In 2019, What is the Best N-Trig/MPP Pen?

Discussion in 'The Tablet PC Life' started by sonichedgehog360, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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  2. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...I take this is the Raphael 5 pen?..>>

    ...Yes, that's it.
     
  3. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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  4. jedah

    jedah Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I just visited a Best Buy and played w/ the SP7 and SPX today. If it's your imagination, then I think I was imagining the same thing. While I was there, I compared an SB2 and Studio 2 against the SP7 on OneNote, and it seemed like the cursor jittered less on the SP7 than the SB2 and Studio 2. The slim pen also seemed to perform the same in terms of jitter as the SP7. I don't think it was quite EMR or the Apple Pencil smooth, but it seems like there's an improvement here. Palm rejection actually seemed better than the EMR Samsung N9P there too.

    When drawing a slow line w/ my bamboo ink, the cursor kinda snakes above and below the tip of my pen for a wavy line. On the SB2 w/ Surface pen, the cursor stays below my pen tip but seems to flicker alot causing a bumpy line. On the SP7, the cursor also stays at the tip of the pen, but seems to flicker less than SB2/Studio2, making for a less bumpy line.
     
  5. sylph

    sylph Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Happy new year guys!!

    Hope you don't mine the thread resurrection here but it's a great thread probably relevant to a lot of people.. And has a great Google position!

    Yesterday I purchased a new Surface pen (the regular 2017 one discussed in this thread) for my new Surface Pro 7 and I can confirm jitter performance is decent on the SP7.. But.. The IAF seems poor sadly and I'm seriously considering returning the Surface Pen.

    The pen feels OK in hand, but when lightly sketching the performance is awful especially when shading. The IAF feels high when doing light detail work and the pen cuts out due to this. This I can live with as when the pen is near vertical only minimal pressure is required for activation (far from ideal but workable).

    But the WORST issue is when shading at a normal (tilted) angle there is less force pushing perpendicular to the screen so the high IAF is severely affecting function. For example the pen will cut out and in markedly, all of the time, when shading lightly. It seems very difficult, practically impossible, to shade lightly with this pen.​

    Some reports of IAF for surface pen are 9 grams, others 12 grams. However when tilted I wager more angular turning force has to be applied to produce that vector.

    Of course ideally we'd like it to have a setting to draw by merely dragging it across the screen with it's own, not insignificant, weight. But when shading (ie: Tilted) it seems it's weight plus additional light pressure to get the lower end of the activation (eg: Lighter greys pencil shading) often causes many many unworkable line breaks (off / on / off / on). I mean it's unusable for consistent light pressure tilt work.

    I can send a screen shot if you like but I guess you know what I'm saying. The workaround is to use moderate pressure during tilt applications and (somehow??) calibrate the 'light pressure' curve to begin outside of the 'low IAF danger zone ' - so the light pressure functionality (whether the lighter greys when shading or whatever parameter you have your pressure controlling) if actually usable at the medium pressures that are safe to use without cut outs when this Surface Pen is tilted.

    In a nutshell, when trying to use pressure to get lighter shades when shading.. performance just breaks.. I'd love to hear any fix or alternate pen that also doesn't jitter on SP7. I've searched for hours but I'm no pen technology expert (I just have intuos experience but that is no good for SP7 on the move).

    The aforementioned Raphael vid got me very interested but I think that guy is a bit of a salesman and he admits in other vids that he's been trying to get affiliated with the company and they give him lots of free tech, so I take it with a pinch of salt.

    Also I've read, possibly in this thread a couple of days ago, that due to the Surface Pen having better surface integration firmware / hardware it has a greater connection / electronic interaction with the screen, in retrospect do the members of tabletpcreview agree here? It looks from your preliminary tests Steve that this is somewhat the case. I think the Raph jitters a bit more than the Surface pen although I don't have one to test and they are only available in UK via import from USA (which I'd do if I was sure about some very preliminary and tenuous IAF / jitter claims).

    Which would lead to the following conundrum (and hence why I didn't immediately return the Surface pen to get something like the raphael):


    Surface Pen: Less Jitter

    vs

    Raphael: Lower IAF* = low pressure performance

    * Conjecture


    If we take the aforementioned vid from a potential company affiliate with a pinch of salt: From you own tests what do the users of tabletpcreview think of Raphael IAF vs Surface Pen IAF?


