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How to Use a Windows Tablet (Everything You Need To Know)

Here is our beginners guide on how to use Windows tablets – everything you need to know about the setup, customizing’s and troubleshooting.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 9 Test

Congratulations on buying a Windows tablet, which in my opinion is the best type of tablet you can buy.

Why A Windows Tablet Can Do More

No other tablet can do as many things as a Windows tablet. That’s because the iPad and Android tablets primarily run mobile operating systems, iOS and Android respectively, which are designed for touch-first experiences with a more app-centric approach.

In contrast, your Windows tablet runs on a full-fledged Windows operating system, similar to what you’d find on a desktop or laptop. This means it can run desktop applications, including full versions of software like Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, and other professional-grade tools that are often limited or unavailable on iPad and Android tablets.

Additionally, the Windows operating system offers a more versatile file management system, greater multitasking capabilities, and better integration with a wide range of peripherals and external devices.

This makes your Windows tablet not just a device for media consumption and light tasks, but a powerful tool capable of handling complex computing tasks, akin to a laptop!

Types of Windows Tablets

Windows tablets can be broadly categorized into three categories: general purpose, gaming, and graphics-specific tablets.

In general, they differ from a regular laptop because

  • Windows tablets can go keyboard-less, via a detachable keyboard or a 360-degree fold
  • They might not be sold with a keyboard (whereas laptops are always sold with a keyboard)
  • They almost always have a touchscreen
  • A stylus is generally a key accessory

Read Also: The Smallest Windows Tablet You Can Buy

General Purpose Windows Tablets

Microsoft Surface Pro 9 Photoshop

This class of tablets is the most common type of tablet you can find. The most common is the Microsoft Surface series, but other manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, and Acer have made tablets before.

With general-purpose tablets, performance can vary widely. All modern tablets can run Windows 11 smoothly and they’ll play YouTube videos and simple games without a problem.

But the more affordable tablets such as the Surface Go series, start showing their bottlenecks earlier when you open too many browser tabs or run intensive software that involves graphics, video, or large-scale data processing.

On the other hand, you have the Surface Pro series which is Microsoft’s high-end Windows tablet range. The performance difference is palpable — the Surface Pro 9 has a faster processor, more storage, a larger screen, and more memory. The downside is that it’s heavier and costs more.

Read More: The Best Microsoft Surface Pro 9 Alternatives

Gaming tablets

If you want a tablet that rivals gaming PCs and studio PCs, then you only have to look at the Asus ROG Flow Z13.

Compared to the most powerful general-purpose tablet, the ROG Flow Z13 has a dedicated graphics card (GPU) which means it can do heavy graphics processing work like generating AI images, playing modern games, doing video editing efficiently, and anything you can imagine doing on a regular desktop.

The downside is that the ROG Flow Z13 is very expensive for its performance. You would be able to save loads if you’d just opt for a laptop with the same specs.

This class of tablets is good if you want to buy a desktop replacement.

Graphics Tablets With Windows Operating System

Wacom and HUION make a class of tablets out there that are dedicated to graphic work. These brands specialize in technology that helps you interact more precisely with Photoshop and other graphics software. They are fully-featured tablets with decent performance.

Setting Up Your Windows Tablet: Initial Configuration and Tips

If this is your first time turning on your Windows tablet, you might have to go through the Windows 11 installation process. Follow the instructions on the screen and you will be ready in no time. Here are some things you should take note of.

S Mode and Getting Out of S Mode

Your tablet might be in S Mode which has advantages as it does downsides.

s mode

You can check if you are in S Mode by going to Start Menu > Settings > System > About. Scroll down to the “Windows specifications” section and if you don’t see “S Mode”, then you have successfully left S Mode.

S Mode mimics the experience of an Android tablet or iPad in that you can only download apps via the Microsoft Store. However, if you want to install an app that’s not in the Microsoft Store, then you will need to leave S Mode. Here’s how:

  • Click this link
  • On that page, click “Get”.
  • Once you get a confirmation, you will be out of S Mode.

Leaving S Mode is non-reversible.

Adding a microSD Card to Expand Storage

The one downside of Windows tablets is the small storage space and the humongous storage requirements of some software. Luckily, many tablets have a microSD slot where you can insert a microSD card and use that to increase the storage you have.

