Should you buy a Surface Pen for the Surface Laptop 2?

Should you buy a Surface Pen for the Surface Laptop 2?

Best answer: No. There is nowhere to store the pen on a Surface Laptop 2, and since it lacks a 360-degree hinge, inking at an upward angle is a total pain. You're far better off getting a 2-in-1 like the Surface Pro 6 or Surface Go for inking.Microsoft: Surface Pro 6 (From $810)Amazon: Surface Go (From $460)Microsoft: Surface Pen ($99)

The Surface Laptop 2 just isn't good for inking

The Surface Laptop 2 is a powerful, sleek, and sexy device, and while it does support inking, its form factor simply doesn't lend itself well to doing so.

The Laptop 2 has a fixed hinge that doesn't allow you to convert the laptop into a flat configuration, not without angling the keyboard up in the air at least. The display does support inking with 4,096 levels of pressure complete with tilt support, but, the fact that you can't lay the device out flat just prevents it from being a pleasant experience. At best, you'll be signing documents or perhaps annotating a picture, but for that, you can purchase a cheap non-digital stylus or simply use your finger.

Unlike the Surface Pro, Surface Book, and Surface Go, the Surface Laptop 2 doesn't even have magnetized edges for storing the Pen, since it just kind of knows its not designed for frequent inking.

Thankfully, literally every other type of Surface not only has some form of flat screen configuration, but also includes magnetic storage for the pen. If you're going to get your ink on, look elsewhere.

If you want a laptop-like form factor with the option of inking, the Surface Book 2 should be your first consideration. Some configurations come with dedicated graphics too, allowing you to enjoy VR, higher-end gaming, and intensive programs such as Adobe Premiere. If you want something portable but powerful, the Surface Pro 6 features quad-core processing, wrapped in a tight form factor ideal for taking to university or work, while still packing enough power to run high-end programs and even 3D games. If you simply want inking without breaking the bank, the cheap and cheerful Surface Go might not be the most powerful device in this piece, but it's small, sleek, and cheap, and is more than capable of running quality inking tools such as Sketchable, Photoshop, and OneNote.

Our picks

If you're interested in inking on a Surface device, there are a range of great alternatives built from the ground up with inking in mind.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!