Will a Wacom Pen Work on Surface Pro?

If you’ve recently acquired a Surface Pro, you may be wondering how to get the most out of your new device. In the age of touchscreens, many devices require the use of a specialized pen. But will your Wacom pen work on a Surface Pro, or will you need something else?

The pen that comes with a Wacom tablet will not work on Surface Pro. However, the Bamboo Ink Plus smart stylus from Wacom is designed to work the Windows devices, including Surface Pro.

The use of a pen is absolutely essential when it comes to getting the most out of your tablet or computer. But not every pen is compatible with every device. Below, you’ll find out whether your Wacom pen will work with the Surface Pro, and which pens you can use if it doesn’t.

Can You Use a Wacom Pen on Microsoft Surface Pro?

As a general rule, Wacom pens should only be paired with their respective tablet. Trying to match different pens and tablets can create a lot of confusion, especially since the pens are typically forwards compatible but not backwards compatible.

For the most part, each Wacom pen is fitted with specific technology. Wacom is constantly changing and improving their pen technology to increase accuracy and reaction time. That means that even newer pens of the same line of tablets or displays will not work with previous generations. And while some of the older generations of pen may work with newer tablets, that isn’t always the case.

These pens include:

  • Wacom Intuos
  • Wacom Intuos Pro
  • One by Wacom
  • Wacom Cintiq
  • Wacom Cintiq Pro
  • Wacom MobileStudio Pro

The same goes for devices from other brands. If you have a pen from any of the above listed Wacom products, then it will not work with Microsoft Surface Pro. However, Wacom does make other accessories that are designed to be used across various devices.

Will the Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus work on Surface Pro?

While your Wacom pen might not work with your new Surface Pro, a Wacom smart stylus certainly will.

The Bamboo Ink and Bamboo Ink Plus from Wacom are smart styluses designed to be used across various platforms, including Microsoft Surface Pro. This is all possible becomes of Wacom’s Universal Pen Framework (UPF).

The Bamboo Ink Plus has both the components of N-trig technology and Wacom’s Active Electrostatic (AES) technology inside the pen, so it can be used on a wide range of pen enabled computers. By holding down the button on the side for a second, you can switch between N-trig and AES, allowing you to use the pen on different screens.

This is extremely beneficial for those who tend to switch between devices. However, that doesn’t mean it will work on all devices. The Bamboo Ink pens will only work on laptops and tablets that are already enabled for pen use.

What Pens Can I Use on Surface Pro?

While the Bamboo Ink is a great smart stylus, that isn’t the only option you have. If you have a favorite pen in mind, it just might work with your Surface Pro.

Essentially, as long as a pen has compatibility with Microsoft Pen Protocol (MPP), it should work with the Surface Pro. However, there are exceptions, so it’s always a good idea to check compatibility with the manufacturer to confirm that it will work.

Microsoft does try to make it easier to find out which pens will work. Compatible pens need to follow a specific physical design and button placement. If your desired pen doesn’t follow these specifications, there’s a high chance that it won’t work.

Some of the pens that work with Surface Pro include:

Each of these pens has different features and price points, so it’s always good to do some research before making the jump.

Do You Need a Pen for the Surface Pro?

While it’s not a requirement to have a pen to use the Surface Pro, it will definitely enhance the experience. The pen is designed for those who want to get the most out of the Windows Ink features on their computer.

If you just plan on using your Surface Pro for internet browsing, then a pen probably isn’t necessary. However, if you’re going to be doing a lot of drawing, notetaking, annotating, or digital signing, then a pen is an absolute must.

The type of pen you need will greatly depend on what you are doing on your device. For many, a simple stylus will do. For those who need tilt shading, sensitivity, and that pen on paper feel, you will benefit from something more heavy-duty like the Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus.

How Do I Write on My Surface Pro Without A Pen?

If you are absolutely against using a pen or were set on using your Wacom pen and don’t want to invest in a new one, don’t fret. The Surface Pro can be used with or without a stylus. All you need to do is drag your fingertip across the screen.

Using your finger to write is not going to give you as much precision as a pen will, but hand writing is possible. To do this, you will need to be using an application that supports handwritten notes.

Microsoft OneNote, Evernote, and Bamboo Paper are three of the most popular notetaking apps for the Surface that support handwritten notes. For drawing, you might want to check out Autodesk SketchBook.

Final Thoughts

This article should have given you a better understanding of which Wacom pens will work with Surface Pro. Using a pen with your table is a great way to amplify your experience. However, not just any pen will work with the device. If you love the pen from your Wacom drawing tablet and are looking for something to use with your new Microsoft Surface Pro, the Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus is going to be your best bet.