News A $144 Stylus? Microsoft's Growing Accessory Pricing Problem

joeblowsmynose

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Jun 14, 2011
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Stylus that requires batteries or charging? Why? The only thing I can think of is that to get the thing super thin and light they had to go with this style of tech and make the stylus inconvenient instead?
 

Giroro

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Jan 22, 2015
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To be fair, $144 doesn't seem like that much money to a Microsoft engineer paying $3000 a month for a 400 sqft studio apartment in Redmond. Let alone the marketing executive who sets the prices.
 
The problem is that they are improving an active pen, which will drive up hardware costs. For WACOM technologies they improve the actual surface and use similar pens, which aren't powered.

Also, when did Microsoft stop including the pen? My Surface Pro 2 came with the pen, and in my opinion was the last point that Microsoft's Surface made real sense. The passive pens were just better. No charging, no batteries, and they just magnetized to the side of the device. Plus they were the size of real pens so they were more comfortable to use. Really WACOM's tech was better in a lot of ways. I remember when the Surface 3 Pro came out and everyone said "You don't need that kind of accuracy on a tablet" when they were talking about the 3's pen and digitizer vs the excellent WACOM system on the 2. Now Microsoft is trying to make even better pens! So... what happened to "You don't need that kind of accuracy on a tablet", eh?
 

bigdragon

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Oct 19, 2011
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$144 for a stylus is insane. They should be included or sold extra for $50. $144 is pricing that would make Wacom blush!

Stylus that requires batteries or charging? Why? The only thing I can think of is that to get the thing super thin and light they had to go with this style of tech and make the stylus inconvenient instead?
Correct. The EMR detection system adds thickness and weight to the device, so companies have switched over to using the capacitive touch grid instead -- it already has to be there to support touch operations. I used to think that the battery-powered, capacitive pens were garbage. HOWEVER, they do not feature the distortions and edge inaccuracy that EMR pens had. Drawing on a Yoga 720 (Wacom AES) beats drawing on a Motion LE1700 (Wacom EMR) by miles. So much more accurate!

The capacitive pens do need high resolution screens to shine. 4k touch displays are normally built more sensitive to the accuracy of touch positioning thus translating to pen motions that are less likely to staircase when drawing diagonal lines. The batteries seem like a hindrance, but they do last a long time and are easy to swap. There is no delay for charging -- rechargeable pens honestly suck.
 

BadBoyGreek

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After Apple pulled the $5,000 monitor with optional $1,000 stand stunt... stuff like this doesn't surprise me anymore. Seems the collective corporate approach now is throw sh1t at a wall, see what sticks and who's dumb enough to pay.
 

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