Putting Apple on the defense in the tablet space requires something new for Microsoft. What’s more, the company needed to deliver something that people had a need for – even if they didn’t yet know that they needed it. Microsoft settled on creating the best productivity experience. To make the Surface devices the most productive they can be, Microsoft introduced thin Type Covers that the world hadn’t seen yet. The second thing was the stylus it calls the Surface Pen. It wasn’t new, Microsoft and its partners created devices with a stylus for years.
The Surface Pen allows owners of Surface devices to navigate Windows 10, take notes, sign documents and draw. The tiny metal devices work in tandem with the display technology built into each Surface device. There’s pressure sensitivity and dedicated buttons so that users can quickly launch some apps when they’re in a hurry.
Here’s how to sync and setup the Surface Pen accessory for the Surface.
Buying a Surface Pen
With every generation of Surface, Microsoft has refreshed the Surface Pen. Early Surface Pens were black with long skinny barrels and magnets that attached to the side of the original Surface Pro and the Surface Pro 2. For the Surface Pro 3 Microsoft introduced gray Surface Pens with a purple cap capable of monitoring around 200 levels of pressure. This model works on the Surface 3 too, Microsoft’s cheapest tablet and iPad rival. Microsoft still sells this Surface Pen at its Microsoft Store for $49.99 in blue, black, silver and red. It works with the Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book and the Surface 3.
Then there’s the Surface Pen that debuted with the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. It’s still metal, but has an eraser cap and a magnet that allows it to be clipped to the side of the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. The technology that powers it and the technology in these latest Surfaces allow for over a thousand different pressure levels. Pressure levels are important for a realistic drawing experience. Interchangeable tips allow users to get the best writing experience for them.
Microsoft Store sells this Surface Pen for $59.99. It comes with the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4. It’s compatible with the Surface Pro 3 and Surface 3 too. The Pen Tip Kit sells for $10 on its own, this kit is for users that purchased a Surface Book and Surface Pro 4 and want them.
Note that the last two Surface Pens are compatible with everything except the Surface, Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro. Surface 2 and Surface don’t support any pen technology at all. Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro require the original Surface Pen built around Wacom’s digitizer technology. Microsoft Store sells these refurbished for $24.99.
Before We Begin
Before we begin, be sure that your Surface Pen has a battery in it. The latest two Surface Pens require a AAAA battery that’s not available everywhere, but is available at office supply stores and websites. Also, be sure to have the Surface app installed on your Surface device. It should be in your list of installed apps on Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. The Surface apps is completely free in the Microsoft Store.
For the purposes of this setup guide we’re configuring a Surface Pro 4 with Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system installed.
Surface Pen Setup
Press the Windows button on your Taskbar or the Windows button on your Surface Type Cover to open the Start Menu or the Start Screen. Note that which you get is based on whether you’re in Tablet Mode or not.
Tap or click on Settings.
Tap or click on Devices.
Tap or click on Bluetooth in the menu on the left side of your screen.
Make sure that your Bluetooth connected is enabled. Pick up your Surface Pen. Hold down the cap on your Surface Pen until it’s visible inside the Bluetooth settings app on your device.
Now tap or click on it inside the Bluetooth settings app to begin pairing.
Launch the Surface app to configure your Surface Pen after you’ve set everything up. From the app you can decide how sensitive you won’t your Surface Pen to be. Microsoft recently added options for customizing what each button press does. For example, clicking the Surface Pen top automatically opens Microsoft’s OneNote note taking
Good luck with your new Surface Pen.