Okay, so. This is a pencil. You can draw with it on paper, the way you would with a pencil. Then, you can bring it up to your laptop screen and write on that, as you would with a stylus.
This MSI Pen 2, announced earlier this week, actually seems like such a no-brainer product when I think about it. If you have a notebook or Post-its on your desk where you like to write notes but also sometimes like to navigate your laptop’s screen with a stylus, you now only need one pen to do both. You could also try sketching out a picture, chart, or graph on paper before diving into doing so on a computer without putting down your writing utensil. You could take physical notes on a text that you’re reading on your computer, then also reach up and highlight parts of that text. I keep thinking of more scenarios where this could come in handy.
I just tried the MSI Pen 2, and I very much enjoyed it. This stylus uses MPP2.6 technology with 4096 pressure levels. MSI says it will last 10 hours from a five-minute charge. There’s haptic feedback, and the screen writing component was quite comfortable, with both a smooth stroke and excellent resistance. Here, I took a video:
So how on earth does this work?
Well, the pen does actually have a graphite tip inside. It’s a bit like those mechanical pencils we all used to use in fourth grade; when the graphite runs out, you load another stick in. (MSI tells me the pen comes with multiple graphite refills to get you started.)
MSI’s claim in the demo area was that the graphite tip was small and light enough that it wouldn’t damage or leave residue on the screen when writing on it. Accordingly, I did not see any graphite or residue on the screen during or after my demonstration. My appointment was also late in the day, and at that point, people had been coming through and writing with the thing nonstop. (I still think it might be magic, though.)
The laptop line this stylus will come with is the MSI Creator Z series. The unit I demoed this with was Creator Z17 HX Studio, which the pen ships with. This monstrous laptop will include Intel’s new Core i9-13950HX, which has a ginormous 24 cores (although only eight of those are performance cores, while 16 are low-powered efficiency cores). You can get it with up to an Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 laptop GPU and 64GB of memory. Resolution is 2560 x 1600, and there’s a per-key RGB keyboard. But in my opinion, this pen is the highlight.
The Creator Z17 will start at $2,999, with release date not yet finalized.