How to Choose the Best Stylus for Laptop

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You’ve got a touch screen laptop, but you don’t have a pen for it. Touch screen laptops are excellent for photo editing, drawing, handwriting and many other activities, but unlike with basic web browsing, you can’t easily do these with only your fingers.

I use a touch screen laptop, the Microsoft Surface Pro 8, and understand the need for a good drawing stylus for laptop – you don’t want something unaccurate, or that lacks finesse in your strokes.

This article covers the most important points you should look out for in a pen for touch screen laptop, and gives you some great options for a stylus for your laptop.


best stylus for laptop
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Compare the Best Stylus for Laptops

Stylus

Features

Pros

Cons

Check Price

MEKO Universal Stylus 

 

[Best Stylus for Laptop]

- Passive

- Disc and Fiber Tips

- Two pens

- Universal compatibility

- Accurate nib

- Needs certain hand position to use disc

- Passive

- Disc and Fiber Tips

-Two tips

- Replacement tips

- Wobbly disc

- Potential lag

- Passive

- Rubber Tip

- Ten pens

- Scratch resistant

- Less fine accuracy

- Passive

- Disc and Fiber Tips

- Two tips

- Rubber grip

- 1 year warranty

- More expensive

- Might need screen protector

- Passive

- Rubber Tip

- Four pens

- Dual tips in each pen

- Cheap

- Rubber tips only for less fine accuracy


What Should You Look Out For in a Pen for Touch Screen Laptop?

A stylus for laptop touch screen can help you navigate through different functions more easily, as well as writing and drawing more efficiently than using your finger.

There are, however, several things you should look for when it comes to buying a pen for a touch screen laptop.

Active vs Passive Stylus

A passive stylus is also known as a capacitive stylus and does not have batteries or any electronic parts in most cases. It simply replicates the conductivity of your finger tip, and so does not offer any extra features over using your fingers, other than a much finer point than a finger tip to improve accuracy.

Active styluses often have extra technology such as buttons, palm rejection, pressure sensitivity, connection with the device and a more accurate result, and are powered by batteries, often rechargeable wirelessly or via USB.

These active styluses can be more useful if you need to use them for more professional purposes such as designing, sketching, writing and planning.

Active styluses generally work with all laptops, but some models may have features that are specific to the device they are designed to work with – for example the Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2, a contender for the best stylus for Windows laptop, will not have haptic feedback on anything other than the latest Surface tablets.

pen for touch screen laptop

Pen Accuracy

Pen accuracy in a stylus pen for laptops implies that you can get a neat and tidy result on your device after using your stylus, whether you are drawing or writing. To ensure this kind of accuracy, a good stylus is one that includes pressure sensitivity and the ability to angle the pen.

Just as a pen or pencil can give different results when you tilt it or change the angle or apply lesser pressure, a stylus should also be able to ensure the same kind of results.

Generally, you can expect features like pressure sensitivity and tilt angle support in an active stylus, as these features require a powered pen to work.

How Does It Feel in the Hand?

How your stylus feels in your hand is another important consideration. Generally, holding a stylus of good quality in your hand can feel like you are holding a pen or pencil and writing on a piece of paper.

The grip of the stylus should also be comfortable yet firm, allowing you to move it around easily. In addition, if you have requirements that involve using the stylus for a long time, make sure you look for one that does not tire your hand out.

laptop stylus

Are You Drawing or Writing?

Make sure you take your requirements into account while figuring out which stylus to buy. Do you want a drawing stylus for laptop, or a writing stylus?

Drawing requires a more accurate stylus that feels more comfortable. Pressure sensitivity is also quite important here. For writing, on the other hand, the focus should be on accuracy and neatness.

Compatibility with Your laptop

Premium laptops like Surface Pros or iPads work best with an active stylus made by the brand itself, like the Surface Pen or the Apple Pencil. This is because device pairing can be easier here, making your stylus more responsive, and the extra features of the pens are guaranteed to work.

Cheaper laptops might not work with an active stylus, but a passive stylus works with all models. This is because a passive stylus is essentially mimicking a fingertip, while an active stylus has a bit more technology behind it.

As an example, you are generally more limited if you are looking for the best Chromebook stylus versus the best stylus for Lenovo Yoga laptops, as the latter has a greater degree of compatibility with most pens.

touch screen laptop with stylus

Bluetooth and Instant Connection

For active pens, you will need to pair your stylus and your device using a Bluetooth connection. This is not needed for passive pens.

