Explain Like I'm Five: Wacom G13/"Dual Protocol" Pens?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by neonnoodle, Mar 22, 2017.

  1. neonnoodle

    neonnoodle Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I must admit I'm very confused right now about all the different hardware standards for styluses. There's the USI, Wacom EMR, Wacom AES, the newer G13 series, and something about "Dual Protocol" pens soon to be released. Can someone sort all this out for me?

    One thing I'm trying to understand is: if I were to, say, buy a Surface Pro 4 today, and Wacom releases a "Dual Protocol" stylus with tilt support in a few months, will it work with the Surface (including said tilt support)? Will we finally be free to buy tablet PC hardware without it being locked in to a specific stylus variety?
     
  2. surfaceproartist

    surfaceproartist Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, no one outside Wacom or Microsoft can say for sure whether this will work with existing tech or only future devices. I'm still holding out hope that all will be revealed around April 11 when the Creators Update is released and Microsoft unveils whatever new features it is building in to the Surface Pro 5 and Surface Book 2.
     
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  3. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    I haven't really been following Wacom's marketing regarding generations, but I do know what pens and digitizers are currently on the market:

    • Wacom EMR is the oldest and arguably best technology, when implemented correctly without an air-gap between the tip of the pen and the LCD, and without edge drift. "Generation 13" probably refers to this line. The first Wacom EMRs had 256 levels of pressure, then 512, 1024, 2048, and now 8192. If we break each pressure level into three generations, we reach the 13th generation with 8192 levels of pressure, so that could be it. Marketing aside, EMR hasn't improved significantly since the 1-gram-force pens.
    • Wacom AES, N-trig, and Apple Pencil are the new technology. Apple Pencil is implemented with 120Hz refresh rate and very high accuracy (they don't provide numbers, but form personal experience their technology is as accurate as the Wacom ±0.25mm technology). Wacom AES and N-trig are slightly less accurate and prone to wobbliness when inking slowly. However, both Microsoft (the owner of N-trig technology) and Wacom have created a "second generation" digitizer that is more dense than the original and provides better accuracy. These digitizers aren't yet widespread and I haven't used them personally so I don't know how much better they are, but some people report significantly less wobble.
    • The future Wacom-Microsoft Dual Protocol pens will be Wacom AES and N-trig. They will likely be backward-compatible with current-gen N-trig (DuoSense 2) and the more accurate new Microsoft pens, as well as the new Wacom AES digitizers.
    • USI is a new standard that will likely be compatible with N-trig, Wacom AES, and many other implementations. Any pen that will bear the USI logo will be compatible with all USI devices.
     
  4. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    The Generation 13 Pens actually refer to the AES Line since Samsung aside, their entire Components market for Tablet PCs/2in1s has shifted completely to AES, and Gen 12 was the last and still current batch of AES pens. However spec wise the Gen 13 pens and the new S-pen used in the the Galaxy Book line have the same specs, so I would assume their Gen 13 Spec will actually cover both AES and EMR....but it would just be unlikely for anyone beside Samsung getting that slice of EMR Pie.
     
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  5. ATIVQ

    ATIVQ V⅁O⅄ Senior Member

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    See, I told you I don't know what the marketing term refers to... :)
     

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