Renaisser Raphael 520 gives Surface Pen a run for its money at half the price

Renaisser Raphael 520 Surface Pen
Renaisser Raphael 520 Surface Pen (Image credit: Renaisser)

What you need to know

  • The Renaisser Raphael 520 is a stylus built just for Surface devices.
  • It's getting solid reviews with positive comparisons to the official Surface Pen.
  • You can buy the Raphael 520 at Amazon for $40 (opens in new tab).

If you misplace or damage your Surface Pen, there are plenty of third-party replacements out there vying for attention. One that recently came to our attention is the Renaisser Raphael 520 (opens in new tab), which is drawing positive comparisons to Microsoft's official Surface Pen. The kicker is, it's less than half the price.

The stylus comes in three colors: silver, black, and burgundy. It packs 4096 levels of pressure, tilt, and is compatible with the Microsoft Pen Protocol. That means it works with every Surface ranging from the Surface Pro 3 through the Surface Pro X, Surface Laptop 3, and Surface Pro 7.

A Reddit user who just got their hands on a Raphael 520 recently raved about it on the official Surface reddit.

I just got the Raphael 502 stylus for my SP5 and OMG is it good. 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt, rechargeable, and even has magnets to stick to the side of the Surface! The only drawback is no eraser, [but] you can erase by holding down the barrel button.

Youtube channel Tablet Pro gave the Raphael an in-depth review, and came away calling it the "best stylus for digital artists and notetakes."

We'll have to withold judgement until we can get our hands on one, but it's a positive sign that the Raphael 520 is getting solid reviews. If you're in need of a Surface Pen replacement for yourself, you can grab the Raphael 520 at Amazon now for $40 (opens in new tab).

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • Is this magnetic and stick to the side like the Surface Pen?
  • It literally says in the article lol
  • Besides the lack of an eraser (important for note takers like me) I doubt any third party MPP pen is as well calibrated for Surface products as the Surface Pen. Manufacturers matching their pen designs to their digitizers just tend to do a better job. I guess we'll just have to see though - maybe this one's different.
  • It's very, very good. I use one for note taking with my Surface Pro X. I also own the Surface Slim Pen. I actually find the 520 has better work flow because of the two buttons. I've mapped eraser to one of them, so I don't need to flip the pen to use it. It's heft is less than the pen from my Surface Book 2, but it is rechargeable via Micro USB. I probably prefer it, actually.
  • But isn't charging by USB more of a hassle than changing a battery once every 9 months? Isn't charging automatically by tossing a pen in a cradle and forgetting about it better? Isn't having an eraser nub at one end that doubles as a customizable button better than a single use button? I'm all ears about the difference in value ($40 is great) but as someone who's tried several pens for his Surface 3 and Surface Pro 5, including the Bamboo Ink (a very good dual protocol pen), I'm skeptical about third party pens having better ergonomics, features, workflow and convenience. YMMV of course but I've been a heavy digital note taker for years now...
  • I was interested until I saw it had no eraser. Nice to have a good alternative, but I am not sure if I want to make sure my pen had a charge when I need to take notes vs swapping out batteries when needed..
  • Personally I'd prefer to take the risk, rather than searching for my spare AAAA battery, that I bought 9 months earlier and now can't remember where I put it ;-) - you try buying an AAAA in some small US town without a Walmart. I suspect with either battery or rechargeable you'd just get used to changing the way you work, so charge the pen every night, week or however often is necessary, vs keeping a spare battery in your laptop case, desk drawer or wherever. The way the pen feels is way more important than the power source
  • Does this also work with other MPP 2.0 devices like the Envy/Spectre x360s?