Difference Between Dell Active Pen and Surface Pen (With Table)

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Dell Active Pen and Surface Pen are two well-known digital pens in the market. Their demand is high in the modern world. These two devices do not have vast differences. It is solely based on the preference as well as the budget of the user.

To be sure which one to select, we must know their features individually. This shall help us find the perfect fit.

Dell Active Pen vs Surface Pen

The main difference between Dell Active Pen and Surface Pen is that Dell Active Pen can work with both Wacom AES and MPP protocol. Whereas, Surface Pen can only work with Microsoft Pen Protocol. Hence the main difference lies in their construction although they aim for the same function.

Dell Active Pen is an affordable option and is a good choice if we want to save money. According to its price, it comes with a great deal. It can work with more than one protocol and is very user-friendly. It comes in a ball-type pen structure. It has a single button that can be customized to form three different functions.

On the other hand, the Surface Pen is quite expensive. It has an attractive modern structure and comes with a rechargeable battery. This helps in saving power in the long run. It has three different buttons for three different purposes. It is considered the best choice for a digital pen.

Comparison Table Between Dell Active Pen and Surface Pen

Parameters of comparisonDell Active PenSurface Pen
Protocol SupportIt can work with more than one protocol.It can work with only Microsoft Pen Protocol.
Eraser OptionIt does not possess eraser functionality.It does possess eraser functionality.
CostIt has an affordable price.It is very expensive.
BatteryIt lacks a rechargeable battery.It has a rechargeable battery.
ButtonsHas three individual buttons for three different functions.Has one button performing three different functions.

What is Dell Active Pen?

Dell Active Pen is quite affordable and user-friendly. When the budget for the surface pen is low, this is always a great option to choose. It can work with both Wacom APS as well as MPR protocols. Thus it provides a wide range of options.

It has tilt support and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. However, it does not come with the eraser feature. Many users might be disappointed in this particular point. However, considering the price range, it provides us with adequate features.

Besides the lack of eraser functionality, another drawback is that it does not come with a rechargeable battery. This in the long run may result in quite an increased energy consumption. This is one of the reasons people choose surface pen over it.

The active pen can be simply attached to the side of the device magnetically. It comes in a ball-shaped structure. It has three individual buttons with three different uses. However, none of them has the function of an eraser. Overall if we want to save money and buy something affordable, it is a good choice.

What is Surface Pen?

The surface pen from Microsoft provides us with the best experience. According to customer reports, it has the best performance. It comes with tilt support and 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity. One of the best features is its eraser functionality. Many users consider it as their favorite feature of any pen protocol. It eases their work.

Here, the bottom end of the pen itself acts like an eraser. Hence this makes it even more convenient and hence scores great. It is especially helpful for people who need to take frequent notes. There is a single button. However, it can be activated t perform three different functions. It is yet another impressive function.

Coming to the structure, it has a very slim as well as flat design. This compact structure gives it a stunning look. Many users shall love this classic modern concept instead of an old round style. It uses a USB-C rechargeable battery. This is one of the best features of the surface pen.

Despite being such popular in the market, it has certain cons. The first being, it does not support any protocol other than the Microsoft Pen Protocol. Hence we can not say it is very user-friendly. It can not adapt to a variety of situations. Another drawback is its cost. It is quite expensive and is not possible for anyone and everyone to afford.

Main Differences Between Dell Active Pen and Surface Pen

  1. The most distinct difference between Dell Active Pen and Surface Pen is their protocol support. Dell Active Pen can work with more than one protocol. However, Surface Pen can work with only Microsoft Pen Protocol.
  2. Coming to the feature which user prefers in a digital pen, eraser functionality. Dell Active Pen does not possess eraser functionality. Whereas, Surface Pen does possess eraser functionality.
  3. Coming to cost, Dell Active Pen has an affordable price. On the other hand, the Surface Pen is quite expensive.
  4. Dell Active Pen has three individual buttons for three different functions. On the other hand, Surface Pen Has one button performing three different functions.
  5. Last but not the least, battery type. Dell Active Pen lacks a rechargeable battery. Whereas, Surface Pen has a rechargeable battery. It is considered a great feature since it saves power in the long run.

Conclusion

When someone needs a pen protocol that supports protocols other than that of Microsoft then Dell Active pen is supposedly the best choice. However, if one is set with Microsoft and has a considerable budget, then a surface pen is surely the best option.

Other features like battery type and buttons must be kept in mind. This, in the long run, saves power. Both of them possess the magnetic feature to be attached to the device. Also, they support tilting and have pressure sensibility of 4096 levels.

References

  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1978942.1979376
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566119915000634
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