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Surface Pen vs. Slim Pen 1 vs. Slim Pen 2: Differences & Reviews 2024

Surface Pen vs. Slim Pen 1 vs. Slim Pen 2: Differences & Reviews 2024

    Just like the iPad, the Surface is a fantastic medium for creative minds, and there are a variety of apps that let you draw, paint, or sketch. However, your clunky fingers are not the right tool for the job. That's why you need a stylus. At present, Microsoft provided different versions of the stylus, like Surface Pen, Slim Pen 1, Slim Pen 2, so you may be hard to know which model to choose. In this guide, I will make a detailed comparison between the Surface Pen, the Slim Pen 1 and the Slim Pen 2 in terms of design, size, nib type, haptic feedback, wireless charging, accuracy, compatibility and price to help you to decide exactly which is right for you.

Cover Photo:microsoft.com

Microsoft Surface Pen vs. Slim Pen 1 vs. Slim Pen 2: Overview

| #1 Microsoft Surface Pen

Google Users Rating: 4.5/5

The Surface Pen has currently been through four versions, with the latest version released in 2017. Featuring updated hardware and tilt support, the Surface Pen (2017) from Microsoft is compatible with select Surface products and provides you with a pen on paper like drawing and writing experience. It now has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity with virtually no lag, and can now be used to shade in your drawings as you would with a pencil.

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Source:bhphotovideo.com

There is still a side button for quick access to shortcuts and commands, as well as a tip eraser for a natural workflow. The Surface Pen pairs to your device wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.0 and is powered by a single AAAA battery. For more customization options, you can change out the tip to one that fits your style (sold separately). There are three different tips to choose from: a #2 pencil-like tip, a low-friction tip similar to a fine-point pen, and a medium tip.

PROSCONS
Great performanceOlder, less usable design
Tilt SupportPowered by regular batteries
Virtually lag-free
Replaceable tips to choose from

More affordable
Much wider range of compatible devices

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| #2 Microsoft Slim Pen 1

Google Users Rating: 4.5/5

The Slim Pen is a redesign of the classic Surface Pen, featuring a flat side to help it fit into a cradle. Now with a thin, easy-to-hold profile, the Surface Slim Pen has 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity with virtually no lag. Writing and drawing with the redesigned Surface Slim Pen feels natural. Tilt the precision inking tip to shade your sketches, just like you would with a graphite pencil.  An eraser on the tail end can rubs away your mistakes.

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Source:walmart.com

The Surface Slim Pen now comes with a rechargeable battery as well as its own charging base. Simply place the Surface Slim Pen in the base and connect via USB Type-C. You can also store it on its own spot on the Surface Pro X Signature Keyboard.

PROSCONS
Great performanceOnly works with select Surface
Thin designExpensive
Flat profile, easy-to-hold
4096 levels of pressure sensitivity 
Virtually no lag
Wireless charging

| #3 Microsoft Slim Pen 2

Google Users Rating: 4.5/5

The Slim Pen 2 is Microsoft's best-performing stylus yet. You can draw, sketch, and take handwritten notes with the natural feel of pen and paper with the Surface Slim Pen 2 from Microsoft. Designed to work with the Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Pro, Surface Duo, and other Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP) compatible devices, this wireless digital pen features a sharp pen tip and an improved design that delivers pinpoint accuracy and exceptional shading with 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity and digital ink that flows as soon as the tip touches the screen.

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Source:amazon.com

With its integrated haptic motor, you get the feel of putting pen to paper when working from a digital screen using apps such as Microsoft Teams and Microsoft Whiteboard. The Slim Pen 2 also has a side button and a top button with eraser functionality that help to enhance your workflow. Additionally, its 15-hour battery can be recharged wirelessly, and the pen is designed to be stored securely onto a separately purchased Surface Pro Signature Keyboard or Surface Laptop Studio. The Surface Slim Pen 2 pairs with your device using Bluetooth 5.0 technology.

PROSCONS
Slim Tip DesignNot every app supports haptics
4096 levels of pressure sensitivityExpensive
77° Tilt
Haptics create a physical sensation
Zero Force Inking
Microsoft Pen Protocol Compatible
Side and top buttons/built-In Eraser
15-Hour Battery/wireless Charging

Microsoft Surface Pen vs. Slim Pen 1 vs. Slim Pen 2: Detailed Comparison

Design

First, the Slim Pen 1 and Slim Pen 2 come in a single black color, while the Surface Pen gives you several color options that include platinum, black, burgundy, aqua and cobalt blue, although the latter depends on where you buy it from.

Second, the Surface Pen comes in a longer, cylindrical shape, while the Surface Slim Pen 1 and Slim Pen 2 have flat profile with a thin, lean and sleeker design.

The design difference bewteen the Surface Slim Pen 1 and the Surface Slim Pen 2 is that the slim pen 2's button was moved to the flat side, making it less likely that you will accidently click it when drawing.

