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Active vs Passive Stylus Pen

Last response: in Technologies
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June 18, 2013 5:11:30 PM

I'm doing research for my next computer for school, and I much prefer hybrid devices. The haswell refreshed Dell xps 12 is high on my list even though it doesn't have a rear camera. I learned today that it doesn't support active styluses unlike many other hybrids I'm considering.

What's the difference between active and passive?

How much precision is lost by getting a passive stylus?
June 18, 2013 5:28:38 PM

Active styli can hover over the screen and you will see a cursor on screen. If you have ever used a wacom, this is active. The styli will also typically have a writing end and an erasing end. Passive will only work when actually touching the screen. This is typically what people think of as touchscreens, ie capacitive touchscreens, as it's cheaper so more widely used. One issue you could run into is if it is capacitive and you are trying to write, resting your hand on it could cause issues. There are technologies that help with this but they aren't perfect. You don't really lose any precision as long as it's calibrated, it clicks where you touch which either active or passive. But depending on what you do, you may want to have hover.
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June 18, 2013 5:38:43 PM

I'm going to use it to highlight ebooks, sometimes write in onenote. I'm not an artist, but I will likely be using it in paint. I do not yet own adobe photoshop and such editing software, and I don't know what it's like to use a stylus yet. I press down more than others when I write.
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June 18, 2013 9:44:05 PM

It really won't matter for you. Just make sure to look up how it handles when you rest your hand on it while writing.
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June 19, 2013 6:04:36 AM

It has reviews saying turn off the palm rejection. I probably shouldn't consider it unless dell upgrades the touchscreen to use active digitizers. They might, since there will be support in the xps 11.

The only major flaw with the xps 11 is the removal of key travel in favor of tablet comfort. That's why I'd prefer the xps 12 if I choose dell.
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