Apologies, I updated the HP forum and not my own post! I bought a Dell Active Stylus (750-AAHC) for £39.71, direct from Dell. Walked into John Lewis and gave it a try on their display model. It worked – very well…
I’ve been waiting and waiting on a better alternative ever since I first set eyes on a Lenovo Yoga Pro and I think the HP Spectre x360 is the answer, if there’s a UK version that supports a digitising stylus (pen).
Why don’t I buy the Yoga? Because I’ve been burned by possibly the worst customer service I have ever received from any company –twice! I swore I won’t be back, and even if I have to blast my foot off with a Blunderbuss, I won’t ever buy another Lenovo product.
The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 Series 2-in-1 Laptop uses a passive stylus, which is unfortunate because it has a built in slot for the pen.
I know HP are far from perfect (especially their painfully slow websites), but they honoured their warranty 2 weeks after expiry, unlike Lenovo who charged us £300 to look at a faulty device that was only 7 hours outside warranty! In my opinion, since IBM sold out to Lenovo, HP now manufacture the best (business-class) devices and that is why I am looking into buying the HP Spectre x360.
For me, I have 5 main requirements:
- Digitising “Active” Stylus (Pressure sensitive pen),
- 360o hinge, screen can fold right back on itself,
- Light and small as possible,
- Windows OS compatible,
- High spec – i7, 8GB RAM, SSD,
Now, the reason for the post. It is no accident I put the pen as No. 1 requirement. I do a lot of design sketches, so a digitising pen is crucial. (See here regarding the differences between digitising (Active) and capactive (Passive) pens). The problem I have is that there is a lot of discrepancy over the support of digitiser pens. In the US, based on user reports and reviews, it appears that some models do and others don’t. HP websites are no help and even HP sales are clueless; according to this post – advising customers that products won’t work, when they do. I can’t be bothered to go down the path of getting a US model shipped over to the UK and swapping out the keyboard etc.
On HP.com, I have found no fewer than 7 model variants and all but one, list the digitising pen as an optional extra, whereas on HP.co.uk, not one of the models list a pen.
A little table I put together:
|Site||Model#||Product#||CPU||Resolution||Screen Type||Digitizer Pen Accessory listed|
|US||13t Touch||K1M35AV_1||i5-5200U||1920×1080 / 2560×1440||FHD / QHD||Active Styli*|
|US||13-4001dx||L0Q55UA#ABA||i5-5200U||1920×1080||FHD||Adonit Jot Pro + Active Styli|
|US||13-4002dx||L0Q56UA#ABA||i5-5200U||1920×1080||FHD||Adonit Jot Pro + Active Styli|
|US||13-4102dx||N5R94UA#ABA||i7-5500U||2560 x 1440||QHD||Active Styli|
|UK||13-4007na||L0B60EA#ABU||i7-5500U||2560 x 1440||QHD||None|
|UK||Pro x360 G1||H9W41EA#ABU||i5-5200U||1920×1080||FHD||None|
|UK||Pro x360 G1||H9W43EA#ABU||i7-5600U||2560 x 1440||QHD||None|
I understand the hardware to support the digitiser is built into the screen. As per a poster in the above forum link, I too, thought it might depend on the screen being QHD or FHD, however, making the assumption that HP have the optional extra’s list correct, this appears not to be the case. Note the UK Pro G1 models. They’re listed under business, but apart from a higher price & lesser spec, they are identical.
If you pull up the Maintenance & Service guide for both x360 and x360 Pro, you’ll see two MPNs for the screen:
|13.3-in, QHD, WLED, BrightView (2560×1440), UWVA, 2.55-mm display assembly||801496-001|
|13.3-in, FHD, WLED, BrightView (1920×1080), UWVA, 2.55-mm display assembly||801495-001|
The document is the same if accessed via HP.com or HP.co.uk, therefore, based on the optional extra’s list on HP.com, one can make the assumption that both screens and therefore all model variants of the x360 “support” digitizer pens.
When I say “support”, I am assuming the necessary hardware is present in the device, however, there may be other issues like driver support – but that’s much easier to overcome.
As a cross-check (cabin doors closed), using partsurfer, one can see the “list of HP Products that Part Number x us used with”. Again, from my experience, not a definitive list.
When searching for pens on HP.com and HP.co.uk, totally different products results are returned.
|UK||HP Slate Digital Pen||QQ677AA|
|UK||HP Duet Pen||K3P96AA|
|UK||HP Executive Tablet Pen G2||F3G73AA|
|UK||HP Executive Tablet Pen||H4E45AA|
|US||HP Slate 7 Extreme Stylus||F5B07AA|
|US||HP Active Pen||J4R51AA#ABL|
|US||Adonit Jot Mini||VS3480|
|US||Adonit Jot Mini||VS3483|
|US||Adonit Jot Pro||VS3487|
|US||Adonit Jot Pro||VS3488|
|US||Adonit Jot Flip||VS3484|
|US||HP Pro Tablet 408 Active Pen||K8P73AA|
|US||*Dell 750-AAGN||750-AAGN CUS,STY,PLSTC,ACTIVE,DAO,A03|
* Discussed in the HP forum post mentioned above.
One idea I had, was to visit (dare I say it) PC World, where they sell one of the i5 models. I could buy a digitiser pen, taking it with me and giving it a go, noting the MPN – that they don’t advertise!
Any owners out there, perhaps you’d be kind enough to reply with your x360 MPN and which pen you chose. I can then build a definitive list.
On the off chance someone from HP read this, perhaps you can update your websites and documentation and explain why there is such a discrepancy and what it is that we need to have a working digitiser pen on an x360.
A little side note. Some of these pens contain a magnet to “attach” the pen to the device. The x360’s case is made from aluminium; a non-ferrous metal, one that does not contain iron. Iron is required for a magnet to “stick”. I won’t even go in to the dangers of a magnet near a computer! I imagine that is why the Yoga has a nice slot for the pen and the Surface has an elastic strap afterthought.