New Surface Pen overhauls and expands inking for Office 365

Microsoft’s new Surface Pro might be as unfixed as it was unbroken in its previous incarnations, but there are quite a few exciting changes coming with it. Updates to inking in Office 365 go hand in hand with a brand-new and far more sensitive Surface Pen, and the Microsoft Whiteboard app should now be more collaborative than ever.

Along with the option for a fanless design, one of the features highlighted in our look at the new Surface Pro was its upgraded Surface Pen. With more than 4,000 pressure points for added sensitivity, the new pen can take advantage of a variety of new functions when inking Office documents. Tilt functions and low-latency support are now available in all Office 365 applications.

This means that you can adjust the thickness and texture of your ink depending on the angle of the pen. With almost no latency, drawing more complex shapes and an improved fluidity to the experience should be possible for all users.

Other new features include additional ink effects and textures, letting you draw more complicated images in Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Although not as fully featured as bespoke artistic applications, it should be possible to create some quite pretty images by hand even within those typically more office-orientated apps.

Some of those features are available already, though they are limited to Fast Ring Windows Insiders. Microsoft claims that the new ink effects will become more widely available for Office 365 users in June.

Once they do arrive, you’ll be able to take them across various apps as you go, with a personalized “pencil case,” of artistic tools. Microsoft’s update will see the apps offer a gallery between apps that showcases your favorite pens, pencils, and highlighters, giving you quick and easy access no matter which app you’re using.

But Microsoft doesn’t want you to keep your Surface Pen skills to yourself. In an update for the Whiteboard app for Windows 10, Microsoft has introduced collaborative inking so that friends and colleagues can annotate together with all of their favorite digital pens and pencils.

Although the app isn’t a widespread one at the moment, Microsoft is looking to change that in the future and that includes bringing it to the new Surface Pro. Office 365 subscribers will have exclusive abilities within the app, though all users will have access to additional new features like geometry recognition, table conversion, and automatic table shading.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

The new iPad Mini certainly isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here are our impressions of Apple’s new 7.9-inch…
Mobile

iPad Air vs. iPad Mini: Which new tablet from Apple is best for you?

Apple has unveiled two new iPad models, including a new iPad Air and a new iPad Mini. Both devices have a lot to offer. But which iPad is right for your needs? We put the iPad Air and iPad Mini to the test to find out.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Deals

Here are the best Chromebook deals available in March 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Deals

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for March 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work or you're just doing some post-holiday shopping, we've got you covered: These are the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

Looking for a Chromebook? The Google PixelBook just got a $200 price cut

Once relatively obscure, Chromebooks have come into their own in a big way in recent years. One of our favorites is the super-sleek Google Pixelbook, and it's on sale right now from Amazon for $200 off, letting you score this premium laptop…
Computing

Still miss Windows 7? Here's how to make Windows 10 look more like it

There's no simple way of switching on a Windows 7 mode in Windows 10. Instead, you can install third-party software, manually tweak settings, and edit the registry. We provide instructions for using these tweaks and tools.
Computing

Go hands-free in Windows 10 with speech-to-text support

Looking for the dictation, speech-to-text, and voice control options in Windows 10? Here's how to set up Speech Recognition in Windows 10 and use it to go hands-free in a variety of different tasks and applications within Windows.
Computing

Get the most out of your high-resolution display by tweaking its DPI scaling

Windows 10 has gotten much better than earlier versions at supporting today's high-resolution displays. If you want to get the best out of your monitor, then check out our guide on how to adjust high-DPI scaling in Windows 10.
Mobile

Got gadgets galore? Keep them charged up with the 10 best USB-C cables

We're glad to see that USB-C is quickly becoming the norm. That's why we've rounded up some of the better USB-C cables on the market, whether you're looking to charge or sync your smartphone. We've got USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to USB-A.
Computing

Nvidia’s GTX 1650 graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over the 1050 Ti

Rumors suggest Nvidia might soon launch the GTX 1650, and a leaked benchmark listing from Final Fantasy XV suggests that the new graphics card could be just a slight upgrade over last generation's GTX 1050 Ti. 
Computing

Get ready to say goodbye to some IFTTT support in Gmail by March 31

If This Then That, the popular automation service, will drop some of its support for Gmail by March 31. The decision comes as a response to security concerns and is aimed to protect user data.
Computing

Get the new Dell XPS 13 for $750 with this limited-time deal

Dell is currently running a limited time deal lasting through Thursday, March 28, where you can bring home a version of this year's new XPS 13 for around $750 with the use of a special coupon code.