Microsoft planning to add pressure calibration to the Surface Pro 3 Pen

Microsoft planning to add pressure calibration to the Surface Pro 3 Pen
The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 may not have seen much change in terms of the internals, but the exterior hardware and accessories saw quite a few improvements. One of the bigger improvements is with the new Surface Pen (Microsoft insists it isn't a stylus, but that's just semantics.) The Pen is said to be far more accurate and natural to use, and Microsoft is now saying it will be adding calibration tools soon.

Microsoft posted a really nice write-up on the new features of the Surface Pen and the work that went into improving the device for the Surface Pro 3, and there was a lot that went into the device. Microsoft has worked hard to make the Pen work like... well, a pen. This means reducing the "perceived parallax" that is a constant problem with tablets, which means that there is often a space between the stylus tip and what is being drawn on the display. Microsoft also worked on reducing latency, and adding 256 different levels of pressure sensitivity. 

That last one is even more impressive, because Microsoft has made it easy for developers to add support for the Surface Pen, meaning you could get the same impressive performance in a wide variety of apps. The one thing that is missing at launch is a way for users to calibrate the pressure sensitivity of the Pen, but Microsoft says that there will be a Windows update "in the coming months" that will add that feature to the Control Panel. 

Related phones

Surface Pro 3
  • Display 12.0" 2160 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Intel Core i7
  • Storage 512 GB



1. FakeMatt

Posts: 40; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

I'm curious how the new pen is better. The previous Surface used Wacom which is supposed to be the best in the industry.

2. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

From what I've read on from Surface owners forums is that the Wacom had ~1000 levels of pressure, the top of the line Wacom are ~2000 levels of pressure However walcom has more latency compare to n-trig. And wacom had major issues around the edges of the display, many owners complained that the swipe gestures weren't working So MS decided to go with n-trig this time, to give the majority of users a better experience, however at the cost of artists

3. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

In general, the Wacom technology and drivers provide better pressure sensitivity and smoother, more consistent tracking than N-Trig, which has suffered from driver issues since the beginning. For reasons unknown, Microsoft's Surface 2 had more issues with the Wacom EMR technology near the edges and in the corners. It may be an issue with making the tablet a certain thickness. Rather than solve these issues, Microsoft decided to go with the cheaper N-Trig pen.

6. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

The Reddit post proved you wrong. Engineering win.

4. SyCo87

Posts: 325; Member since: Sep 19, 2013

Weird, I swear they showed that it went from thicker to thinner input on that video as they released.

5. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

It does, watch the video again, they are not saying it doesnt have it, they are saying you can calibrate it.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.