Generally, microSD cards are not as fast or reliable as integrated hard drives, so when buying a microSD card, it’s important to buy one that is reliable by sticking to the well-known brands.

As for speed, the numbers (besides capacity, e.g. 128GB) imprinted on the microSD card generally tell what kind of speeds you can expect. The larger the numbers, the faster or more consistently it’s supposed to perform. For example, a “V60” rating is faster than a “V30” rating, and an “A2” rating is more consistent than an “A1” rating.

Knowing how to read the symbols and numbers helps you ensure you get professional-tier reliability and high speed.

Setting Up A Password On Your Windows Tablet

If you have gone through the setup installer, you would already have a password. However, you might want to change it or remove some options.

In that case, go to your Start Menu and search for “Password”.

You should see the “Change your password” option. Click it and then you will see the different options for passwords.

You can choose various options for sign-in, including,

  • Facial recognition: uses your facial features to sign in. Similar to cellphones.
  • Fingerprint recognition: Similar to cellphones.
  • PIN: sign in using a sequence of numbers or characters, similar to cellphones but you can also add in characters (not just numbers). Unlike using a Microsoft account password, this PIN is only used on the device where you instated it.
  • Security key: a physical device that acts as a key. Inserted into a special reader or USB slot for authentication.
  • Password: your Microsoft account password. Shared between all your Microsoft services like email and OneDrive.
  • Picture password: pick a picture and draw a gesture on the picture using the touchscreen. Similar to the “pattern” sign-in method on cellphones, except you provide the image.

Having multiple methods of sign-in is recommended since you will have alternatives for when you forget a PIN or password.

Navigating the Windows Interface on a Tablet

There are three areas that this section will cover: keyboard shortcuts and touchscreen gestures.

Tablet keyboards tend to have shortcuts on the function keys, located on the top row and labeled F1 to F12. They are generally used to increase or decrease volume and/or brightness as well as to play songs or skip songs. For Microsoft Surface keyboards, here are the corresponding symbols.

First, we need to talk about the Function button.

On the Surface Go keyboard, pressing the Fn key activates or deactivates the function keys (F1-F12). When deactivated, the function keys act as shortcuts and when activated, a white LED lights up, and the top row becomes function keys (F1, F2, F3, etc.)

Some keyboards work in this on-off way, while others require you to hold the Fn key down in order for the function keys to work as function keys. So let’s say I wanted to reduce the brightness of my screen, I’d have to hold down the Fn button and tap on the “decrease screen brightness” key until I reach the brightness I want, and then I will release the Fn key.

On the Type Cover, Type Cover 2, and Type Cover for Surface Pro 3, you can hold the Fn key and press the Caps key to lock the function keys.

Toggles brightness of keyboard backlighting. Turn off to save battery. Not all devices have the keyboard backlighting feature.
Mutes all audio
Lowers volume
Increases volume
Play or pause audio
Decrease screen brightness
Increase screen brightness
Print Screen button; captures what’s on screen. There are many ways to take a screenshot and here are our recommendations.
Function button

Furthermore, here are some key combinations for Windows 11 that you’ll use frequently:

  • Copy: Ctrl + C
  • Cut: Ctrl + X
  • Paste: Ctrl + V
  • Maximize Window: F11 or Windows logo key  + Up arrow 
  • Open Task View: Windows logo key  + Tab
  • Display and hide the desktop: Windows logo key  + D
  • Switch between open apps: Alt Tab
  • Open the Quick Link menu: Windows logo key  + X
  • Lock your PC: Windows logo key  + L

Touch Gestures on the Surface

Knowing these gestures can really help you become more efficient, especially when you are using tablet mode.

Here’s a list from Microsoft’s documentation that works on the touchscreen, below, I’ll also provide a table of how to use the touchpad with gestures.

