Digging below the surface

So, I’ve had the surface pro 3 a couple of days now and have had something of a change of heart. The machine IS wonderful. There’s no doubt about it. I do love it.


The pen.

The surface pen well, specifically the pen nibs. I’ve owned this machine for four days and in that time I’ve finished colouring a piece (it was almost entirely coloured already) and I’ve scanned some pencils which I’ve then edited and then printed, inked traditionally and then re-scanned. Pretty light work I think. In that time the pen nib has become a frazzled piece of plastic. It looked like this:


that tip should be pointed. It doesn’t seem to effect the drawing, but really if this is three days of wear what’s gonna happen after a month?

I’ve been told by one person this fraying eventually stops and the tip becomes solid, but I’ve googled and this seems to be common among demo machines in shops (explaining the reticence of pcworld in having a demo pen out)

Microsoft were also helpful and have offered to send out a pack of 3 replacement nibs. But at this rate of going those nibs might not last a week, plus when I buy computer equipment I expect it to last 3-5 years, will they be so keen to send out nib #460 in year 4?

So the upshot is, I’ve mulled it over and my wife and I have agreed. I’m taking it back for a refund. A £1k device that’s otherwise great ruined by what is probably a fraction of a pennies worth of plastic material.

It’s a shame.

Instead, i’ll be keeping my pennies and pounds for the next cintiq. It’ll be expensive (and I hear it’s as elegant to handle as a brick, and it gets hot etc) but cintiq know how to make nibs, that’s for sure.

Will let you know how I get on returning it, I’m assuming the nib makes this unfit for purposes, but pcworld my have other ideas.


Author: PJ

PJ is a Belfast based comic artist, and has been for some time.