The 8 Best Styluses For Touch-Screen Laptops
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When you’re searching for the best styluses for touch-screen laptops, the selection can be overwhelming. The first thing you’ll need to do is decide whether you want a capacitive or an active stylus; if you choose the former, you’ll need to consider which tips work best for your needs — and if you choose the latter, you’ll need to consider compatibility, battery life, and special features.
First, understand the difference between capacitive and active styluses. Capacitive (also known as passive) styluses simply conduct the electricity from your skin to the touch screen: Think of them as a pen-like extension of your fingertip. For this reason, capacitive styluses are cheap, should work on any type of capacitive touch screen, and are best for basic tasks. The thickness of the stylus’s tip is really the only factor you’ll need to consider.
Active styluses, on the other hand, have electrical mechanisms inside, so they’re much better for detailed drawing and note-taking. That said, they’re more expensive, and you’ll also need to consider compatibility and battery life. A basic active stylus should connect to most laptops and allow for smooth, delay-free writing. However, there are also more advanced active styluses — but they often have special features like palm rejection (so you can simultaneously rest your hand on the screen without disrupting the connection), ample pressure points (that respond to even the most sensitive strokes), and tilt sensitivity (which changes the intensity of the stroke when you tilt the stylus, much like a real pencil). Just note that these are usually more expensive and are often designed to be brand-specific, though some reviewers have reported good luck with using some across brands.
Whether you’re looking for an active or a passive stylus, these are the most laptop-friendly options on Amazon.
The Best Capacitive Styluses
1. The Overall Best Capacitive Stylus Pen
This capacitive stylus pen has earned an overall 4.4-star rating after more than 30,000 reviews — and it only costs less than $10. Even though it doesn’t have electrical components inside, it allows for sensitive navigation using its double-sided design — a precision disc tip on the bottom, and a thicker fiber tip on top. It’ll work with just about any capacitive touch-screen device (from phones to laptops), and it’s comfortable to hold thanks to its thin profile and rubber grip. Last but not least, you can get it in your choice of eight colors, all with a clip cap and two replacement disc tips.
- Included tips: two precision disc, one fiber
One reviewer wrote: “For a cheaper basic stylus, this works really great. I mostly use it to draw on my touchscreen laptop in Adobe Illustrator and Fresco. I like the nib style and it comes with a few replacements, which is nice. I'll probably look into buying a fancier stylus but this works surprisingly well considering how basic the design is.”
2. The Best Value
Thanks to their wide compatibility and affordable price tag, this 10-pack of passive stylus pens for less than $10 is easily the best value around. They’ll work on just about any capacitive touch screen and come in 10 different colors. As a result, your whole family can use them for typing and navigating around their phones, tablets, and laptops — and if you lose a few, it’s no big deal. While the thicker rubber tip isn’t the most precise, it’s scratch-resistant and reacts with no delay. No wonder these have earned an overall 4.6-star rating from more than 30,000 reviewers.
- Included tips: thick rubber
One reviewer wrote: “Love the variety of colors, many in one pack, and the fact that it feels light. I keep one of these in my purse for when I use the card machines at stores. This is also great for when I need to sign documents via phone or on my touchscreen laptop. I hated using my fingers to sign, but this definitely helps with signing digitally. Recommend!”
3. The Most Versatile Passive Stylus
Like the two options above, this passive stylus pen is lightweight, simple to use, affordable, and works with any capacitive touch screen — but this one has something the others don’t: four interchangeable tips, plus a ballpoint pen for writing on real paper. That way, you can choose the ideal thickness and precision level you’ll need for digital note-taking, app navigation, and more. (Simply unscrew the old one and screw in the new one to change your tip.) Get it in your choice of five colors.
- Included tips: clear disc, mesh fiber, thin rubber, thick rubber
One reviewer wrote: “Penyeah 4-in-1 Touch Screen Stylus is extremely versatile. The fine disk stylus helps with very fine work on fine photo editing and other closeup work. The smaller rubber tip is great for my cell phone typing and my laptop. The mess tip is excellent for laptop, cell phones and larger photo editing. It is the most versatile stylus and pen combo I own! I use this pen exclusively.”
The Best Active Styluses
1. The Best Budget Active Stylus
While it won’t support tilt sensitivity or palm rejection (it doesn’t use Bluetooth connectivity), this widely compatible active stylus pen is designed to work alongside all types of capacitive touch screens. It’s also quick to charge and lasts for up to 12 active hours or 720 hours on standby — and not one of the eight color options will cost you more than $20. Finally, the 1.5-millimeter tip is scratch-resistant and allows for precise, skip-free writing and drawing.
- Compatible with: most touch-screen devices
- Battery life: 12 hours (rechargeable lithium-ion)
One reviewer wrote: “This is a fantastic stylus. It does exactly what it claims it will do. It immediately pairs with both my cell phone and touchscreen laptop. It charges quickly via USB and lasts for a long time on a single charge. And the price is a bargain, too. What more can anyone ask for in a stylus?”
2. The Best Microsoft Surface Pen
This Microsoft Surface pen is designed for optimal compatibility with most Surface models — including the laptops. It runs on Windows 10 and uses 4,096 pressure points for a no-lag ink flow that mimics a real writing instrument. It also offers palm rejection, so you can rest your hand on the screen, as well as tilt sensitivity so you can shade with the side of the stylus. Finally, the other end has a rubber eraser that allows you to quickly fix mistakes. Get it in three different colors: Ice Blue, Platinum, and Poppy Red.