Select an itemTap the screen 
ScrollPlace two fingers on the screen and slide horizontally or vertically
Zoom in or outPlace two fingers on the screen and pinch in or stretch out
Show more commands (like right-clicking)Press and hold the item 
Show all open windowsSwipe with three fingers up on the screen 
Show the desktopSwipe with three fingers down on the screen 
Switch to the last open appSwipe with three fingers to the left or right on the screen 
Open notification centerSwipe with one finger in from the right edge of the screen 
See widgetsSwipe with one finger in from the left edge of screen
Switch desktopsSwipe with four fingers to the left or right on the screen

As for the touchpad, here are some useful gestures, also from Microsoft:

Select an itemTap touchpad
ScrollPlace two fingers on the touchpad and slide horizontally or vertically
Zoom in or outPlace two fingers on the touchpad and pinch in or stretch out
Show more commands (like right-clicking)Tap the touchpad with two fingers or press down in the lower-right corner
Show all open windowsSwipe with three fingers up on the touchpad 
Show the desktopSwipe with three fingers down on the touchpad 
Switch between open apps or windows Swipe with three fingers left or right on the touchpad
Switch desktopsSwipe with four fingers to the left or right on the touchpad

Read More: Microsoft Surface Hacks: 12 Tips & Tricks You Need To Know

Customizing Your Tablet: Personalization and Settings

This section will guide you on how you can put your frequently used apps in a convenient place.

Placing Apps On The Start Menu and Taskbar

There are some apps that you will use often, so you’d want them to be easily accessible. In Windows, you have three options.

The Start menu is the pull-out section that you can open by pressing the button with the Windows logo (bottom left). In the Pinned section, you can pin apps that you use frequently. That way you’ll be able to access them in two steps.

In order to pin software to the Start menu, the easiest way is to search for it. For example, if I wanted to put Photoshop on the Start menu, I’ll search for “Photoshop”, and then right-click it. Tap two fingers on the trackpad to do a right-click.

A context menu will appear after you right-click it. Then, you will need to “Pin to Start”.

Alternatively, if you want to be able to access it from the taskbar (the bar on the bottom), you can also choose “Pin to taskbar”.

Modifying The Taskbar

If you’ve noticed, my taskbar has been modified. By default, it is gray in color and app icons are centered. You might also have a voice assistant called Cortana, a weather widget and a search section. I got rid of all of those because I like the classic Windows no-frills taskbar.

Anyway, to modify your taskbar, go to the Start menu and type “taskbar”. You will see “Taskbar settings” appear. Click on it.

There are four sections:

  • Taskbar items: Customize whether Windows 11 features (Task view, Widgets and Chat) appear on your taskbar. I turned all of them off because they clutter the taskbar.
  • System tray icons: Customize whether the Pen menu, virtual keyboard and virtual touchpad should be in the taskbar.
  • Other system tray icons: Select which apps should appear on the right side of your taskbar. If you toggle them off, they will appear in a hidden menu, accessible by clicking on the caret.
  • Taskbar behaviors: an important one. This is where you can set the Taskbar alignment, automatically hide the taskbar and many other options. If you are not sure what they do, toggle them and see what happens. You can toggle them to their original state again if you don’t like it.

Read More: How To Turn On/Off Tablet Mode in Windows 11

Changing Desktop Wallpaper in Windows 11

Changing your background color or wallpaper of your desktop is easy.

The easiest way is to go to the Start menu and search for “wallpaper”. You should see this option:

Now click on “Background image settings” and then you will be brought to the Personalization > Background menu.

Alternatively, you can access the same menu through Start > Settings > Personalization.

On the “Personalize your background” bar, you will see a dropdown box. Select it and you will see four options:

  • Picture: displays a picture
  • Solid color: displays a solid color for your desktop background
  • Slideshow: displays a series of pictures
  • Windows spotlight: Windows chooses a new image daily from its database

Text On Windows 11 Too Small: How To Increase Magnification

Tablets tend to have smaller screens so if you have an issue with the size of the icons and font, you can increase it easily.

First, go to your Start menu and type “Display”. Click on the option “Display settings”.

Scroll down until you see “Scale”.

Here, you can increase the scale of everything. Click on the dropdown menu and increase the scale of the interface.

Alternatively, if you just want to increase the size of the text, you can open the Start Menu and search for “make the text size bigger”. Once it appears, click on it. Move the slider to see a preview of the text size. Press Apply.

Installing and Managing Apps on Windows Tablet

Microsoft has the Microsoft Store that is very similar to the app stores on smartphones like Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

To access the Microsoft Store, go to Start and then type “Microsoft Store”. It should be the first option. Click on it and you should see something like the above.

Other Ways to Install Apps On Windows

If you are still in S Mode, this is the only way you can install apps. However, if you have left S Mode, you can install apps from anywhere on the internet. Refer to the section above to learn how to exit S Mode.

If you are downloading files off the internet, you will need to know if your tablet is 64-bit or 32-bit. Windows 11 does not have a 32-bit version, so if you are already running Windows 11, then you have a 64-bit Windows tablet.

