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Will SP4 pen work on SP3 identically?

nkloski

New Member
I see that the SP4 pen will "work" on the SP3, but does it give the same 1024 pressure levels on the SP3? Yes, you get a magnetic attachment (if you rig up a magnet on the side of the SP3), and you get the differentiated nibs, as well as (probably) the pen button features/eraser, but are the 1024 pressure levels dependent on the pen or on the screen, or both?

If it's the former, then great!, if any of the latter, then the pressure part will be like the SP3....Thanks!
 

Tsuekasa

New Member
I believe it works the same way and I have a few supporting reasons why.

Buy Microsoft Surface Pen - Microsoft Store

^^^^shows it's compatible with all the surface 3 and sp3. Including of course the surface book and sp4. They purposely design all their products to be interchangeable or backwards compatible and we know that before the announcement of this product in a recent interview. The surface pen on the (surface 3/sp3) doesn't work quite like the sp1 or sp2 (Wacom). I've notice my surface pen only rights when the battery is active whether or not it's connected Bluetooth or not. I believe the pressure sensitivity is built into the pen itself and not the digitizer like the sp1/sp2 or any Wacom tablet.

This is one of the biggest things I complained about when I upgraded to a sp3 from a sp2. Thus I mainly own a surface pro for art. 256 pressure sensitivity and 1024 is a HUGE difference for anyone that does digital art.
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
^ I agree with @Tsuekasa however there is the case of the custom chip in the SP4/SB that enables the PixelSense technology. For this reason I believe there will be some unquantifiable difference between SP4/SB inking and SP3/S3 inking which probably shows up in the "flow" and "smoothness" during use. In addition the Display Stack is thinner in these new models which will also have some impact on certain aspects. Panos mentioned both of these during his presentation. Otherwise I believe the new Pen will function better on SP3/S3 due to pen improvements and increased pressure sensitivity.

Disclaimer: To be validated by actual testing. :)
 

Tsuekasa

New Member
Yeah I believe it's called the g5 chipset which I believe that into the new model. I agree with GreyFox^. I'll try the pen when we get it at my best buy. Unless a Microsoft store gets them as display models.
 

ScottyS

Active Member
I believe it works the same way and I have a few supporting reasons why.

Buy Microsoft Surface Pen - Microsoft Store

^^^^shows it's compatible with all the surface 3 and sp3. Including of course the surface book and sp4. They purposely design all their products to be interchangeable or backwards compatible and we know that before the announcement of this product in a recent interview. The surface pen on the (surface 3/sp3) doesn't work quite like the sp1 or sp2 (Wacom). I've notice my surface pen only rights when the battery is active whether or not it's connected Bluetooth or not. I believe the pressure sensitivity is built into the pen itself and not the digitizer like the sp1/sp2 or any Wacom tablet.

This is one of the biggest things I complained about when I upgraded to a sp3 from a sp2. Thus I mainly own a surface pro for art. 256 pressure sensitivity and 1024 is a HUGE difference for anyone that does digital art.
The SP pen (Wacom) doesn't use a battery and the pressure sensitivity is in the pen. Hold one very close to the Surface screen (almost said Surface surface) and when you see the dot press the pen's nib and move it around. It draws a line and the harder you press the nib in the thicker it is.
The SP3 pen (N-Trig) uses the AAA battery to write. The 2 button batteries in the top of the pen are for Bluetooth connectivity which only is to launch OneNote.

Interestingly, the SP4 and SB's implementation of the N-Trig pen brings back the erase function of the top button.
 
OP
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nkloski

New Member
Thanks everyone! I don't see then pen for sale now, but it will be an easy thing to take my SP3 in to a store and test out the pen for myself if and when they sell the pen individually.
 
Ah so the new SP4 pen is like the old SP2 pen. All the same features, but it runs with a battery? The only reason why it needs the battery is for activating the BT feature for the OneNote?
 

GreyFox7

Super Moderator
Staff member
Ah so the new SP4 pen is like the old SP2 pen. All the same features, but it runs with a battery? The only reason why it needs the battery is for activating the BT feature for the OneNote?
No, there are actually two batteries. One AAAA battery drives the inking the other is a small coin battery for the Bluetooth.
 

ScottyS

Active Member
Ah so the new SP4 pen is like the old SP2 pen. All the same features, but it runs with a battery? The only reason why it needs the battery is for activating the BT feature for the OneNote?
I didn't mean to say it was the SP and SP2 pen; they are Wacom pens. The SP4 pen is (like the SP3) an N-Trig, and as @GreyFox7 noted, uses a AAAA battery. But the SP4 pen brings back using the back as the eraser.
 

Tsuekasa

New Member
I have confirmed unfortunately that even with the new surface pen. The 1024 pressure is not present in the sp3. I brought my sp3 to a best buy where they had the display models and tested with Sketchbook Pro. It's still 256. So I guess the pressure sensitivity has something to do with the digitizer or the g5 chipset...Oh well..
 

ScottyS

Active Member
I have confirmed unfortunately that even with the new surface pen. The 1024 pressure is not present in the sp3. I brought my sp3 to a best buy where they had the display models and tested with Sketchbook Pro. It's still 256. So I guess the pressure sensitivity has something to do with the digitizer or the g5 chipset...Oh well..
I'd still like one because I like the eraser on the back. I always have problems with the little erase button, my finger slides off while erasing and it starts scribbling instead of erasing. MS still hasn't got the top pen button opens OneNote right, I think I'd rather have the new pen (as an extra, too).
 
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