Buttons on pens don't do anything for me. In fact, I think they're often a nuisance as I frequently find myself clicking them accidentally with my thick knuckles.
However, many of you swear by your pen buttons and I've been hunting high and low for a readily available Surface Pro pen replacement that will accommodate your needs. I've tested five pen replacements to date and none have more than one button. And the three higher end pens don't even have eraser tips either.
Thanks to a tip from reader Steven Weitz, I finally wrapped my fingers around the replacement stylus you've been clamoring for, although you'll have to pay a relatively steep premium for the privilege.
That pen is the Modbook Pro Digitizer Pen, which retails for $70 from the Modbook Store. The plastic pen is virtually identical to two other pens I've reviewed previously: the Wacom Penabled Tablet PC Eraser Pen and the Samsung Electronics Slate PC Digitizer Pen, both of which cost about 50% less than the Modbook pen.
Modbook doesn't offer any precise specifications, but the pen is 5.5 inches long from eraser to nib and is very light, weighing about half an ounce, just like the Wacom and Samsung stylii. I can only assume that Wacom produces all three pens as the nibs are interchangeable as well.
Modbook clearly charges a hefty premium for its boutique product, but they at least offer a generous selection of nibs: five felt, four pencil and three stroke tips. The stroke tip is grey with a small spring. According to Wacom, these nibs are supposed to provide a more "brush-like" feel.
Packs of five nibs cost $5-$10 from Wacom, so the additional nibs are definitely welcomed.
Performance is very consistent across all the tablet pc pens I've tested. Some users have reported that one pen is more precise than another, but I haven't found that to be the case in my testing. With calibration, every stylus displays the same accuracy.
I personally prefer heavier, slightly thicker pens that are closer to real world instruments. However, any of the replacements I've identified will offer a more satisfying experience than the standard Surface Pro pen.
I appreciate that the Modbook Pen's button is angled high enough from the pen's barrel to avoid most accidental presses. And assigning button actions is a simple matter of finding the Pen Tablet Properties in Control Panel.
I'm told that there are other two-button options out there, but I think most of them are for older devices and not easily obtainable. So if you absolutely need that second button, the Modbook Pro Digitizer Pen is the way to go.