However, if you want to check, you can do this:

  • Go to Start and search for “About your PC”
  • Click to open “About your PC”
  • Look at the “System type” section. It should say if you’re using a 64-bit operating system.

Uninstalling Apps From Windows Tablet

If you want to delete apps, go to your Start menu and type in “Add or remove programs”. Click it when you see the option appear in your search results.

Here, you can see how much size each app takes and if you want to delete it, you can click on the icon with three dots (on the right of the dialog box) and press “Uninstall”.

Using Microsoft Office and Productivity Tools on a Windows Tablet

If you bought your tablet to do work, then you’ll want to find a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Most people will immediately think of Microsoft Office, but there’s also other free software that you can use.

However, you can find several alternatives that are free and highly compatible with Microsoft Office. Here are my top four recommendations:

Microsoft Office 2021 (Paid)

Microsoft Office remains a very popular software suite that has mainstays like Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Offering robust tools for data analysis with Excel, document creation with Word and presentations with PowerPoint.

Known for its comprehensive features, compatibility, and user-friendly interface, Microsoft Office is a standard in many workplaces. You can buy it from the Microsoft Store.

It costs $249.99 for a one-time purchase of the Office Home & Business 2021 software or $149.99 for the Home & Student version.

OpenOffice (Free)

Apache OpenOffice is a free and open-source office suite.

It includes a word processor (Writer), a spreadsheet program (Calc), a presentation application (Impress), and a drawing tool (Draw).

OpenOffice is compatible with a wide range of document formats, including those used by Microsoft Office, and is known for its flexibility and accessibility, making it a popular choice for users seeking a no-cost alternative to commercial office suites.

You can download it here.

LibreOffice (free)

LibreOffice is another free and open-source office suite, which was derived from OpenOffice.

It includes similar components: Writer for word processing, Calc for spreadsheets, and Impress for presentations.

LibreOffice is frequently updated and is known for its active community support, extensive compatibility with various file formats, and a commitment to open standards.

You can download it here.

Google Docs/Sheet/Slides (Free, Online Service)

All of the software above require installation, whereas Google’s suite of office productivity tools only requires a Google account and is free to use.

These tools allow users to create and edit documents (Google Docs), spreadsheets (Google Sheets), and presentations (Google Slides) directly in a web browser.

Known for their real-time collaboration features, these applications enable multiple users to work on the same file simultaneously.

Google’s suite provides convenience, ease of sharing, and integration with other Google services, making them ideal for users who need to collaborate remotely or access their work from multiple devices.

Go here to access Docs, Sheets, Slides.

Microsoft 365 (Subscription, Online Service)

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based service offered by Microsoft that includes the traditional Microsoft Office suite applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) along with various other productivity and collaboration tools.

It’s known for its cloud-based approach, allowing users to access their files and applications from any device with an internet connection. Microsoft 365 integrates seamlessly with OneDrive for cloud storage of your documents.

If you are familiar with Microsoft Office, and need some of its specialized features, you might find 365 to be more powerful as compared to Google’s equivalent.

Microsoft 365 Personal costs $69.99 per year or $6.99 paid by the month. Get it here.

Browsing The Internet

There are many browsers that you can use, and it’s ideal to use a browser that has good support. I would recommend these browsers:

Microsoft Edge

In order to browse the internet, the simplest way is to use Microsoft Edge which comes pre-installed on Windows 11 tablets.

Unlike Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge is a decent browser for people who don’t want the hassle of installing another browser. Another reason for sticking to Edge is that it saves precious space on your tablet.

Microsoft Edge is based on the open-source Chromium, meaning it’s very similar to Google Chrome (see below), so your experience browsing the internet will be smooth and features on various websites should render properly.

You can find Edge by going to your Start menu and typing “Microsoft Edge”. It should be the first option that shows up.

Google Chrome

If you want an alternative browser, consider Google Chrome.

Google Chrome is useful because it allows you to connect certain parts of your Google account to the browser. For example, you can share websites between Chrome browsers across devices, and also use its Password Manager so that you don’t have to remember passwords when using different devices.

On my 64GB tablet, one major downside is that Google Chrome does take at least 700 megabytes just for the software. For tablets with low storage space, installing another browser can be an extravagant expense of space.