Some active pens require drivers and / or software to work properly, however, many premium pens connect instantly without drivers with the simple press of a button, or even automatically discover pens without you having to do anything, although this is mainly left to models like the Apple Pencil, Samsung S Pen and Microsoft Surface Pen lines.


Reviews of the Best Stylus for a Laptop

Through this section, you can go through some of the best styluses for a laptop including their features, pros and cons so that you can make a suitable decision for your needs. This list ignores pens designed for specific brands of laptop, like the offerings from Apple and Microsoft.

1. MEKO Universal Stylus

MEKO Universal Stylus

Features

  • Color: Black
  • Type: Passive
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Tip: Disc and fiber
  • Extras: Pen cap, replaceable tips

The MEKO Universal Stylus is a capacitive or passive stylus that comes in black. There are two stylus pens included in this purchase along with two kinds of replacement tips for both disc and fiber tips.

This replacement process is fairly easy to carry out since all you need to do is pull and screw the tip or disc out and insert the new one.

This stylus is made from stainless steel and aluminum and can offer sturdiness and durability. It is both light and comfortable to use, coming with a rubber grip that can add to the experience.

It feels like holding a real pen, complete with a pen cap. This stylus pen can offer a great amount of precision and accuracy through its disc since it can allow you to mark the exact point where you are drawing or writing on your touchscreen laptop.

For my money, the MEKO Universal Stylus is the best stylus for a laptop, including the HP Spectre x360, HP Envy x360, and the Lenovo Yoga series.

  • Pros:
  • There are two stylus pens included in this purchase, allowing you to use each for different purposes or simply using them one after the other so that they can last you longer
  • The stylus comes with a clear disc that can make it possible for you to note where it is you are marking your device, ensuring accuracy
  • The purchase includes replaceable tips so that you can replace one when it runs out
  • The stylus is universally compatible, which means that you can pair it with any touchscreen device that you own
  • It is thin and light with a rubber grip, ensuring comfort while using it
  • Cons:
  • There is no pressure sensitivity
  • You might need to keep your hand in a certain position to align the disc properly with the screen
MEKO Universal Stylus

2. MIXOO Capacitive Stylus Pen

MIXOO Capacitive Stylus Pen

Features

  • Color: Rose gold
  • Type: Passive
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Tip: Disc and fiber
  • Extras: Replacement tips, pen cap

The Mixoo Capacitive Stylus Pen can be a fine option for you to consider when it comes to your writing, drawing and navigation requirements. This pen is rose gold in color and comes with a disc tip on one end and a fiber tip on the other, allowing you to use it for versatile purposes without needing to constantly replace the tips.

The disc is clear and can allow you to precisely follow the movements and marks that you are making on your device.

This pen also includes a black textured rubber grip that can allow you to have a comfortable grip without losing your hold over the stylus, thus ensuing control and accuracy.

Made from stainless steel and aluminum, this pen is light and sturdy. The disc itself is made from silicon.

There are replaceable tips included in this purchase so that you can simply screw out the original tips when they are beyond use. This can lengthen the lifespan of your stylus.

A pen cap that can protect the tips while also allowing you to attach it to your pocket or bag is also included. There are several other color options available at the same price as well.

  • Pros:
  • The replacement tips can allow you to use the stylus for longer in case the original tips run out
  • The stylus has two tips, one on each end, to ensure versatility and multitasking
  • The clear disc can ensure accuracy and sensitivity while working
  • It is thin and sturdy, allowing you to use it comfortably without straining your wrists too much
  • You can use it for various purposes such as writing, drawing, gaming and taking notes
  • Cons:
  • The disc can be a bit wobbly
  • Sometimes it can lag depending on the device you use it on
MIXOO Capacitive Stylus Pen

3. StylusHome Pens

StylusHome Pens

Features

  • Color: Various
  • Type: Passive
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Tip: Scratch-resistant rubber
  • Extras: Clip and click design, ten stylus pens

These StylusHome Pens include an assortment of ten stylus pens that come in a range of colors, allowing you to simply pick up the one that attracts you the most that day.

The inclusion of ten pens in this purchase can ensure that you can keep using them for a long time without needing to spend money on a new one too soon. In fact, despite there being ten pens in this purchase, the cost itself is less than several other options that include only one or two pens.

These stylus pens come with rubber tips that can make it easy for you to navigate your way through your touchscreen laptop or any other device you might want to pair it with.

