[Editor’s note: The unusual style of this article isn’t an accident. Read on to see why, if it isn’t obvious to you already.]
I have never Been a fan of digital stylus pens. They are often frustrating and overly Complicated, especially in touch Screen environments. Devices that come with a Stylus tend to have different Settings and modes outside of the normal workflow that make a Stylus not worth the trouble of ditching the normal Swipe and finger approach.
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet comes with a Stylus, so I was curious To try it out. For the surface pro, the stylus essentially acts liken mouse that is also a pen that can write and draw. The Pro Pen, as Microsoft calls it, can be both a navigational device and a digital input, giving it some of the most unique characteristics ever released in a Stylus.
In case you can’t tell, I am writing this article with the stylus on the surface Pro 3. To account for accuracy, the article has been edited only lightly to show the errors of grammar and random capitalization as a byproduct of the accuracy of the pen (and, to be fair, my handwriting).
The Surface Pro 3 has several different kinds of text input. It has the $99 Type Cover. The classic tablet-based screen keyboard (with two settings) and the Stylus. If You are using the Stylus, every time that the screen-based keyboard Would normally pop UP, you get a input section where you can hand write the text and the Surface will turn: into digital text. The Surface will attempt-to translate your handwriting, but, as you can see, something is often lost in the translation. That being Said, I have awful handwriting and always have.
If you make q mistakable writing a word in the styles input field, you Can cross it out before inserting it into your document or app. If, once it has already seen inserted into your document, you Want to edit an error, you can highlight the word or just a letter and change it in the stylus input field. You can also tap on a word in the sellers input field to write it letter By letter for letter for better accuracy while also using Microsoft’s predicted test generator. Punctuation and numbers can be added through an option in the Stylus input field. (You think this bad, you should’ve seen it before I edited it with the Pro Pen.)
As you can see, my a’s look like 9’ S or q’s and I can’t write a lower case B or S with the Pen to Save my life. Random words are capitalized and proper nouns can be difficult.
Needless to say, this is not an input method for everything.
I wrote this article using the desktop Word app for Windows 8. Word is probably not the app most conducive to the Pen. Microsoft touts the Surface Pro Pen with apps like Adobe’s Photoshop and its own OneNote app where writing and drawing are more natural behaviors. But, it is a novel input method and I was Curious to test out the Pro Pen in an extended Setting to test its accuracy. The first draft of this article (almost 500 words) took about an hour-and-a half.
Perhaps the Pro Pen for the surface Pro 3 is not the best method for writing an article, I but it does Make for an interesting and useful mouse for the tablet-that-would-be-a-PC.