Size

The difference of size is not too big. The Surface Slim Pen 2 measures 5.38” x 0.44” x 0.25” in its dimensions, the Surface Slim Pen 1 measures 5.23” x 0.44” x 0.25” , while the Surface Pen measures 5.75” x 0.38” x 0.38”.

Nib

Compared to the Surface Pen, the pen tips of the Surface Slim Pen 1 and the Slim Pen 2 are much sharper. This means that the Surface Slim Pen 1 and Surface Slim Pen 2 allow you to make sharper, cleaner, and neater strokes on digital "paper" that are very close to the design of the Apple Pencil (and mimic a regular pencil), while the Surface Pen is more like a ballpoint pen vibe. It is worthing mentioned that compared to Surface Slim Pen 1, the Surface Slim Pen 2 has a pointier tip.

Haptic Feedback

The best feature of the Surface Slim Pen 2 is the use of haptic feedback to replicate the sensation of drawing on paper. This can make the overall experience a lot more realistic, such as when you want to erase a bit of your work, highlight some text or add overlaps.

But this function can only work with the Surface Laptop Studio and the Surface Pro 8 with Windows 11 in certain apps, at present. Not every app makes use of the haptic feedback technology inside the pen, but there is more support coming regularly.

This kind of haptic feedback is not available in the Surface Pen and the Surface Slim Pen 1.

Wireless Charging

Both the Surface Slim Pen 1 and the Slim Pen 2 support wireless charging. Just by simply attaching them through its magnetic feature to your Surface Pro Signature Keyboard, Surface Laptop Studio and Surface Duo 2 Pen Cover, you can keep them topped up on the go.  The rechargeable battery with wireless charging only makes it more user-friendly, not having to bring AAAA batteries with you.If you do not have a compatible Surface device, then you must buy a separate wireless charger.

On the other hand, the Surface Pen comes with AAAA batteries that aren't rechargeable  and will need to physically replace when the pen runs out of charge.

Accuracy

How accurate your stylus is can depend on the pressure levels along with the tilt sensitivity. The pressure levels offered byall the three stylus are of 4,096 units, amounting to a great capacity for accurate results on the screen. However, the Surface Slim Pen 2 does come with better tilt sensitivity and also has zero force inking to better detect when the pen nib is hovering above the screen that ensures that there is no delay in the response on the screen.

Compatibility

The Surface Pen is compatible with a lot more devices as compared to the Surface Slim Pen 1 and Slim Pen 2. So if you have one of these older devices: Surface Pro 3 - Surface Pro 7+, all Surface Laptop models, all Surface Go models, Surface 3, ll Surface Book models, all Surface Studio (desktop) models, the classic Surface Pen is still the best option.

The Surface Slim Pen 2 is ideal for newer devices. As we know, starting with the Surface Pro X, Microsoft made some significant changes to the design of its devices which removed the magnetic attachment from the side of the tablets. You can still use the original round Surface Pen, but the Surface Slim Pen 2 is better ideal, if you have one of these: Surface Pro X, Surface Pro 8 and 9, Surface, Laptop Studio 1 and 2, Surface Duo 1 and 2. Moreover, if you want to experience haptic feedback on Surface Pro 8, Pro 9, Laptop Studio models, only the Surface Slim Pen 2 supports this feature.

Bottom Line

Surface Pen vs. Slim Pen 1 vs. Slim Pen 2: Which One Should You Choose?

The original Surface Pen is still the good budget choice if you have an older Surface device. You'll lose the built-in battery, wireless charging, slim design and  haptic feedback, but do save some money in the process. The Surface Pen still has 4,096 levels of pressure, tilt support and a magnetic design that's ideal for the Surface Pro 7 or Go 3 and earlier.

The Slim Pen is a redesign of the classic Surface stylus, featuring a flat side to help it fit into a cradle, and even includes wireless charging. If you want to enjoy the latest technology Microsoft has available for its stylus, the Slim Pen is what you should get. The original Surface Slim Pen had many of the advantages of the Slim Pen 2, such as wireless charging and a flat profile, but performance has been improved upon with the Surface Slim Pen 2.The main differences are that the Slim Pen 2 has haptic feedback and a pointier tip. Currently, Microsoft’s official website no longer sells Slim Pen 1. Third-party sellers still have it in stock, but the price is more expensive than Slim Pen 2, so it is not recommended.

In my opinion, If you own a Surface Pro 8 or Surface Laptop Studio, or are considering buying one, then you should absolutely get the Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2. The Surface Slim Pen 2 is the ideal pen for Microsoft's latest Surface models starting with the Surface Pro 8 and Laptop Studio. It has 4,096 levels of pressure, tilt support, and tactile signals on the Surface Pro 8, Pro 9 (including the 5G model), and Laptop Studio.

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2023-11-16 19:561404