    This seems a great question for owners of machines like the lower (relative to prev gen) jitter SP7 tablet especially artists who bought it for that exact reason. There doesn't seem to be a low IAF alternative to the Surface Pen, except for several pens with an unacceptable amount of jitter (probably a worse evil.. Which may shed light on why MS chose an insensitive janky IAF.. less jitter.. albeit outdated in 2020).


    Any comments on Raphael IAF and jitter on SP7 vs Surface Pen would be great!

    Also any hacks to the ubiquitous Surface Pen to fix it's unbearably frustrating cutting out constantly during moderately low pressure tilt use.

    I'm thinking of just using my intuos but the integration is weaker, usb ports are a premium and it kind of misses a lot of the advantages of a native pen on the actual touch screen.

    Arrgh.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2020
  6. Marty

    Marty Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I'd just like to revise my assessment of the SP5 with a new unfortunate development:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the end cap (which you pull out to replace the battery) developed a slight <1mm misalignment. This was enough to make the battery lead contacts completely disconnect, and now unfortunately the pen is useless. :(

    I believe this occurred as I was habitually playing around clicking the eraser, sometimes pushing against side (flat edge) of the pen cap. It gradually developed the bend, and is at point now where the cap is too wobbly to make contact with the battery.

    So, ironically, the SP5 end cap also broke, like my VAIO pen, except this time the pen turned into dead-weight instead of just a short pen. Ugh.

    My hope is now on the new Surface Slim Pen, with a more robust construction. Time will tell how the battery wears over use though...
     
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  7. SpartaIsTheBoi

    SpartaIsTheBoi Pen Pal - Newbie

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    This is an amazing read! I believe the "good/bad" section of of the lines is due to how the N-trig is rigged up, signal strength gets weaker the further it is to the board meaning after signal is pick up it still needs to travel??? Let me know your thoughts.

    Anyone know if the Raphael is sold UK? Not about to remortgage my house for a surface pen.
     
  8. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    The slim pen is the SPX one correct? How do you like it on your SP5?
     
  9. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    I cant speak for Marty....but I also use the Pro X’s slim pen with my Pro 5....and I love it a lot more then the regular surface pen. While from a spec it’s at the same limits as the normal surface pen.....the Slim pen has a redesigned nib assembly.....that doesn’t really have any flex or recoil to it...(unlike Wacom nibs, but now like the Apple Pencil).....While the IAF might seem a bit higher then the regular Surface Pen with the 2H nib (the fat nib)......the Slim pen puts out pressure more evenly.....especially at the lower end of the pressure scale....so for sketching/drawing.......the Slim pen just feels more natural and kind of pleasant to use. Since getting it I haven’t even touched my old Surface Pen for anything other then comparisons. I also greatly prefer the plastic construction of the slim pen....room temperature and just much more comfortable to hold over the cold metal of the old pens. The eraser I also find easier and more intuitive to use simply because of its shape change.....the slimness helps it be more accurate.

    the only criticism I have with the slim pen is the battery does somewhat go quick. Not sure if it has a similar Apple Pencil function where physically moving (but not using the pen) keeps it engaged and using power....but to take the slim pen out and about......you need to bring the charging cradle.......an unfortunate contrast to my regular Surface Pen....that after a year and a half of regular use.....still hasn’t needed to have its AAAA battery replaced. Now a proper Keyboard docking solution for the Pro would resolve much of that concern.
     
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  10. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...I also use the Pro X’s slim pen with my Pro 5....and I love it a lot more then the regular surface pen...>>

    I generally agree with @darkmagistric 's comments. I also tried the Slim Pen with a Surface Pro 5 (aka New Surface Pro) and although I found no significant improvement in low-speed inking "jitters," I did find the apparent pressure curve more appealing and more controllable than the standard Surface Pen. ("...the Slim pen just feels more natural and kind of pleasant to use...")

    <<...the battery does somewhat go quick...you need to bring the charging cradle...>>

    Perhaps dark inks a lot more than I do (very likely, I suspect) but I have found the Slim Pen's battery life to be perfectly satisfactory for my day-to-day use. The cradle is compact and (for me) easily carried (if I need to), but I wish that someone had thought to put a couple of carve outs in the sides so the pen could be easily removed! The close fit in the cradle made the pen very difficult to remove until I finally made a small tab of plastic tape (like you sometimes see in a battery compartment) so now I can just pull on the tab to remove the pen...
     
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