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Microsoft’s new Slim Pen 2 uses haptics to mimic the feeling of using a real pen

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Its sharper tip makes it more responsive and accurate

Microsoft has refreshed its Slim Pen to magnetically fit into the Surface Pro 8’s keyboard. Notably, the Slim Pen 2 has a custom chip called Microsoft G6 and haptic functionality that aims to make writing and drawing feel more realistic. Microsoft says that it’s extending the haptic tech to work in several apps, and it showcased the stylus being used in Adobe Photoshop.

The artist on display claimed that its sharper tip makes it easier to use and more responsive. It can work with every product announced today, including the Surface Pro 8, the Surface Go 3, the Pro X, and the Surface Duo 2 via its pen cover. It can attach magnetically to the side of the new Surface Laptop Studio.

Microsoft says the Slim Pen 2 offers increased accuracy and “incredible” shading. The most notable new feature in the $129.99 Slim Pen 2 is the haptic functionality that aims to make writing and drawing feel more realistic. Additionally, the hardware feature can send tactile signals when you use gestures in supported apps. In Microsoft Word, for example, you’ll feel a vibration when you’ve scribbled through a word to delete, or circled text to select or highlight it. We’ll see how widely this is adopted soon enough, but regardless, it’s a good idea — especially from an accessibility standpoint.

This clever haptic feature will only work on select devices, including the new Surface Pro 8 and Surface Laptop Studio that run Windows 11. Though, it’s compatible with a wide range of Surface devices old and new, as well as devices that support the Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP).

Here’s the full list of compatible products:

  • Surface Laptop Studio
  • Surface Pro 3 to Pro 8
  • Surface Pro X
  • Surface Duo, Duo 2
  • Surface Go, Surface Go 2, Surface Go 3
  • Surface Hub 2S
  • Surface Laptop 1 to 4
  • Surface Studio 1, 2
  • Surface Book 1 to 3
  • Non-Surface devices that support Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP)

The Slim Pen 2 supports Bluetooth 5.0, and Microsoft says that it can last up to 15 hours per charge. As for how it charges, there are multiple ways. There will be a charger that’s sold separately, and the Slim Pen 1 USB-C charging base will soon receive an update to be able to charge this new one. In addition, it can charge wirelessly while magnetically attached to the Surface Pro Signature Keyboard, to the side of the Surface Laptop Studio, or with the Surface Duo 2’s pen cover.

Microsoft says the Surface Slim Pen 2 is available for preorder starting today for $129.99.


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