These rubber tips are additionally scratch-resistant and do not stick to the screen. The pens are further quite sensitive, comfortable and responsive, although these are not suitable for fine work, like drawing or photo editing, as the tips are fairly broad and don’t offer the accuracy of similar models.

  • Pros:
  • The rubber tips are scratch resistant and anti-stick while also offering protection against fingerprint marks
  • These stylus pens can offer responsiveness, sensitivity and control just as real pens do
  • You can get ten pens at a highly affordable price
  • The pens come with a clip and click function that can enhance the feel while also making it easy for you to attach them to your clothes or bag
  • The styluses have an anti-roll feature so that you can hold and use them comfortably
  • Cons:
  • There are no replaceable tips
  • The tips are blunt, and so don’t offer fine accuracy
StylusHome Pens

4. digiroot Universal Stylus

digiroot Universal Stylus

Features

  • Color: Black
  • Type: Passive
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Tip: Disc and fiber
  • Extras: Replaceable tips, pen cap

The digiroot Universal Stylus is a stylus pen of high quality that you can use for navigation, writing, drawing, taking notes and gaming, among other relevant functions.

This pen is black in color and includes a black textured rubber grip that you can hold on to for ensuring a precise, comfortable and firm hold over the stylus.

There are also two kinds of tips, disc and fiber, on this pen with one tip on each end. Having two tips on the pen can allow you to make good use of them at the same time without needing to keep replacing them.

The disc tip is clear and in place for ensuring a high amount of accuracy so that you can track the marks that you make on your laptop. It is also quite sensitive and responsive.

  • Pros:
  • There are two tips on the single stylus pen, allowing you to make use of both conveniently whenever required
  • The rubber grip can ensure comfort and a firm hold over the stylus
  • There are replaceable tips in case the original ones run out, ensuring durability and reliability
  • The pen cap can protect the tips while also letting you clip the stylus onto something for easy portability
  • It comes with a one-year warranty period in case you face issues in terms of the quality of the stylus, ensuring quality assurance and accessibility
  • Cons:
  • It is slightly expensive in comparison to related models since it includes a single stylus
  • You might need to use a screen protector on your laptop
digiroot Universal Stylus

5. Bargains Depot Stylus

Bargains Depot Stylus

Features

  • Color: Blue, black, red, purple
  • Type: Passive
  • Compatibility: Universal
  • Tip: Rubber
  • Extras: Replaceable tips, pen caps, four pens

The Bargains Depot Stylus Pens includes an assortment of four pens, each of which comes in a different color. Each of these styluses further has two tips each, both made from rubber and being different in thickness, ensuring versatility.

The small rubber tip can help promote accuracy and precision if you want to draw or write while the bigger tip can be better suited for general tasks of navigation.

The rubber tips on these stylus pens can additionally protect your laptop screen from scratches. Once the tips run out, you can easily replace them with another one from any of the 20 tips available in this purchase.

These stylus pens are made from stainless steel and aluminum, ensuring lightness as well as sturdiness during usage. These can also make the pens durable.

  • Pros:
  • There are four pens of different colors in the purchase, allowing you to use this stylus pen for a long time
  • Each pen has dual tips so that you can use them for various purposes without needing to replace them each time
  • There are a total of 20 replaceable tips, ensuring durability and quality while still being cost effective
  • The pen cap can protect the tips. It also includes a clipper for easy attachment and portability
  • The stylus pens are light and easy to use without straining your wrists
  • Cons:
  • These stylus pens only include rubber tips on both ends
  • There is no pressure sensitivity
Bargains Depot Stylus

Final Thoughts on Pens for Touch Screen Laptops

pens for touchscreen laptops

If your laptop manufacturer doesn’t produce their own brand of active styluses, then you are often best to go for a cheaper, passive stylus like those above. These are the best styluses for the HP Spectre x360, Envy x360 and related models, and also the best styluses for Chromebooks which otherwise can’t use many of the features of active pens.

Most pens for touchscreen laptops are actually designed for iPads and Android, with few specifically available for Windows. You could take a gamble on an active stylus, but chances are the features would not work with Windows. Therefore, you’re best to save yourself some money and get a simple, passive pen that is guaranteed to work with high accuracy.


Read More:

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How to choose the best laptop for artists

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Follow Tim Daniels:

Hi, I'm Tim Daniels, photographer and photo trainer, founder of Lapse of the Shutter and creator of the totally free Lightroom Develop System. I've travelled to (probably) 30 countries over the last few years, taking photos and licensing them around the world, and creating lots of free photography learning resources. Read More ...

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