TabletPC Compatible Wacom Pens (Surface Pro & Pro2 Only)

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by Steve S, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    [Updated 16Oct16]

    In order to help new tablet users, here is an assortment of tablet pens (some old and some new) that work with the Surface Pro (1), Surface Pro 2 and with Wacom tabletPC digitizers in general. Note that these pens are not compatible with Surface Pro 3, which uses an N-trig digitizer & pen.

    Let's begin by briefly discussing pens that don't work, because not all Wacom pens are compatible with the particular digitizer that is used in tabletPCs.

    <> Pens for Wacom Intuos, Graphire and Bamboo graphics tablets will not work with a tabletPC. Interestingly, Cintiq graphics tablet pens are mixed; some Cintiq pens work (early versions) and some do not (later versions). The Bamboo graphics tablet pens (Capture, Connect, Splash and Create) are NOT compatible.

    <> Although I hope everyone would know, N-trig (and the now uncommon FinePoint) pens will not work with Wacom digitizers and vice-versa. Also, the new Atmel and Synaptics pens are also incompatible.

    <> Finally, the Bamboo Solo* pen is not compatible in the sense that it does not work with the pen digitizer; however, it will work with tablets that incorporate a touch-sensitive capacitive sensor, so the Solo pen can be useful with TabletPCs that have combined pen and touch (as the Surface Pro does). But because it doesn't work with the pen digitizer, the Bamboo Solo pen cannot produce high-accuracy inking results.


    So what pens will work?

    <> The good news is that there are a large and varied assortment of pens that are compatible. The bad news is that some of the best pens have disappeared from the marketplace and are very hard (to essentially impossible) to find anymore. We'll talk a little more about that in a moment. Unlike some OEMs, Wacom has maintained the compatibility of its digitizers and pens over the years. Any pen for any tabletPC (essentially since 2002) with a Wacom digitizer will work with any other tabletPC, including current tabletPCs. Thus, if you liked the pen that came with an HP/Compaq TC1100, you can use that same pen on your Surface Pro (1) or 2! Same for the MotionComputing LE1600 and LE1700 pens. Both pens can still be found for sale on eBay.

    <> Third-party pens made specifically for Wacom-equipped tabletPCs; this includes the new Bamboo Feel IT pen and the legendary, and mostly unobtainable, Cross Executive Pen which came in both a capped and a no-cap version.

    <> At one time, Wacom also sold several models of slender "penabled" replacement pens and these pens can still be found at some reseller sites. Wacom continues to sell a variety of replacement nibs (standard, flex, stroke, hard felt) for their "legacy" pens. Like the pens, the nibs are all interchangeable. The felt nibs are quite popular on glass screens. ( https://store.wacom.com/us/accessories/nibs-and-ink-refills )

    <> An important note on Wacom nibs and interchangeability; a source of continuing confusion involves the interchangeability of nibs between the newer Feel IT pens (Pro pen and Bamboo Feel IT pen in particular) and Wacom's older, or "legacy," tabletPC compatible pens (all the other pens shown below). The nibs for the new Feel IT pens are smaller in diameter than the older pens; this means that the popular replacement nibs mentioned above (standard, flex, stroke, felt) will not fit the Feel IT pens. The nibs are too big in diameter! As of this writing (Mar 2015), it appears that Wacom only offers two nib styles for their Feel IT pens, the original hard plastic nib and a "soft" nib (in black or white) for a less "slick" writing feel. See pages 2 & 3 on the following web page: https://us-store.wacom.com/Catalog/Accessories/nibs

    <> Finally, any other Wacom pen with a "UP" model prefix (for example: UP-710E, UP-817E...). Most of the more exotic pens are no longer available, but some, like the UP710E can still be found at Amazon and on eBay. Every now and again some of these pens will show up on other auction sites, but they typically always command very high prices.

    Shown below are some of the compatible pens discussed above. From top to bottom, they are: 1) HP/Compaq TC1100 pen, 2) Cross (no cap) Executive pen, 3) MotionComputing LE1600 / LE1700 pen, 4) Axiotron Studio pen, 5) Axiotron 2-Button pen, 6) Samsung Series 7 pen and 7) Wacom Bamboo Feel IT pen


    [​IMG]

    Finally, here is the Wacom Bamboo Solo pen that works only on capacitive sensing screens

    [​IMG]


    * Note that in their corporate wisdom, Wacom decided to name three different products "Bamboo"! The Bamboo graphics tablet pens (Capture, Connect, Splash and Create) are NOT compatible. Bamboo Solo is only compatible with touch screens. Bamboo Feel IT is compatible with tabletPCs.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2016
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  2. Supagoat

    Supagoat Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thank you for this! I found this forum post from a google search that also turned up this wacom list of pen compatibility which probably doesn't help us surface users at all, but might be helpful to someone:

    Wacom Asia Pacific | Pen Compatibility
     
  3. Greg_E

    Greg_E Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I have that Axiotron silver with silicone pen that is kind of in the middle (largest diameter) for my Fujitsu ST5112 tablet and love this pen, the most comfortable pen I've ever used. Nice to know it works with the Surface.
     
  4. r11

    r11 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    +1 on Axiotron. I only wish the second button was recognized in OneNote 2013 .
    On my older than dirt M200, with the same pen, second button turns the tip into eraser - real handy as you
    don't have to flip the pen to get eraser going.
     
  5. bjornb

    bjornb Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Any good alternatives with switch and eraser that works with the pro?
    UP710E perhaps?
     
  6. derek1816

    derek1816 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Related query -- I've done extensive google searching and can't find out about the nibs on the SPro stylus. Any ideas about compatibility of the nibs? Perhaps swapping out the stock one with a hard felt nib or the like?
     
  7. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...can't find out about the nibs on the SPro stylus. Any ideas about compatibility of the nibs?..>>

    derek: Join the club. I've stared at the nib on the Pro pen and I can't decide if it's replaceable, or not. I find it... interesting... that the presumed to be Wacom pen did not come with the usual nib puller and spare plastic nibs. I had decided that I would ignore this situation until I needed to do something about the nib, but maybe I'll try to pull the nib out after all...

    In the meantime, you might contact the Answer Desk and simply ask them if the nibs are replaceable. If you do, report back and tell us what they said!
     
  8. derek1816

    derek1816 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Good call. I'll give them a call and post a follow up when I get some more info.
     
  9. derek1816

    derek1816 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Well, that answered it: not possible to replace nibs. Looks like finding an alternative to the stock stylus is the only way. Hopefully the Bamboo Feel is available in Canada in the future.

    Steve S comments: See Post #14 The nibs are replaceable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
  10. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Anyone find a was to reassign the pen button?
     
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