Microsoft’s new Floor Professional 8 has a stunning 120Hz show and up to date internals, nevertheless it’s actually the brand new Floor Slim Pen 2 that has caught my consideration. Microsoft has added haptics options to its stylus for the primary time, due to a brand new customized chip inside. It has remodeled inking on the Floor Professional 8.

I assumed the haptic suggestions could be a gimmick till I began testing it this weekend. Within the Sketchable Home windows app, you may choose from a wide range of drawing instruments, like brushes, pencils, markers, inking nibs, and even chalk. All of them really feel completely totally different now, due to the haptics within the Floor Slim Pen 2.

Apps like Sketchable assist the brand new Floor pen.

This isn’t the buzzy haptic suggestions you’re in all probability used to from a cellphone, the haptics are extra refined right here and alter to present you a barely totally different sensation of drawing relying on the device chosen. It’s troublesome to explain with out feeling it your self, however the chalk feels… chalky, and the inking nib has the slight little bit of pressure you’d anticipate to really feel on actual paper.

This tactile suggestions strikes past simply drawing instruments, although. In Microsoft Workplace, you may really feel refined vibrations by the pen that allow you to know when gestures are detected, like drawing shapes after which having them robotically transformed. There are refined haptics that allow you to know an motion has been taken or while you’re deciding on objects. It’s very understated in Sketchable, nevertheless it’s a welcome enchancment.

The Surface Pro 8 open, up close, with the keyboard pulled out and the stylus visible. The screen displays a blue swirl on a white background.

The Floor Slim Pen 2 sits contained in the Floor Professional 8 keyboard.
Picture by Becca Farsace / The Verge

Sadly, not each app helps this haptic suggestions but. Builders might want to replace their apps to incorporate assist, and to this point I’ve solely been in a position to get it working in Excel, Whiteboard, and Sketchable. I used to be anticipating to see it prominently in Microsoft’s note-taking app, OneNote, nevertheless it’s unusually absent. Microsoft says LiquidText, Shapr3D, and Journal all embody assist for the haptic suggestions.

The Floor Slim Pen 2 additionally has a slight redesign over the unique, with a sharper and longer tip. I’ve solely had a short while to do this out and I’m actually not a digital artist, however total it feels slightly extra responsive and correct than the Slim Pen that shipped with the Floor Professional X.

The massive disadvantage to the Floor Slim Pen 2 is its worth, at $129.99 or as a part of the brand new Floor Professional Signature keyboard priced at $279.99. The common keyboard is $179.99, so for those who really need the Floor Slim Pen 2, then the bundle saves you $30 on an already costly buy.


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