What's the Best Surface Pro Stylus for Note-Taking?

February 8, 2023

What is the best stylus for Microsoft Surface Pro? 

There are plenty of alternative styluses you can use when note-taking with your Surface. Here’s a quick guide to navigate the pool of pens. 

What to consider

  • Pressure sensitivity. This affects how thick or thin your lines turn out, depending on how hard you press down. The more pressure points it has, the more control you’ll have over the look and feel of your strokes. 
  • How it charges. Some of the more affordable styluses will use batteries instead of a charging cable. Some of the pricier styluses may charge extra for the charging cable.  
  • Drawing vs. notetaking. If you’ll also be using your stylus for drawing, you’ll have different requirements than if you were simply note-taking. You may want to look for a Surface Pro stylus that has more pressure sensitivity and tilt support to control how your lines appear.

Read more: Check out our guide to Best Way to Study.

Without further ado, here's a comparison of 5 Surface Pro styluses you can count on.

1) Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2

Price: $129 USD
Number of pressure points:
How to charge: 

  • Magnetic automatic charging on keyboard attachments 
  • Additional USB-A to USB-C charging cable 

We had to include Microsoft’s own stylus: the Surface Slim Pen 2. This is the newest stylus they’ve released, and in our opinion, it blows all its other previous pens out of the water.  

Built with the Surface Pro in mind, the Slim Pen 2 is more accurate due to its sharper tip and smoother due to zero force inking (i.e. it automatically senses the screen, and doesn’t rely on the force of pressure). 

The Slim Pen 2 also implements haptic feedback – little vibrations that mimic the response or friction that physical paper gives – into the writing experience. The effect is that writing with the Slim Pen 2 feels closer to writing on paper. 

If you create digital art, the Surface Slim Pen is sensitive enough for your sketches, shading, and drawing.

If you have a keyboard attachment, or the full Surface Laptop Studio, the Slim Pen 2 will attach and charge magnetically. Otherwise, you’ll have to purchase the charging attachment separately. 

2) Renaisser Raphael 530 Dual Eraser Surface Stylus

Price: $39.99 USD
Number of pressure points:
How to charge:

Renaisser is one of the big players in the alternative stylus space, making several styluses for the Surface Pro, and other devices. 

The Raphael 530 features a rubberized tip, which gives you a good amount of friction so you don’t get that sliding sensation when taking notes on the Surface’s glass screen. 

Like the Microsoft Slim Pen 2, the Raphael 530 stylus also has an “eraser” on the other end, meaning you can flip your pen around to erase strokes. The eraser is also rubberized, mimicking the experience of erasing pencil on paper.

3) Tintunzo Pen 

Price: $29.99 USD
Number of pressure points:
How to charge
: AAAA battery 

This stylus doesn’t connect via bluetooth – simply bring it close and it’s ready to use. 

It’s not the best choice if your main purpose is painting or sketching on the Microsoft Surface where you might want a pen with more pressure sensitivity. In general, however, the ink flows smoothly, making the Tintunzo Pen a great alternative stylus for note-taking. 

It’s also one of the more affordable options for Surface Pro styluses. 

Read more: Check out our guide to Digital Planner stickers.

4) Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus

Price: $99.95 USD
Number of pressure points:
How to charge:

The Wacom Bamboo Ink Plus is another one of the alternative styluses that many turn to for the Surface Pro. It comes in a rounded triangular shape, making it fit snugly in your hand. 

It comes with 3 pen tips you can choose from, including a firm tip, soft tip, and a special blue tip, so that you can test and adjust to your preferred writing experience. Because a stylus can interact differently with different devices, the blue tip is Wacom’s solution to it. If your stylus is looking wiggly or strange, try the blue tip. Using it with the Microsoft Surface Pro, however, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. 

This stylus doesn’t have a rear eraser if you’re looking for one – you can however, program one of the side buttons to act as the eraser. 

5) Adonit Neo Ink 

Price: $39.99 USD
Number of pressure points:
How to charge:

Created specifically for the Microsoft Surface, this stylus features native palm rejection (meaning you don’t have to toggle any settings) 100-hour battery life (!) , and the ability to use the stylus while you’re charging it. 

The Adonit Neo Ink is a great contender for note-taking on any of the Surface models. It’s precise, convenient due to the long battery life, and relatively inexpensive. This stylus also supports tilt for drawing/shading or calligraphy. 

So which is the best Surface Pro stylus? 

In our opinion, the best stylus for note-taking on the Surface Pro is the Microsoft Surface Slim Pen 2. Of all the styluses, it offers the smoothest, most precise, and most enjoyable experience. The haptic feedback and the way it mimics physical paper is also incomparable. If in addition to note-taking you intend to use it to draw, sketch, or create digital art, the extra money is fully worth the cost. 

In second place, the best alternative stylus for Surface goes to the Adonit Neo Ink. It offers the best experience and won’t break the bank. Even when it comes to sketching, where you’ll need more sensitivity for tilt and pressure, it performs well. 

 If you’re mainly looking for a stylus to take notes the Adonit Neo Ink is more than up to the task.

Looking for the best note-taking app for Microsoft Surface?

Arm yourself with the perfect stylus, and the best note-taking app. GoodNotes is used by millions of people all over the world. The beta for GoodNotes for Windows is now live and ready for you to try out. 

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