Non-Plastic Pen Nibs

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface General Discussion' started by Rebelismo, May 15, 2015.

  1. Rebelismo

    Rebelismo New Member

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    Hello Everyone!

    I'm planning on getting the newest Surface Pro model (3 or 4, depending on what is out), but there is one thing that worries me about the current N-Trig pen. I've used lots of Wacom Cintiq/Tablet PCs over the years, and have grown to dislike the plastic pen nibs for a few reasons:

    -As they wear down they scratch the tablet surface quite badly
    -The "plastic on plastic" feel creates a pretty horrible designing/drawing experience

    So I was wondering whether Microsoft's N-trig has any plans to offer replacement nibs that are closer to the felt and rubber based Wacom nibs? This might sound silly to some, but I've seen some $2,000 Cintiqs where the screens look like it's been through hell after a year or two of use.
     
  2. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Can only comment with regard to the scratching, but i've been using my pen non-stop since launch, same nib, no visible wear on it, no negative effects on the tablet. If it does start to wear, then i just email MS and get some new ones.

    A quick, very possibly stupid question, but have you used the new n-trig pens, or just making your observations based on waacom pens?
     
  3. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Not silly at all. A lot of folks want and need a very excellent handwriting "feel" and experience. I don't think there's as much variety with alternate Ntrig pens as with Wacom, but I could be wrong.
     
  4. Rebelismo

    Rebelismo New Member

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    Thanks Very Much for the responses and the welcome! :)

    That's good news about the surface not getting scratched up. Yes I have tried the N-trig pen with my friend's SP3, but the plastic nib did worry me quite a bit. I've used Cintiqs for quite some time now, and ever since I dropped the plastic nib it's been a much more pleasurable experience. The felt ones tend to wear out quicker depending on the applied pressure, but the "drag" helps with the accuracy of the line. It feels more like a pencil.

    What do you guys think? Are most of you okay with the "plastic on plastic" feel?
     
  5. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I find the plastic on plastic great for writing, although there is a learning curve (my inked writing now looks feminine!bactually easier to read)

    But I'd have to say that while no artist in any way, I've attempted it, and I don't really like the feel. Kind of as you say, there is no friction, I found I couldn't just pause, and keep the nib at the position I've paused at, and have to remove. Again, maybe its just a big learning curve, but when I do draw, I like that friction and pressure with a real pencil where you can just stop and know the pencil can and will stay where it is, not slide off somewhere. Also makes it a bit harder to fluently continue a line etc if you find you have to raise the pen)

    From what I've seen, it is certainly very capable of very good image creation, but it is a very different experience to a real pen etc.

    I wonder if such a thing exists as a textured glue or paint that you could dip the nib in to give it that bit more friction, but of of course that raises the question of would that as a result create scratches etc.
     
  6. Rebelismo

    Rebelismo New Member

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    Good points. The rubber wacom tip feels like they added something to the plastic, so that might be one solution. To be honest, what you describe was my first experience with a Cintiq: "Why does it feel so slippery and unnatural?". That was until I found the other nibs. In my own personal experience, and this is what biased tech review sites don't seem to "get", is that the pen is pivotal to tablet pcs. They're used by all types of creative thinkers from engineers to architects/designers/artists to people who just love writing their ideas down.

    The Surface is looking like one of the best portable computing devices ever, so I really do hope that Microsoft considers these alternate nibs.
     
  7. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    For the price a nib must cost to make, fingers crossed something happens in the future. Als worth baring in mind that MS just acquired n-trig, so who knows what they have planned for the pens in the future :)
     
  8. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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  9. sharpuser

    sharpuser Super Moderator Staff Member

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    My handwriting is not too bad. My wife's writing, though, looks like she wrote it with her foot.
     
  10. hughlle

    hughlle Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I guarantee that my girlfriends is worse :p hers doesn't look like she even tried to write, just threw pens at some paper and hoped for the best :-D

    I figure you drew that in paint or something given the jaggies and lack of pressure variance?

    When i first started writing it looked like crap, then i found a pen thickness i liked and got the hang of it, now it looks something like this (can look much better, this is just some hard core revision note taking)

    123.JPG
     
  11. jnjroach

    jnjroach Administrator Staff Member

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    The original Nibs that shipped with the SP3 were very soft and had a great tactile feel but they worn down quickly so the made the Nibs harder based on customer feedback. IIRC both versions are still available for replacements (if you get a knowledgeable CSR).
     
  12. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Any way that you know of to specify which ones you want?
     

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