Things You Need to Know about The HP Active Pen 2018


With the ever-growing popularity and demand of touchscreen laptops, some with detachable keyboards and some of which are hybrid [also called convertible and 2-in-1] laptops, noticing someone scribbling notes on his laptop's touchscreen using a stylus [which looks exactly like a common pen] is no longer a strange thing. It is actually one of the most common features of the latest tablets and hybrid laptops of 2018. But the question really is: Is it necessary to have a pen or stylus for a tablet or a convertible laptop?

I learned from HP's official website that a digital pen or a stylus can be classified as an "active stylus" or a "passive stylus". The HP Active Pen or the pen-like stylus that comes with HP Envy x360 Convertible [which I am using right now] is actually an "active stylus". Just take a look at the definitions below:
An active stylus (also known as a digital stylus) uses a digitizer built into the screen to allow communication between the touch screen and the pen. An active stylus might support many or all of the functions supported by a mouse, such as right-click, hover, and more. Many active stylus models can block stray marks from your hand resting on the screen or the sweep of your palm while writing, so that the screen only registers marks made by the pen.

A passive stylus (also known as capacitive stylus) functions the same as your finger on the screen. Passive styluses do not require batteries, and they work on any touch screen device. - support.hp.com

So, going back to the hanging question above, I think, having an optional digital or smart pen matters depending on who is going to use it. For an ordinary person like me, since I already finished my degree and I am currently working full time, I think that an HP Active Pen is just a gimmick to boost sales and increase profitability. This feature just adds to the already hefty price tag of the tablet or the 2-in-1 laptop and sometimes it only stays in its box because it's not often used at all. BUT... for most digital artists and students, this feature might be considered as a "gift from the sky" as this added feature can greatly contribute to their productivity for whatever reasons only them could ever understand. Let's say for example, a digital designer usually does his or her designs using a dedicated drawing tablet connected to a desktop PC, with this added feature to most tablets and convertible PC's, he or she can now be able to do his or her designs anytime and anywhere because of the added portability and continuity provided by the tablet and/or the 2-in-1 laptop. And for most students, it's a given that most of the note-taking apps such as the Microsoft's One Note app, the Apple iPad's Notes app, etc. are designed to make them use it not just for productivity but this added feature will definitely make them cool too! Kidding aside, being cool isn't the main topic here okay? You're maybe cool or not, this is how it is. Almost everything is slowly being digitized already and the most common is the digitized pen and paper. 

I think it's enough for a quite long introduction; after all, this blog post was intended to show you what you need to know about the HP Pen so here we go:

1.  As of the date of writing this post, the HP Active Pen is compatible with various HP models, namely: HP Spectre x360, HP Envy x360, HP EliteBook x360, HP ProBook x360, HP ZBook x360, and HP Pavillion x360. 

2. The HP Active Pen comes with two spare rubber nib tips as replacements when the original tip wears out. For me personally, I don't think it's necessary but for the end-users who uses the pen a lot, the spare nibs would be useful so let's leave it that way.

3. The size and weight of the HP Active Pen are based on the actual size and weight of a regular ballpen thus, I observed that every time I use the HP Active Pen, it feels very comfortable in my hand. I feel like I am just holding a regular pen; in addition, that aluminum body gives me the premium feel to the premium build and quality of the actual HP Active Pen.


4. The HP Active Pen that comes with the HP Envy x360 Convertible can be connected to the laptop via Bluetooth. It has two working buttons, which can control your slideshows when you're doing Powerpoint presentations. The same buttons can also be used as a shortcut to Windows Ink Workspace which has three known functions: Sketchpad, Sticky Notes, and Screenshot or they call it "Snip and Sketch". These can be configured in Pen & Windows Ink Settings.


5. The HP Active Pen is rechargeable. It comes with a USB 3.0 to the USB C connector so you just plug the pen to your laptop when the battery runs out of juice and you're good to go!

There you have it. I think those are the top 5 things that you need to know about the HP Active Pen. If you have other interesting stuff that you discovered about the HP Active Pen, feel free to add it up in the comment section below.

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