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Microsoft's new Surface Pen should feel more like writing on paper

It's reportedly the 'fastest pen ever.'
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
May 23, 2017
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A new Surface Pro just wouldn't be the same without improvements to its companion pen, and Microsoft is going all-out with the upgrades this time around. It's introducing a new Surface Pen that it claims is the "fastest pen ever" on any platform -- with a 21ms latency, it's supposedly fast enough that it'll feel more like you're writing on paper than glass. There's also a whopping 4,096 pressure points (up from 1,024), reduced parallax (the mismatch between where your pen is and where input appears onscreen), and an Apple Pencil-style tilt feature that lets you apply artistic flourishes like shading.

The new Pen will be available in black, burgundy, cobalt blue and platinum colors (to match your Surface Pro or Surface Laptop, naturally). Microsoft hasn't disclosed stand-alone pricing, but it's promising that its upgraded stylus will be available in the "coming weeks."

Hardware isn't the only star in this show. There's also a new Whiteboard app for Windows 10 (currently available only as a private preview for the Surface Hub) that gives Surface device owners a collaborative drawing space. If you want to brainstorm a new design with your coworkers, you just have to invite them. The software includes smart object recognition features, too, such as geometry recognition and table conversion.

And there's more even if you're happy to draw by yourself. Windows 10 is adding a virtual pencil case that syncs your favorite tools across devices, while Office 365 users will see new ink and texture effects in Excel, PowerPoint and Word in June. Office will support the new Pen's tilt function as well. If you treat your PC as a canvas, you might be in for a treat in the near future.

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