How To View Multimedia on Windows Tablets

Windows comes with a few apps that can help you view photos and videos conveniently.

Viewing Photos

To view photos on Windows 11, open the Photos app, which is the default image viewer.

Click on the Start button, type “Photos” in the search bar, and select the Photos app from the search results. Once the app is open, you can browse through your pictures or open a specific photo by navigating to the folder where it’s stored, right-clicking the photo, and choosing “Open with > Photos.”

You can also double-click on an image file, and it should automatically open in the Photos app if it’s set as the default image viewer. Common extensions for photos are .JPG (or .JPEG), .PNG, .GIF, .TIFF, .BMP, and .WEBP.

Watch Videos

To watch videos in Windows 11, use the built-in Movies & TV app or Windows Media Player.

Click on the Start button, type “Movies & TV” or “Windows Media Player,” and select which app you prefer.

You can open a video file by navigating to its location in File Explorer, right-clicking the file, and choosing “Open with” followed by either “Movies & TV” or “Windows Media Player.”

Double-clicking a video file usually opens it in the default video player, which is often Movies & TV in Windows 11. Common video file extensions include .MP4, .AVI, .MOV, .WMV, .FLV, .MKV, and .WEBM.

Windows’s in-built media players might not be able to handle some formats of videos, which is why I would recommend getting the VLC Media Player if such an issue arises.

VLC is a completely free media player that can play music and videos. You can download it in the Microsoft Store or by going to their website.

Playing Music and Audio

To play music or audio in Windows 11, you can use the built-in Groove Music app or Windows Media Player.

Open the app by clicking on the Start button, typing “Groove Music” or “Windows Media Player,” and selecting the app from the search results. You can play audio files by navigating to them in File Explorer, right-clicking the file, and choosing “Open with” followed by either Groove Music or Windows Media Player.

Double-clicking an audio file typically opens it in the default music player, which is often Groove Music in Windows 11. Common extensions include .MP3, .WAV, .AAC, .FLAC, .WMA, and .OGG.

Using Your Camera On Your Windows Tablet

Windows 11 has an app called “Camera” which will allow you to take photos with the front or rear camera. You can also scan whiteboards and barcodes or QR codes with the app.

In this app, you will find a few modes on the right-hand side. From first to last, here are the modes:

Panorama Mode. Takes a pano by swiveling your tablet 360 degrees.
Video Mode
Camera Mode (default mode when loaded)
Whiteboard Mode. Scans a whiteboard or document.
Scans a document.
Scans a barcode or QR code.

The great thing about a Windows tablet is that you can scan a barcode/QR code with its frontal camera. Regular laptops rarely have a frontal camera so they don’t have access to this convenience!

Troubleshooting Common Issues in Windows Tablets

Here are the issues that you might face and solutions.

I have run out of space! How can I clear up some space?

surface go SD card slot

Small internal storage can be a problem for Windows tablet users, and the solutions you can undertake are:

You can upload files to the cloud using services such as OneDrive, Dropbox, Google Drive and much more. I use Dropbox and it automatically uploads files that I place in a designated folder. Later on, you can make those files online-only, meaning these files get uploaded to the cloud (but still accessible as if they were on your tablet) and saving you precious space.

ProviderCostFree Tier?
Google Drive$1.99 with 100GBYes, 15GB
Dropbox$9.99 with 2TBYes, 5GB
OneDrive$1.99 with 100GBYes, 5GB

As you can see, each of them offers a free tier and then you’d have to pay up. The simplest to set up is OneDrive because it’s already pre-installed in Windows 11, but if you use Google Docs and other Google services a lot, you might be better off with Google Drive.

So why do I use Dropbox? When I was testing Google Drive versus Dropbox, I found Dropbox’s app to be better. The experience was smoother and I love the backup functionality in Dropbox. The price for a 2TB account is neck-and-neck at $9.99 for either service.

I have an issue. Is my Microsoft Surface under warranty?

You can easily check whether your Surface is under warranty by using the Surface app or by going online to check. Here’s how.

Why is my pen not responsive?

Your pen might not be connected to Bluetooth, might not be charged or it might be incompatible. Here’s an article on why you might have problems with your Surface Pen and how to solve them.

How do I optimize my battery life on my Windows tablet?

