Tablet PC Pen Buyers Guide

by Reads (27,050)

With Christmas right around the corner and the Holiday shopping season kicking off, there is no better time to buy your Tablet PC lover that new pen. That’s right, Wacom offers many nice accessories for tablet owners including pens. They also offer their new Bamboo tablet series for notebook owners who want that tablet functionality. In this review we will take a look at the differences between the Penabled Cross Executive Pen, the Cintiq 18SX Grip Pen and your standard Penabled Tablet PC Pen.

The Cross Executive Pen

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The Cross Executive Pen is finished in satin chrome and includes a high load clip with Cross engraved on it, pressure-sensitive tip, side switch and a pressure-sensitive eraser. It has the sleek look and feel of a real pen. There is even a model that includes a cap, so you would never know the difference. Many business professionals would like the durability and appearance of this tablet pen. It works with any Tablet PC that has Wacom penabled technology. It isn’t a direct replacement for factory tablet pens, so it will not fit in your tablet’s silo. The upgrade is well worth the $49.95 price tag and that includes the pen itself and three replacement pen nibs. It flowed smoothly on my Asus R1 and was very responsive. I like that is doesn’t have that cheap plastic feel, so it feels like you are writing on paper.

The Cintiq18SX Grip Pen

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The Cintiq 18SX Grip pen features an enlarged cushioned grip-area that reduces grip effort and is extremely comfortable. Like all Wacom pens, both the tip and the eraser are pressure sensitive. The pen stand, five replacement pen nibs and an extra grip cushion are included with every Cintiq 18SX. The navy blue color with red accents give the Cintiq 18SX some style. I could see many college students using this pen. I mean it even comes with a free stand, so you don’t misplace it. It is larger then most tablet pens and a little thicker, but feels great once in hand. The Cintiq 18SX was very responsive and easy to use. I think it is my favorite pen because it is so comfortable to write with and it works great with any Wacom penabled tablet. I like the comfort factor over the style, but that is my personal preference. When holding the Cintiq 18SX in hand it didn’t feel cheap like many plastic pens or cold like the Cross Executive Pen. The functionality of it worked great including the eraser and programmable duo-switch. The Cintiq 18SX is well worth its $69.95 price tag. This pen would last any user quite some time.

Standard Penabled Tablet PC Pen

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This pen is your standard penabled tablet pen. It isn’t made to be an exact replacement for all factory pens, but can be for some, so you may want to check that before sticking it in your tablet’s silo. It has a pressure-sensitive tip, a pressure-sensitive eraser, and dual side switches. It feels the same as any original tablet pen. It reminded me a lot like the Lenovo X61 pen and my Asus R1 pen. It has that cheap plastic feel, but it is very lightweight and smaller then most tablet pens. Wacom has many pens in this category, priced as low as $19.95, so it is good to check and see which pens can replace your factory pen. This pen was very responsive as well, but there isn’t anything to fancy about it. It does what it should write smoothly and erase with no problems. Every tablet owner should have an extra pen because you never know when you will misplace the original. This pen has a price tag of $49.95 and comes with five replacement pen nibs and a nib extraction tool.


Every tablet owner could use a replacement pen and these three from Wacom are some of the best. Each pen has a unique style, but they all have the same great responsiveness and pressure-sensitive eraser. The Cross Executive is a favorite among many professionals and I can see why. The same goes with the Cintiq 18SX Grip pen, I could write with it all day. The standard penabled pens are great replacements for factory pens and some of them will even fit in your tablet’s silo.

Comparison shot of the Cintiq 18SX, Cross Executive and standard penabled pen. (view large image)

The three pens I reviewed don’t need batteries and are wireless. No software needed either, it’s that easy. The prices are reasonable and for the most part you are getting a better pen. Most of the factory pens that come with tablets like my Asus R1 or the Lenovo X61, don’t do much and they feel cheap. If you use your tablet to take notes, draw or create presentations an upgraded pen is the perfect stocking stuffer. Besides these three pens Wacom offers many other different pens specifically for art or inking. Check out the Graphire, Intuos and other Cintiq pen line-ups.

For more information or to check out some of Wacom’s other great tablet accessories for that special someone on your Christmas list go to Wacom’s website.




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