You Can Preorder the New Surface Pen Now … But Only in One Color

Posted on June 7, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Surface with 16 Comments

You Can Preorder the New Surface Pen Now ... But Only in One Color

Microsoft’s new Surface Pen debuted alongside the new Surface Pro and Type Covers at an event last month. But unlike those other devices, the new Surface Pen was not available for preorder until today.

And I hope you want Platinum, because it’s the only color you can preorder now from the Microsoft Store website: Burgundy, Black, and Cobalt Blue are still unavailable.

This weird availability issue is only one of a few things you should know about the new Surface Pen.

For starters, it’s more expensive than the outgoing version. A new Surface Pen will set you back $99, the same price as Apple’s iPad Pro-compatible Pencil. But that’s $30 more than the previous version.

The new Surface Pen is much improved over its predecessor, however. It offers 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, which is a 4X improvement. It also supports tilt now, so that you can shade sketches and create thicker lines as you would with a real pencil.

The new Surface Pen will work with most previous Surface devices: Surface 3, Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3, Surface Pro 4, Surface Book, and Surface Studio are all supported.

But the new Surface Pen works best with the new Surface Pro, offering even better performance than with the other devices. And oddly, it works less well on Surface Laptop, where the tilt functionality is not supported.

And it’s not clear when the other colors will be available, sorry.

 

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “You Can Preorder the New Surface Pen Now … But Only in One Color”

  1. Simard57

    Tilt works on the other Surface Pro products? I thought that might require the new chip - cool it doesn't


    Pen and Laptop make little sense. I may be in minority but I wish that the Laptop were a 360 model that folded. That is is a plain clamshell is why I am uninterested (USB-C is less important for me at this time).


    • Chris Blair

      In reply to Simard57: I agree. A laptop with 360 degree hinge offers advantages over a clamshell design including but not limited to much better inking support. But I can't think of any significant advantages that a clamshell offers over a 360 hinge design. So given that at least 30% of surface customers require inking, why go the clamshell route with the surface laptop? I KNOW I'm missing something. MS are not idiots. So someone please let me know what it is (that I'm missing regarding the advantages of a clamshell).


  2. Simard57

    Grr - I really wish I could configure default comment stream to Standard!


    Tilt works on the other Surface Pro products? I thought that might require the new chip - cool it doesn't


    Pen and Laptop make little sense. I may be in minority but I wish that the Laptop were a 360 model that folded. That is is a plain clamshell is why I am uninterested (USB-C is less important for me at this time).



    • Ugur

      In reply to Simard57: I totally agree with you, i would have considered buying the laptop if one could fold the screen over (would get even way more teasing if the keys would retract then like with some lenovos), as it is, with one not being able to fold the screen over, it makes little to no sense to me as device one can use with a pen, hence then it is just like a (very) neat looking but underpowered for the price laptop to me, so no buy then from me.
      Sometimes i really wonder about MS, i mean they obviously totally noticed the usability issue for the pen when one can't fold the screen over, it was obvious they noticed, because else Panos wouldn't have held the display with one hand to make it halfway stay in position while he wrote on it with the other hand.
      So then i don't understand, if you clearly got that usability issue, why the heck did you not make the screen foldable to the back so one could then use it as drawing tablet much better?
      Hmz..
      The surface laptop would be so much more appealing than the surface book to me if only one could fold the screen back (because while i like the concept of the surface book a lot, sadly in real life there have been all sorts of issues related to one detaching the screen and so some (graphics) hardware being in one part and some in the other), it's just a bummer one likely has to wait a full iteration until maybe MS changes it to allow folding the screen back.


      • Simard57

        In reply to Ugur:

        What I am looking for is not available yet. I want a 360 foldable laptop with a 3:2 screen. The only other computer I am aware of outside of Microsoft that has 3:2 is the Samsung Surface Pro clone.

        I want an HP Spectre 360 or Lenovo Yoga with 3:2. I would also include Dell in that decision (my biases obviously showing through).

        • Ugur

          In reply to Simard57:

          Yeah, agreed, would like that a lot, too. I never got why manufacturers went for more widescreen ratios for laptop screens in first place. More widescreen aspect ratios make sense for really small screens, like phones, because that makes them easier to hold in one hand (see S8+) in portrait and then it makes sense again for really large screens, where the screen is so large (or larger) than one's viewing field, so then it makes sense it fits more to the human's field of view rectangle ratio.

          But for laptops it never made sense from practical perspective. The widescreen aspect ratio in that screen dimension at that used distance does not cover our field of view at all, nor is it practical in usability for anything else than video playback.

          For everything else it makes way more sense to have more usable/scrollable screen height.

          And even for video playback, not the end of the world to have black bars at the top and bottom, when in return thanks to the less widescreen ratio one has so much more usable screen height when viewing any web page or other content.

          So yeah, i welcome MS pushing more sense making aspect ratios for more and more screen dimensions and yeah, i hope the other manufacturers jump on that band wagon asap.

          • MikeGalos

            In reply to Simard57:

            I never got why manufacturers went for more widescreen ratios for laptop screens in first place.

            I suspect it was because their marketing team and their executives spent a lot of time on airplanes watching movies on their laptops and decided it was THE key feature to have.

            • Ugur

              In reply to MikeGalos: A less widescreen format doesn't make watching movies horrible though, one then just has black bars at the bottom and top.
              I think you're partially onto the truth there though, i think it maybe happened that someone told them that we humans have a more widescreen field of view and so they thought it would be a great selling point to make it widescreen and argue for it being fitting to our field of view and way of seeing without thinking that much about the aspect that that only makes sense for really large screens or ones directly in front of our eyes, so it actuallyy fills our field of view, and doesn't make that much sense for smaller screens one uses at a bit higher distance on top, so it does not fill our field of view at all and then is just detrimental to have less creen height for pretty much everything, like browsing websites or docs or doing graphics work or gaming or whatever =)


  3. lvthunder

    You can preorder the same one at Best Buy as well. That's what I did because I had $45 worth of rewards coupons to use.

  4. Jason Lakes

    Wondering what is up with the delay on the colorized versions. Cobalt Blue or bust, it must match my Type Cover! I also noticed that the matching Surface Arc Mouse in Cobalt Blue I ordered is showing a ship date of 6/30.

  5. jkosborn4

    But does it come with a matching color pen loop? </sarcasm>


    This is still one of the best thing's I've read of yours.

    https://www.thurrott.com/mobile/microsoft-surface/2857/an-ode-to-surface-pen-loop

  6. Waethorn

    OMG! I can't pre-order it in pink with purple polka-dots?!? FML!!!

  7. bbold

    I'd imagine you should be able to preorder or order the other color pens on launch day, June 15. Employee at the Microsoft Store in Mission Viejo, CA told me today that he was told they would have them all in store by then. He was unsure of the quantity, however. I also got to check out the cobalt blue Surface laptop, very nice! That's the one I preordered. The burgundy doesn't seem as "pink" as the ads would lead you to believe, either, but that could be because it was indoors.

  8. Tony Barrett

    Just two words - how much?????

  9. cseafous

    I would have been fine with platinum before I knew that was the only option available. Now that I know it is not available, I want black. Is that weird?