The standard pen that comes with the Surface Pro isn't terrible, though it's a little smaller and lighter than most real-world writing instruments. And even if you can live with its tactile deficiencies, chances are still good that you may soon find yourself in the market for a replacement stylus, given the precarious way that the pen attaches to the tablet's magnetic charging port.
Thanks to a couple of tweets and comments from readers, I decided to take the plunge a couple of weeks ago and purchased two replacement pens sold by Wacom.
The first is the $39.95 Wacom Bamboo Feel Stylus - Black (CS300UK). Although it's the same length as the standard pen, the Wacom stylus is much thicker and substantially heavier, feeling much more like a standard pen (9.5 mm in diameter, 131 mm in length and weighs 18 grams).
It features a matte finish that is much more comfortable than the Surface Pro pen's slick, cheap feeling plastic finish.
The single button is the only ergonomic issue. It's almost flush with the pen's barrel and requires an effort to find and depress.
Pressure sensitivity is very good, but the pen nib offers resistance on the screen that may take some getting used to. The feeling is a bit like using a dried fine tip marker.
The stylus ships with two replacement nibs.
The $79.95 Wacom Bamboo Feel Stylus - Carbon (CS400UK) is a significant step up in feel and cost. The pen is 1.1 mm thicker, 9 mm longer and weighs 10 grams more. The result is a pen that feels exactly like a fine writing instrument.
The Carbon ships in a reusable storage case and includes four replacement nibs.
Although it ofers less resistance on the Surface Pro's screen, it is still not as silky as the standard stylus. The single button is the same as on the Black. It's very easy to miss on the pen's surface. Although I expected to prefer the finish on the Carbon, I actually think the Black's less slick finish feels cooler to the touch.
If you're cost-sensitive, I'd recommend buying the Black and saving the $40. But if you want the best available for now, the Carbon is an excellent option.
UPDATE: Batman '66 artist Jonathan Case offers an excellent review of the Bamboo pens here.