- Compatible with: Surface Pro 7+, Surface Laptop 4, Surface Go 3, Surface Pro 8, Surface Laptop Studio, Surface Duo 2, Surface Duo, Surface Book, Surface Book 21,3, Surface Book 31,3, Surface Studio 1st, Gen3 Surface Studio 23, Surface Laptop 1st Gen1, Surface Laptop 21, Surface Laptop 31, Surface Go1,3, Surface Go 21,3, Surface Pro 31, Surface Pro 41, Surface Pro 5th Gen1,3, Surface Pro 61,3, Surface Pro 71,3, Surface Pro X1,3, Surface 31 Pen Tip Kit1
- Battery life: up to 12 months (AAAA battery)
One reviewer wrote: “I tried two different cheaper, off-brand pens for my surface where the reviews said they worked "just as good" as the Microsoft pen. Maybe if all you're doing is poking the screen, but I use this thing to draw, and none of the off brands actually had proper pressure sensitivity or made consistent lines. [...] If you use your Surface for art, this is the only pen that actually works in my experience.”
3. The Best Galaxy S Pen
If you have a Galaxy Book or a Galaxy Book Pro, the SAMSUNG Galaxy S pen effortlessly connects through Bluetooth — and you can switch from your Galaxy laptop to your phone to your tablet with the press of a button. It recharges via a USB-C cord, after which it lasts up to 16 day. Plus, it’s compatible with the SmartThings app so you can track your pen if you lose it. You can even bring your clippings from one screen to another, which makes sharing content infinitely easier. According to a sales representative at Samsung on a call with Bustle, while it doesn’t have palm rejection, it does have remote and gesture control (which allows you to navigate around your phone without ever touching it) and 4,096 pressure sensitivity points for smooth writing.
- Compatible with: Galaxy Fold3 5G, S21 Ultra, Note20, Note20 Ultra, Note10, Note10+, Note10+ 5G, Note10 Lite; Galaxy Tab S7, S6; Galaxy Book, and Galaxy Book PRO; Galaxy Tab S7, S6; Galaxy Book, and Galaxy Book PRO
- Battery life: 16 days (rechargeable via USB-C)
One reviewer wrote: “I've been using pens/styluses from before they were in style. This is one of the best I've used. It is on par with the Wacom Penabled convertible PCs I used to judge everything else by. Feels good in the hand. Feels good on the screen. Very responsive. I've used this on a Note 10+, and a Z Fold 3. It works equally well with both.”
4. The Best HP Stylus
With its automatic pairing, this stylus connects quickly and without delay to most HP devices. It then offers a natural, lag-free writing experience with smooth ink flow. Despite its lower price tag, the exterior is made from durable, lightweight aluminum alloy with a steel clip, and it comes in your choice of four colors. While it doesn’t offer palm rejection, the 1,024 levels of pressure sensitivity make for sensitive, precise writing.
- Compatible with: ENVY 17-aexxx , ENVY x2 12-e0xx , ENVY x2 12-g0xx , HP ENVY x360 13-ag0xxx , HP ENVY x360 13z-ag0xxx , ENVY x360 15-bp0xx , ENVY x360 15-bp1xx , ENVY x360 15m-bp1xx , ENVY x360 15-bq0xx , ENVY x360 15-bq1xx , ENVY Laptop 17-aexxx , HP ENVY x360 15-cn0xxx , HP ENVY x360 15-cp0xxx , Pavilion x360 11m-ad0xx, 11-ad0xx , Pavilion x360 14-cd0xx , Pavilion x360 14m-ba0xx, 14-ba0xx , Pavilion x360 14m-cd0xx , Pavilion x360 15-br0xx , Pavilion x360 15-cr0xx
- Battery life: 1,500 hours (AAAA battery)
One reviewer wrote: “This pen works extremely well with the HP Envy x360 Touchscreen! Would recommend buying it for digital art, etc. with the laptop, worth the price!”
5. The Best Dell Stylus
With its customizable buttons to boost productivity, its magnetic design that automatically attaches to the side of your notebook, and its advanced sensitivity, the Dell Premium active pen is the best stylus for most Dell devices. It has both tilt support and palm rejection technology, plus its 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity make for smooth, adaptive writing and shading. You can even automatically launch OneNote on your screen (even if it’s locked) by pressing the top button on the pen.
- Compatible with: Inspiron 13 5378, 13 5379, 13 7378, 15 5578, 15 5579, 15 7579, 7373 2-in-1, 7573 2-in-1, Notebook, Kompatible GerateDell, Venue 10, 8, Latitude 3189, 5175 2-in-1, 5285 2-in-1, 5289 2-In-1, 5290 2-in-1, 7275, 7285 2-in-1, 7389 2-in-1, 7390 2-in-1, XPS 12, 13 9365, 15 9575
- Battery life: 12 months (AAAA battery)
One reviewer wrote: “I got this pen to go with my Dell XPS 15 2in1 9575 and it works great. I use this for photo editing and design work (in Photoshop, Lightroom and Microsoft Publisher mainly, though I also use it for editing web layouts) and it helps a lot. Sometimes on a laptop trying to use the touch pad can be a bit tricky, and this pen allows perfect control over your selections.”