Surface Pen

The Surface Pen is an incredible stylus for supported hardware, but what if you didn't take to the official pen and want to try an alternative? We rounded up some options to get you started. Best of all, these won't break the bank.

See Surface Pen at Amazon

Wacom Bamboo Ink

Wacom Bamboo Ink

Wacom is a big name in the land of the stylus. The company has been responsible for some of the best pens and drawing pads out there, and there's even a Surface-compatible pen available should the official one from Microsoft not quite do it for you. Priced at $69.95, this pen is a unique option since it supports Wacom's Universal Pen Framework (UPF). This allows it to seamlessly shift between Microsoft Surface devices and Wacom Active ES (electrostatic) hardware.

Windows Central Executive Editor Daniel Rubino likes the Bamboo Ink a lot, noting:

It's great to see Wacom and its UPF finally launch in the consumer market. Surface and Wacom AES users now have more choices and can jump quickly between devices without thinking about the technology. And if you just prefer Wacom's pen design, you can now use it with your Surface.

It's not perfect, however. You will have to put up with the fact that there's no magnet to attach the pen to devices, the LED for switching modes is a little dim. And there's no tilt support.

See at Microsoft

Zodiac Active Wireless Stylus

Zodiac Active Wireless Stylus

Zodiac's Active Wireless Stylus is an all-aluminum pen that works with Microsoft's latest Surface products, as well as other OEM portable devices. Sporting 1,024 levels of pressure sensetivity, it allows you to write, draw and erase without issue for less than $30. The pen itself takes a battery, with one included to get you started.

Much like other pens on the market, there are two buttons on the side, one for erasing and the other for a right-click. And if you don't like it, there's a 45-day money back guarantee.

See at Amazon

Adonit Ink

Adonit Ink

For something a little more stylish, the Adonit Ink is a well-rated stylus that works with Microsoft Surface devices (as well as other compatible hardware). It is USB-rechargable with a battery life of around 80 hours, and it has a carrying clip for taking it with you on travels. Lastly, there are shortcut buttons for erasing and right-clicking. At about $45 it's inexpensive too, making it an enticing option for anyone looking for somerthing a little cheaper than the Surface Pen.

See at Amazon

Other OEM pens

Transformer 3 Pen

Taking into account N-Trig support, the following pens will work with latest Surface hardware:

In general, pens you can buy for the following devices should also work with Microsoft Surface devices (according to this Reddit thread):

  • Acer Aspire R7 572.
  • ASUS Taichi 21/31, Transformer 3 or Pro 3.
  • HP Spectre x2, Envy x360, Spectre x360 (2017 models).
  • Sony VAIO Duo 11/13, VAIO Tap 11, VAIO FIT Family, VAIO Z Canvas or Flip.

All you need to do is check that a pen or stylus is compatible with Surface and Microsoft's N-trig framework and you should be good to go.

Your favorites

What pen are you using instead of the official Surface offering? Sound off your favorites in the comments.

Updated on June 26, 2018: We updated this guide to ensure it continues to recommend the best alternatives to the Microsoft Surface Pen.