Surface Pro stylus compatibility issues discovered
Posted on 12 Feb 2013 at 09:35, by Gareth Halfacree
Microsoft has confirmed that its recently-launched Surface Pro tablet has a slight flaw: the bundled stylus, one of the device's selling points over the cheaper Surface RT, doesn't work with all programs.
The Surface Pro tablet, launched in the US this weekend, is something of a new direction for Microsoft. Unlike the previously-launched Surface RT, which uses an ARM-based processor like the ones found in rival Android tablets, alongside the cut-down Windows RT operating system, Surface Pro packs an Intel Core i5 processor, full Windows 8 and a 1080p high-definition display.
For many, however, it's the stylus that is the device's biggest selling point. Designed to make it easier to use for creative tasks, the stylus turns the Surface Pro into a fully-functional digitising tablet. As well as increasing the accuracy of pointing tasks, the stylus supports pressure sensitivity. This is a key feature for graphics applications, where the pressure can be used to vary opacity or line thickness in a way very similar to real drawing implements.
Sadly, those who purchased a Surface Pro for that reason - from very limited stock - are finding that the stylus just isn't supported outside a very small number of core applications. Worse still, Adobe Photoshop isn't on the list.
It's a problem Microsoft has pledged to solve - sort of. "The Surface Pen does work with Photoshop, which runs on Surface Pro," the company claims, before admitting that "advanced features such as pressure sensitivity and eraser functionality may not be available at this time. Microsoft is working with the necessary partners to make advanced features of the Surface pen available across a number of applications in the near future."
For now, however, most applications will only support the stylus as a glorified mouse pointer, with the eraser and pressure sensitivity features unavailable until Microsoft has convinced Adobe and other software partners to add support for the device to their packages.
Expert Review? LOL
Hilarious, do you really believe people are that thick! Everybody knows that when a new piece of hardware comes out OLDER software that obviously wasn't written for it will have some compatibility issues, they also know that the software will receive a patch so that it supports NEWER features of the hardware! How you can write such garbage when you are an 'expert' is beyond me!
By Justjas on 18 Feb 2013
Justjas, it seems you have jumped to some conclusions and seem unaware of the long history (in tech years) of the Wintab stylus drivers issues surrounding Photoshop and other key gfx programs. Microsoft is just the latest to offer a half-baked stylus solution. Without the correct drivers, the pen is what the author suggested, a fancy mouse pointer... for an artist, it is useless. The Wacom & Photoshop symbiosis is well established, and their drivers are more advanced than the ones provided by Microsoft for the Surface Pro. They are used by many, many artists on a variety of digitizer slates, Cintiqs, and Notebooks. It is not Adobe's job to insure that every new hardware offering works with their software. They have their own users to support. Microsoft was too cheap to license those professional drivers and offered something lesser, thinking we'd be too 'thick' to notice. I suspect the writer of this review has a bit more expertise on this subject that you have given credit for.
By Jorj_X_McKie on 6 Mar 2013
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