Here's a comparison review of some Surface Pen alternatives, namely the Adonit Ink, Adonit Ink Pro, Pac Dot S Pen and the Wacom Bamboo Ink. This is a condensed review, if you want check out the detailed reviews for the styluses featured, just click on the names of the styluses that appeared before this sentence.
These pricing for these Surface Pen alternatives varies by quite a bit. At the time of this review, these are their prices on Amazon:
- Adonit Ink - US $36
- Adonit Ink Pro - US $90 (sold only on Adonit's website)
- Pac Dot S Pen - US $31
- Wacom Bamboo Ink - US $45
- Microsoft Surface Pen - US $80
For handwriting and note taking performance, Adonit Ink and Microsoft Surface Pen performed the best. They are most accurate at capturing my handwriting. The other three styluses are good but not as good.
When it comes to handwriting, you usually want to write fast, so the hard tip on Adonit Ink is more appropriate for taking notes compared to the Surface Pen's default felt tip. You could of course swap out Surface Pen's tip but you would have to buy the Surface Pen Kit which is US $37.
For drawing purposes, it's no surprised that Surface Pen performs the best. When drawing diagonal lines slowly, there's no jitter. When drawing, sometimes you may want to draw a bit slower to have more control, so that's where the Surface Pen can give you that level of accuracy. The next best performer is the Adonit Ink Pro but there's still slight jitter. The other three styluses are just not good for drawing because of the obvious jitter.
Another thing about the Surface Pen that I like is the felt tip. It has the extra friction that gives you more control when drawing. Adonit Ink Pro has a hard tip so it's slippery on glass surfaces. Adonit Ink is even more expensive than the Surface Pen so it makes more sense to get the Surface Pen for drawing.
As for Pac Dot S Pen, it's the most affordable Surface Pen alternative. For general purpose use, it works well. But I recommend topping up a bit to get the Adonit Ink instead because the writing performance is better.
Wacom Bamboo Ink's highlight is there are three shortcut buttons. Other than that, it's really just another typical stylus for Windows tablets.