and then review or edit them on my desktop is awesome. The only thing I’ve really been missing is the ability to have useful pen input. I’ve tried capacitive touch pens in the past (I bought an iPad with a Pogo pen thinking I finally had a digital notebook) but the “pen” input was all next to useless or tedious to input (had to use a special part of the screen, or zoom in and write real big) and not very effective for non-continuous strokes like sketching a diagram where lines connect.

One of the things that excited me about the Surface Pro was a built in digitizer. I’ve been down to the MS store a few times over the last couple months and have looked at some of the other Win 8 Pro devices with pen input and while they were nice they just didn’t feel quite there. The pen input would lag significantly behind where you were writing unless you went very slow.

Enter the Surface Pro. I got to get my hands on it earlier this week and play around for a while. The pen input is awesome. It stays right there with the pen unless I’m obviously trying to get ahead (faster than I’d ever reasonably use the pen) zipping across the screen.

I had been using the touch cover with my RT and opted for the type cover for this unit. So far I really like the type cover, it seems more accurate and I appreciate the tactile feedback letting me know I really did press the key.

I’m still getting everything installed and will report back on my continued experience, but for someone who doesn’t really need a laptop, but wants the convenience of still having a real PC, this is great.

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