  • Turn down your brightness
  • Turn off WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, cellular data if you don’t need it
  • Avoid using power-hungry apps like graphics apps or watching videos
  • Keep open apps and browser tabs to a minimum
  • Adjust your power settings (see below)

Adjusting your power settings is quite important so it deserves a more thorough explanation.

Turn on the battery saver! If you’re in for the long haul, you’ll want to use the “Battery saver” mode. This disables automatic email and calendar sync, apps and live tile updates. To do this, go to your taskbar and look for the battery icon. Click it and you will see a menu with a “Battery saver” button.

Reduce brightness. Screen brightness (and keyboard backlight) are two sources of energy drain, so reduce them as much as you can. Hit that button.

Change settings to optimize power efficiency. Go to your Start menu and type “Optimize your device based on power use and performance”. Click on the result with the same name.

In this menu, you can use the “Energy recommendations” tab and apply all of its recommendations.

Or you can customize the “Screen and sleep” and “Power mode”. The less time the screen is lit, the longer your battery life. Putting the tablet to sleep saves even more battery. Finally, with “Power mode”, “Best power efficiency” is the most battery-life-friendly mode.

You can also reduce the time before Windows shuts off the display or puts your tablet to sleep.

Connecting External Devices and Accessories

connecting external devices to windows tablet

Modern Windows tablets tend to have a USB-C port. With the right USB-C port, you will be able to connect to a monitor, connect an ethernet cable or use it like a regular USB port and connect accessories.

Connecting another monitor

You can connect to another monitor wirelessly or through the USB-C port (or HDMI port if your tablet has one). First, you will need to check if your USB-C port supports outputting video, and then you’ll need to check if your display accepts USB-C connections. If your display only accepts HDMI connections, fret not, you can always buy a USB-C to HDMI converter, such as the one below.

If you want to connect wirelessly to another display, here’s a guide we wrote that will help you.

Connecting a USB Accessory

Most accessories still use the regular-size USB port, so you will need a USB-C adapter. You can buy one-to-one converters like the one below.

Or you can consider buying a USB hub. For example, this Anker USB hub gives you HDMI, two USB 3.0 ports, and a USB-C power input as some devices can be charged from the USB-C port.

Using Bluetooth To Connect Accessories

You can also use Bluetooth to connect devices such as speakers, headphones, mice, and keyboards. Bluetooth devices can be more expensive than their non-Bluetooth counterparts, but the main benefit is that you won’t get a clutter of wires and devices dangling off your tablet.

In order to do so, you will need to pair your device to your Windows tablet. Every accessory has its own way of putting itself in paired mode, so you will have to consult your device’s instructions.

Once your device is in pairing mode, you will need to get Windows to search for it. Open the Start menu and search for “Bluetooth and other devices settings”. Click on it.

Then, click the button that says “Add device”.

Then, add a “Bluetooth” device. Windows will search for devices that are in pairing mode. Once you see your device, click on it and pairing will begin.

Output Audio From Your Tablet

microsoft surface accessories

Your tablets will probably have integrated speakers so you can play audio, but if you want to use something else, you probably have three options:

  • Bluetooth
  • HDMI (possibly via a USB-C converter)
  • 3.5mm audio port (possibly via a USB-C converter)

Once you have connected your device, you will need to tell Windows which audio device to output from. By default, when I connect my Bluetooth earphones, Windows will automatically switch to that, but sometimes I want it to play from the integrated speakers, so here’s how:

In your taskbar, look for the volume icon and click on it. Then, click on the “Select a sound output” button (circled in red).

You will see a range of output devices. Click on the one you want to use.

Should You Buy A Pen for Your Windows Tablet?

Microsoft Surface Go 2 with Surface Pen

I’m pretty ambivalent about whether you should get a pen for your device. I own the Surface Pen and it’s a delight to have, but at the prices they are going for, you should be clear about what purpose it’ll serve.

A pen helps you interact with the screen as a stylus, and if you have the right software, you can use its pressure sensitivity to draw strokes of different hardness. This is particularly useful if you like to paint or Photoshop.

Another useful aspect is annotation. Some of the screenshots above were circled by my Surface Pen. Some software will allow you to draw annotations on PDFs and images. Lastly, you can download note-taking apps like OneNote and Bamboo Paper to simulate writing on paper.

Take a look at my review of various pen-compatible apps to see the apps that I tested the pen on, and see if you can imagine yourself using them.

Read More: Best Surface Pen Apps

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